Gurley adding muscle, pass play skills

semerson@macon.comMarch 28, 2013 

ATHENS - Todd Gurley is barely halfway through his second full semester at Georgia, but after 1,385 rushing yards, 18 touchdowns and a gain of about 30,000 Twitter followers, the Georgia tailback is feeling a bit grizzled.

"I'm not a freshman anymore. I'm a sophomore," Gurley said after Thursday's spring practice. "We've got young guys coming in like J.J. (Green), A.J. (Turman) coming in. So it's kind of like me taking on that role to look after those guys, just like Ken (Malcome) and Richard (Samuel) and all those guys did with me last year when I came in. It's kind of a bigger role, and to work on the little things."

Those little things: Putting on more muscle, and becoming better in the pass game.

Gurley said he now weighs around 230 pounds. Or, as he put it: "230-ish. Low 230s." That's well above his listed playing weight of 218 last year, but that's deceiving: Gurley said he hasn't weighed 218 since preseason camp last year. He gradually put on weight and estimated he was at 230 during the Alabama game.

The difference now is that Gurley has been putting on quality weight since the end of the season.

"I guess it's more muscle now, from doing a lot of lifting and stuff like that, and developing my arms," Gurley said. "Yeah it's more muscle. But I think by the time summertime comes around I'll probably lose all that."

The ideal playing weight would be around 225, but Gurley said it's not a huge deal.

"I feel good where I'm at right now," he said. "My body's feeling good. So I'm good where I'm at."

The muscle will help when it comes to knocking down defenders, although that didn't seem much of a problem last season, when Gurley hardly ever seemed to go down to the first defender. But an apparent focus of Gurley's spring is getting better in the passing game, whether it be as a blocker or a receiver. (He caught 16 passes for 117 yards last season.)

During Georgia's scrimmage on Tuesday, Gurley was told he was listed as having just two carries. Gurley corrected the reporter.

"Three carries," he said, holding up three fingers and smiling. "But yeah, I was on a lot of pass plays. And just working on getting out in pass protection and all that stuff, and communicating. So that's one of the main things coach wanted me to work on, so he put me in on those situations."

Follow Seth Emerson at @sethemerson.

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