UGA Fall Preview 2015: Running Backs

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UGA Fall Preview 2015: Running Backs

UGA tailbacks for 2015 from left to right: #22 Brendan Douglas, #4 Keith Marshall, #1 Sony Michel, #27 Nick Chubb, #35 A.J. Turman
From left to right: #22 Brendan Douglas, #4 Keith Marshall, #1 Sony Michel, #27 Nick Chubb, #35 A.J. Turman
[su_spacer size=”20″] Fall practice for UGA starts today, which means that the college football season is approximately a month away, practically nipping at our heels. Yesterday, we looked at UGA’s quarterbacks and the ensuing position battle at that position that will be the talk of fall practice. Today, it’s about the stallions in the stable that carry the ‘ole pig skin for the red and black, UGA Fall Preview 2015: Running Backs
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Of all the position groups on the Georgia Bulldawg football team, tailback maybe the one that has the least question marks. Why?
[su_spacer size=”40″] Sophomore Nick Chubb looks to keep his number one position on the depth chart as the Dawgs starter at tailback for 2015. Number 27 burst onto the college football world and Dawg Nation with a SEC Freshman of the Year performance.
[su_spacer size=”40″] How good was his performance?
[su_spacer size=”40″] Chubb’s 1,547 yards rushing is tied 4th all time for a Georgia running back in school history with Garrison Hearst’s 1992 season according to, and it is the 15th best rushing performance in the SEC all time since 1956. It’s the 2nd best performance by a Bulldawg freshman running back, second only to the legendary number 34, Herschel Walker.
[su_spacer size=”40″] Chubb’s 7.1 yards per carry average for the 2014 season breaks Rodney Hampton’s school record which has stood since 1987 and lands him 17th best all time in the SEC … since 1956.
[su_spacer size=”40″] Nick Chubb Ultimate Freshman Highlights 2014
[su_spacer size=”40″] Of course, in the SEC, depth is key; so, how is Georgia’s depth at running back?
[su_spacer size=”40″] Everybody returns at tailback for Georgia with the exception of Todd Gurley, who forfeited his fourth year of eligibility to go ply his electrifying talents in the pros with the St. Louis Rams in the NFL. With Chubb in the backfield there is sophomore Sony Michel and junior Keith Marshall; both of which are healthy and good to go. Redshirt sophomore A.J. Turman is also healthy, and there is the fan favorite, number 22, junior Brendan Douglas.
[su_spacer size=”40″] New to UGA’s roster in the running back corps is tailback Tae Crowder, who played his varsity high school football at Harris County out of Hamilton, GA for coach Dwight Jones and is a member of the 2015 recruiting class for the Dawgs. In addition to Crowder, there is 2015 walk-on Avery McNeely, who is a local player from Clarke Central high school in Athens, GA.
[su_spacer size=”40″] [su_box title=”Projected Tailbacks Depth Chart Entering into Fall Camp” box_color=”#050505″ title_color=”#ffffff”] 1. #27 Nick Chubb (5-10, 220 lbs, So.)
2. #1 Sony Michel (5-11, 212 lbs, So.)
3. #4 Keith Marshall (5-11, 212 lbs, Sr.)
4. #35 A.J. Turman (6-0, 204 lbs, RdSo.)
5. #22 Brendan Douglas (5-11, 215 lbs, Jr.)
6. #30 Tae Crowder (6-3, 220 lbs, Fr.)
7. #31 Avery McNeely (5-8, 180 lbs, So.)
[/su_box] [su_spacer size=”40″] Georgia has six solid scholarship tailbacks on the depth chart, and the good thing is that all of them are healthy to start fall camp. I expect Chubb to hold on to the number 1 spot on the tailback depth chart and be the starter versus ULM on September 5th and for the 2015 season. The battle for the number 2 and 3 spots on the depth chart will be fierce and competitive and could change on a week to week basis depending on who practices well and who is healthy.
[su_spacer size=”40″] Even the tailback who finds himself sitting 4th down on the depth chart will see action this season though. Douglas, Marshall, Michel, Turman, and even the new kids on the block Crowder and McNeely will vie for playing time, but behind Chubb, I expect Marshall, Michel, and Turman to occupy spots 2-4 to start the season.
[su_spacer size=”40″] Running backs not only include the tailbacks but the guys that lead the way, clearing the hole, fullbacks.
[su_spacer size=”40″] [su_box title=”Projected Fullbacks Depth Chart Entering into Fall Camp” box_color=”#050505″ title_color=”#ffffff”] 1. #48 Quayvon Hicks (6-2, 251 lbs, Sr.)
2. #41 Christian Payne (6-1, 232 lbs, So.)
3. #46 Glenn Welch (6-3, 244 lbs, RdSo.)
4. #44 Cameron Faulkner (5-11, 232 lbs, Sr.)
5. #47 Kyle LeStrange (6-0, 233 lbs, Jr.)
6. #49 Turner Fortin (6-1, 230 lbs, Fr.)
[/su_box] [su_spacer size=”40″] Last year, fullback Merritt Hall’s football career was cut short due to concussions, and that left the duties to Quayvon Hicks and several walk-ons. Linebacker Detric Bing-Dukes was even moved to fullback for 2014. However, along with Hicks, walk-on senior fullback Taylor Maxey emerged to help lead the way for Georgia’s tailbacks. Maxey is gone now and it is up to Hicks and company to carry the load.
[su_spacer size=”40″] If senior Quayvon Hicks can keep his eye on the prize, he should come out of fall camp as Georgia’s starting fullback with his talent and athletic ability; however, if he has lapses in concentration, sophomore walk-on Christian Payne is nose to the grindstone type of back that can get the job done. Redshirt sophomore walk-on back Glenn Welch is the next biggest of the bunch after Quayvon, but fans should keep their eyes out for walk-on transfer back from UAB, Kyle LeStrange.
[su_spacer size=”40″] For Georgia’s Nick Chubb to repeat and even improve on his freshman performance, the big hog mollies up front will have to be solid, mean and nasty. Tomorrow, we will take a look at the offensive line.
[su_spacer size=”40″] [su_box title=” UGA Fall Preview 2015 Series” box_color=”#050505″ title_color=”#ffffff”] [su_spacer size=”20″] QUARTERBACKS
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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!