2020 Georgia Football Primer: The next chapter in “Running Back U”

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2020 Georgia Football Primer: The next chapter in “Running Back U”

UGA running back Zamir White (3) | Georgia vs. Murray State - Third Quarter | Dooley Field - Sanford Stadium, Athens, GA | Saturday, September 07, 2019
UGA running back Zamir White (3) | Georgia vs. Murray State – Third Quarter | Dooley Field – Sanford Stadium, Athens, GA | Saturday, September 07, 2019

IMPORTANT UPDATE REGARDING UGA FOOTBALL’S SPRING PRACTICE:

Friday, March 13, 2020, 4:00 p.m. ET: The SEC announced that all organized team activities, including competitions, team, and individual practices, meetings, and other organized gatherings, will be suspended through April 15th. This includes spring football practices, scrimmages, and games.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020, 3:00 p.m. ET: The SEC has announced all regular-season conference and non-conference competitions are cancelled for the remainder of the 2019-20 athletic year This includes all spring football games and remaining SEC championship events, due to continuing developments related to the coronavirus.

Last season, junior tailback D’Andre Swift and senior Brian Herrien continued the tradition of “Running Back U” for Georgia. Swift rushed for 1,218 yards and 7 touchdowns on 196 carries in 2019, which were back-to-back 1,000-yard-plus seasons for No. 7 after he rushed for 1,049 yards in 2018. Although Herrien’s stats were not earth-shattering, No. 35 got some tough yards and key first downs in his 103 carries for 490 yards and 6 touchdowns. But there was another Bulldog back that quietly and consistently played alongside Swift and Herrien, and when they were not able to play versus Baylor in the Sugar Bowl, Zamir White stepped up and carried the load.

And the man nicknamed “Zeus” will be looking to write the next chapter in “Running Back U” for Georgia in 2020 with Swift entering the NFL Draft and Herrien having played his final year of eligibility at UGA.

White was a five-star and No. 1 running back signee for the Bulldogs in Georgia’s 2018 recruiting class out of Scotland County High School in Laurinburg, N.C. He enrolled early in January and was coming off an ACL knee injury he suffered in a high school playoff game when the unthinkable happened during UGA football’s 2018 spring practice as he tore his ACL in his other knee; so, White ended up taking a redshirt. Entering 2019, White was coming off back-to-back ACL knee injuries, and not much was expected. Just to see Zeus wearing No. 3 out on the field in red and black, carrying the ball in a game for the first time in almost two years would be well and good for most fans.

Fans didn’t have to wait long as White saw action in the Bulldogs’ season opener versus Vanderbilt on the road in Nashville, TN where the redshirt freshman got 5 touches and ran off 51 yards on the Commodores. And he did not stop there.

White quietly tallied 408 yards and three touchdowns on 78 carries in 13 games for Georgia. With Herrien and Swift unavailable in the Sugar Bowl, White shouldered the load, carrying the ball 18 times for 92 yards and one touchdown. Joining the 6-foot-0 and 218 lbs redshirt sophomore in the backfield will be James Cook, a 5-foot-11 and 200 lbs plus junior who signed alongside White in Georgia’s 2018 recruiting class out of Miami Central High School.

UGA running back James Cook (4)
UGA running back James Cook (4)

Cook has played in 27 games for the Bulldogs carrying the ball 72 times for 472 yards four touchdowns the last two seasons. He also has hauled in 24 receptions for 221 yards. It’s quite possible that under new offensive line coach Todd Monken, that fans will get to see as a receiver out of the backfield and the slot more going forward.

Also returning for 2020 is 6-foot-1 and 210 lbs Kenny McIntosh.

UGA running back Kenny McIntosh (6) | Georgia vs. Georgia Tech - Fourth Quarter | Saturday, November 30, 2019
UGA running back Kenny McIntosh (6) | Georgia vs. Georgia Tech – Fourth Quarter | Saturday, November 30, 2019

McIntosh signed with UGA in 2019 out of University School, Ft. Lauderdale, FL. As a freshman last season, he saw action in 12 of the Bulldogs’ 14 games, getting 25 carries for 174 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Joining Cook, McIntosh, and White are a couple of new faces in the backfield. Georgia signed two running backs as part of their 2020 recruiting class – Kendall Milton (a 6-foot-1 and 220 lbs five-star prospect out of Buchanan High School, Clovis, CA) and Daijun Edwards (a 5-foot-10 and 201 lbs four-star prospect out of Colquitt County High School, Moultrie, GA).

Fans will have to wait till Fall Camp in August to see Edwards as he will join the team in June after graduating in May, but Milton graduated early and enrolled in January. There are several walk-on tailbacks that will get an opportunity as well.

UGA running back Prather Hudson (24)
UGA running back Prather Hudson (24)

Senior Prather Hudson who has been a special teams’ standout for the Bulldogs the past three seasons is the savvy veteran of the group, scholarship or no. Hudson has played in 43 games for Georgia. Although Hudson entered his name into the NCAA Transfer Portal back in December, he remained on the team, traveling to the Sugar Bowl and playing versus Baylor, and he is enrolled and in school for spring.

Sevaughn Clark, a 6-foot-1 and 215 lbs out of Dawson County High School, and Anthony Sumney, a 6-foot-0 and 210 lbs out of  St. Peter’s Preparatory in Ocean Township, N.J., are two redshirt freshmen walk-ons that will be mixing it up this spring as well. Clark saw some playing this past fall early in the season getting 6 carries between the Murray State and Arkansas State games for 19 yards.

It should be a fun competition to watch this season as James Cook, Kenny McIntosh, and Zamir White along with newcomer Kendall Milton will begin the 2020 chapter in “Running Back U.”

Up next, we take a look at the wide receivers on Friday.

2020 Georgia Football Primer Series:

I. Quarterbacks: Bulldogs look for a new field general under center

II. New offensive line coach Matt Luke tasked with replacing three starters

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The University of Georgia 1991-1994. Lanier Tech 2009-2012. Writer and graphic artist covering UGA athletics, college football, and recruiting. Peach cobbler fears me!