Nick Chubb has racked up some very impressive stats over his past three years at UGA, but are they good enough to land him on my list of Top 5 UGA running backs of all-time?
Before starting my countdown, I want to preface it with the fact that I left off players like Frank Sinkwich and Charlie Trippi because of the style of offense that was ran during that time period and their fluctuation between multiple positions. Nevertheless, here is my list of the top 5 running backs in UGA history starting with number one.
1. Herschel Walker
I believe that if I had any other UGA running back atop this list, then the validity of my rankings would be out the door. Herschel Walker is not only the greatest running back in University of Georgia history, but he is arguably one of the greatest college football players of all-time.
As one of two Heisman winners at Georgia, Walker was one of the most dominant rushers that the game has ever seen and it could be argued that he deserved to win the Heisman on multiple occasions. Walker rushed for 15 touchdowns or more and over 1,600 yards and in each of his three seasons and in 1981 almost eclipsed the 2000 yard mark after rushing for 1,891 yards. Walker is truly one of the greatest players to ever play the game and is well deserved to be atop this list.
2. Todd Gurley
This is where ranking UGA running backs gets tricky because there are so many solid choices to choose from, but after mulling it over, I had to put Todd Gurley at number two on my list. Gurley may not have had Herschel Walker-like state, but he was still a force to be reckoned with in the college football landscape.
Gurley had this magic about him that whenever he touched the ball, there was always the potential of something amazing happening. He was lethal in so many ways because he could run, catch, return kicks, and even burned a defense with his arm on one occasion. Gurley finished his UGA career with 3,285 rushing yards and 36 rushing touchdowns. Gurley definitely had the potential to be a Heisman winner, but he struggled to play a full season due to a number of reasons. Regardless of this, Todd Gurley is still one of the Bulldogs all-time greatest backs.
3. Knowshon Moreno
Knowshon Moreno only played two seasons at the University of Georgia, but he was one of college football’s best running backs during his two years. Moreno was an explosive back during his college years and his greatest asset was how elusive he was. He just had the great ability to make people miss and extend runs by avoiding contact. Moreno is one of only four running backs at Georgia to rush for 1,000 yards or more in their freshman season. The other three are Herschel Walker, Todd Gurley, and Nick Chubb,
Moreno may not have possessed the same running ability that Herschel Walker did, but his stats are the closest thing to the Bulldogs legend since. Moreno totaled 2,734 yards rushing and 30 touchdowns in his two seasons at Georgia. If he had played one more year and kept his average yards and touchdowns, he would still be 1,158 yards and 4 touchdowns short of matching Walker but would have about 1000 yards and 9 touchdowns over every other running back at UGA. I hate to penalize Moreno for not playing three full years at Georgia, but that definitely takes a toll on his ranking.
4. Garrison Hearst
Hearst was in a tough battle with Chubb for the fourth spot on my list, but I gave the edge to Hearst because of his outstanding season in 1992. As the Bulldogs last Doak Walker Award recipient, which is awarded to the nation’s best running back, Hearst puts up a great fight for the fourth spot on this list. Hearst’s ’92 season, in which he totaled 1,594 rushing yards and 19 touchdowns, is still the greatest by a Bulldogs back since Herschel Walker. 1,594 yards puts him fourth on the list of single-season numbers and 19 touchdowns in a single season are the most of any Bulldog.
Whenever a running back beats out Herschel Walker, it is truly a glorious feat. Hearst was not a one hit wonder and had strong seasons in both of his freshman and sophomore seasons, which has him as the Bulldogs fourth all-time in both touchdowns and yards, with 3,232 rushing yards and 33 rushing touchdowns. Hearst was one of the Bulldogs bright spots in the 90’s and is one of the all-time great Bulldog running backs.
5. Nick Chubb
Nick Chubb exploded on the scene as a freshman and was one of the most explosive first-year players in 2014. Chubb has the perfect blend of power and quickness, which made him one of the country’s best running backs in his young career. Chubb had a gruesome knee injury that took a toll on the Bulldogs workhorse running back, but still, has some of the best stats among all-time backs at the University of Georgia.
Chubb has struggled this past season and although his stats are not reminiscent of his first two seasons at Georgia, he still deserves to make this list. Chubb is 4 yards away from having the second most rushing yards in Bulldogs history with 3,282 at the moment and 28 touchdowns in his career, which has him at 8th in the area of touchdowns. In my opinion, offensive line struggles and still gaining confidence in his knee played a role in Chubb’s down season, but he’s still one of the greatest Bulldogs to tote the rock.
This is my top five list of Bulldog running backs and besides number one, it was a very hard list to comprise. If you agree with my top five list or have a differing opinion, please let me know in the comments section.