On Wednesday night, Georgia redshirt freshman running back Zamir White proved that he’s capable of carrying the load in 2020 if he’s called upon.
Without senior tailback Brian Herrien, sidelined and limited D’Andre Swift, it was up to White, James Cook, and Kenny McIntosh. Cook went down early in the game with an injury, and so that left White and McIntosh to split carries.
White certainly his part, leading Georgia with 18 carries for 92 yards (5.1 avg yards per carry) and one score. Both were career highs for the Chapel Hill, NC native.
“In practice, it’s the next man up,” White said in his post-game interview. “The whole week in practice. We had to have that mentality; just to be ready. Cook, me, Kenny—we had to have that mentality to be ready, but we had to go out there and show it.”
McIntosh played a large role too as he carried the ball 6 times for 26 yards. Georgia had 130 yards against the No. 7 Baylor Bears, and those two accounted for 118 of those yards.
The opportunity came at the right time for White because he could Georgia’s premiere back next season. It all depends on if Swift decides to forgo his final season and declare for the NFL Draft.
White is coming off back-to-back ACL tears and has been limited all year, but Wednesday night he was finally able to get into a rhythm.
“That helped a lot, man. Just being out there, getting in that groove again. It felt great to be out there,” said White. “The more I ran, the better I felt and the more confident I felt.”
White scored the final Georgia touchdown of the night with 7:36 left to go in the third quarter on a 13-yard run. With that score, White put Georgia up 25-14 with Rodrigo Blankenship nailing the extra point.
“That run there—Charlie (Woerner) blocked two people for me,” he said. “It was great. That run was great, man. I had to get in there.”
White finished the year with 408 rushing yards on 78 rushes (5.23 ypc) and three touchdowns. His longest run of the year came against Murray State when he burst through a hole late in the game for a 29-yard rush.
For the foreseeable future, White looks like the guy in Athens if Swift is to leave. But he will have to battle as you shouldn’t count McIntosh or Cook out. Plus, Kendall Milton arrives on campus this week, and recruit Zachary Evans is always a question.