Georgia sophomore running back Kenny McIntosh is easily overlooked on the program’s roster, and is one of the most underrated players in the SEC>
McIntosh has 17 carries for 80 through three games this season, but he’s averaging 4.7 yards per attempt. When given the opportunity, it’s evident that he has great peripheral vision and electrifying speed. McIntosh is also returning kicks for the Bulldogs this season, He leads the SEC in kick return yardage and also ranks No. 3 nationally while averaging 42.8 yards per attempt.
In fact, he hasn’t returned a kickoff for less than 38 yards this season but still hasn’t returned an attempt for a touchdown.
McIntosh said on Wednesday that he actually hadn’t returned a kickoff since high school.
“On kickoff, there’s a lot of space, so I just run with my eyes,” McIntosh said. “I see the hole and I hit it. The guys on the kickoff team with me are doing a hell of a job picking up blocks and staying on them. I couldn’t do it without them.”
McIntosh sits third behind fellow running backs Zamir White and James Cook, both of whom he shares carries with; but freshmen Kendall Milton and Daijun Edwards are starting to get more looks as the season progresses. With all that competition, McIntosh sometimes gets overlooked, but it doesn’t bother him.
McIntosh said that last season has helped him a lot when sitting behind both White and Cook, but also behind former Bulldog D’Andre Swift.
“Last year was an eye-opener,” he said. “It gave me a taste of how SEC football is, and how the speed of the game goes. I learn a lot from Zamir (White) and (James) Cook with how they run the ball. Certain things like the cuts they make, the moves they do, and when they do them. We’ve got a bond, so we talk and help each other. It’s all love in the running back room.”
McIntosh said the team comes first.
“But I’m a team player,” McIntosh said. “Whenever my name is called, that’s when I’m ready to go out there and perform. It’s looking good for me to go out there and just do what I have to do for the team.”
The 6-1, 210-pound athlete has proven that he can be versatile while on the field. He’s caught a few passes out of the backfield this season as well shown his ability when carrying the ball. Last season, McIntosh had one of Georgia’s longest runs of the year in mop up duty against Arkansas State. His longest plays against Tennessee this past weekend included a 14-yard rush, a 29-yard reception and a 42-yard kick return.
“I see myself as an athlete,” McIntosh said. “Running routes has always been a part of my game, and I love running routes. It’s another reason I came to Georgia, so that I can get a chance to run routes, make those one-on-one mismatches (and be) able to win them.”
Expect that versatility to be on full display this Saturday as the Bulldogs travel to Tuscaloosa to take on the No. 2 Alabama Crimson Tide.
“My expectation is for us to go out there and compete,” he said. “Alabama is just another team on the schedule. Just another team in front of us that we’ve got to go through.”