Good morning, y’all. Another glorious day in the mountains and we’ve got a bye week. My “things-to-do” decision making process is reduced to watching either Alabama or Auburn on TV, or clean out the compost bin. I’m leaning towards the compost bin, less crap to sift through.
Anyway, I have been quietly reflecting on the Georgia season and what could have been, particularly now that our star, Nick Chubb, is down. We are blessed to have a great back up in Sony Michel to fill in during Nick’s absence. While I curse the misfortune that costs us Todd Gurley last year, and Nick Chubb this year, I feel lucky that we have developed the reputation that brings top talent to our team, and that there are qualified backups waiting in the wings.
Being an old man, I think back to days of yore and the wealth of riches that we have had at running back. While any list is somewhat subjective and always up for discussion, or a fight in a bar, I’ll detail my top ten and why I think they belong in the elite.
1. Herchel Walker – goes without saying but here are some stats. In just three seasons, Walker rushed for 5,259 yards and 49 touchdowns with every member of the other team focused on “Stopping Herschel”. Herschel averaged 159 yards rushing per game and was one of Georgia’s two Heisman winners.
2. Frank Sinkwich – going back aways here. Sinkwich was a two time All American and a dual threat. In his Senior season, Sinkwich passed for almost 1,400 yards while rushing for 795 yards and 17 touchdowns. He was Georgia’s first Heisman winner.
3. Charlie Trippi – still in the “way back machine”. In 1946, Trippi won the Maxwell Award for the nation’s most valuable player, led the SEC in scoring and led UGA to an undefeated season. Amazingly, Trippi finished second in the Heisman Trophy voting to Glen Davis of Army.
4. Garrison Hearst – getting to the modern era now. Garrison rushed for a total of 3232 rushing yards in the three years of his career with 1,547 coming in his Junior year. He also holds the single season touchdown scoring record with 19 tallies.
5. Knowshown Moreno – Moreno rushed for more than 2,700 yards and scored 30 touchdowns in his two year career at Georgia. Had he not been red-shirted and available to the NFL draft after his second year on the field, there is no telling what might have been.
6. Todd Gurley – In three seasons, Todd gained 3,285 yards with 36 touchdowns despite being hobbled by an ankle injury in 2013. The suspension in 2014 and the season ending injury prevented him from breaking all of Georgia’s rushing records, in my opinion.
7. Rodney Hampton – Becoming draft eligible after three seasons, Rodney managed to rush for 2,668 yards and had 12 -100 yard rushing games during his tenure at UGA. Rodney went on to a very successful NFL career.
8. Lars Tate – Lars gained 3,017 yards with 36 touchdowns despite playing in the backfield with Tim Worley, Keith Henderson and Rodney Hampton. A wealth of riches.
9. Nick Chubb – If Nick decides to forgo his Junior season to train for the NFL, and who can blame him if he does, he will still have finished his career with 2,294 yards and 21 touchdowns. Nick will still own the most consecutive 100 yard rushing games record and he’s yet to play a full season. Personally, I hope he comes back and moves to number one on this list.
10. A player to be named later – I’m copping out a little bit here, but watching these new guys coming along, like Chubb and Sony Michel, I can’t help but think there’s a young fellow waiting in the wings for his chance to go in the Georgia record books. Afterall, we are “Running Back U”.
Lots of good memories there. Maybe I’ll just put off cleaning out the compost bin and watch Youtube highlights of Georgia running backs. Yeah, that’s the ticket!