The fact that Georgia running back Zamir White is competing for the starting job in 2020 is simply awe-inspiring.
The nation’s No. 1 running back in the 2018 class suffered a torn ACL in Nov. of his senior high school season in 2017, and sustained the same injury on the opposite knee less than a year later. Generally those two horrible instances would be career-ending for a young man, but not for White.
White bounced back and made his UGA debut last year in the season opener against Vanderbilt, which was a game where he carried the ball five times for 51 yards. He slowly kept his head down and kept grinding as the 2019 season went on. He finished the year with 78 carries for 408 yards along with three scores.
His only start of the season came in the Allstate Sugar Bowl against Baylor where the ran the ball 19 times for 92 yards and a score.
Recently, White sat down with the UGA Football video team and talked about his journey.
“What pushes me is I don’t want to be a failure,” White said. “Where I’m from, there’s no many people who make it out. Either there’s like killings or shootings or just get… it’s just hard to make it out. I’m just blessed to be here, so that’s why I work so hard.”
White has overcome so much adversity in a short amount of time. But to what he experienced as a senior in high school, and then again as a freshman at UGA, doesn’t even compare to what he faced when he was born. His mother, Shanee, gave birth to him at 14 years old. When he was born, White had a cleft lip, a cleft palate, two umbilical cysts, and other complications. He’s obviously fought through a lot and has since developed into a big-time athlete.
“I’m just blessed to be here and that’s why I work so hard,” White said.
In the video, White also talks about the tradition of running backs at UGA and how its touted ‘RBU.’ He explained that he knows the weight that’s on his shoulders right now, mainly because he’s projected to be the starter. He mentioned guys like Todd Gurley, Nick Chubb, Sony Michel and D’Andre Swift. Who are all guys that White wants to follow as the next great UGA tailback.
White will have some competition though as players like James Cook, Kenny McIntosh and Kendall Milton will battle him for the starting role. It will just come down to how much he wants it.
“I have to be that next guy up. I have to keep working hard and follow my teammates, and just make sure the next guys up are prepared as well,” said White. “I just to be that leader and just step up and be that guy now.”