ATHENS - Todd Gurley was drawing raves from teammates after his performance in Wednesday's scrimmage, when he accounted for 58 yards and a touchdown on six carries.
“Todd Gurley had some beast runs out there. I was like, is that a freshman out there?” said senior receiver Marlon Brown, who had a good day of his own, with 103 receiving yards.
In fact, the freshman tailback had senior safety Shawn Williams reminding him of a certain other back. When Gurley uncorked a 40-yard run, Williams said it reminded him of former Alabama tailback Trent Richardson.
“I know the hole was kind of crowded and he bounced it outside and took off, and that was it,” Williams said. “You expect him to run inside because he’s a bigger back, and he bounces outside, and took off for 40. All I see is that (jersey number) three, and I’m like: He’s got a little body like Richardson."
That run stood out also to nose tackle John Jenkins.
“It was impressive. He was able to get to the sideline and run up the sideline,” Jenkins said.
Before anybody starts a Heisman campaign for Gurley, who still might only be fourth on the depth chart, this should be pointed out: Williams and Jenkins saw that big Gurley run from the sideline. It came against the second-team defense.
Gurley ran some with the second-teamers, but his most productive runs came when he was on first-team, according to Richt.
"Nobody had any space with the No. 2 unit," Richt said.
And in another caveat on Gurley's day, if you take out the 40-yarder, that means he had about 18 yards on five carries.
Here's what Richt had to say about Gurley and the tailbacks in general:
"He ran the ball well, I'll say that. But he has some good space provided for him at times, when other guys didn't," Richt said. "(Keith Marshall) had a great three-yard run one time but that doesn't impress anyone unless you see it in person. I thought the backs ran well. There was a couple times I didn't think they hit it right where they could have or should have. But it wasn't bad."
Williams, who has seen a number of highly-touted tailbacks come through the program, is high on this latest pair.
“They’re really good," he said. "With Keith, everybody’s saying he’s fast, he’s fast, he’s fast, and they expect him to run outside. But the next thing you look up he’s up the middle, running, gone.”