Managing the workload for Georgia's 'big hoss' tailback

semerson@macon.comJune 5, 2014 

UGA_v_FL

Georgia's Todd Gurley on a first quarter carry during Georgia's win over Florida Saturday.

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ATHENS - The most damaging sprained ankle in recent Georgia football history no longer seems a concern. Todd Gurley made it through spring practice unscathed, and last month Mark Richt told a group of UGA fans in Augusta that "we're gonna ride that big hoss."

Richt, of course, was playing to the crowd a bit. This week he addressed Gurley's workload a bit more soberly. Yes, Gurley will get the ball, especially when he's rolling, but Richt pointed out that Gurley isn't the only tailback on the roster.

"If he's healthy, he's gonna make great runs. I mean you've gotta give him the ball," Richt said. "We've done a pretty good job of throwing the ball to him. But Keith Marshall's pretty talented, obviously. Brendan Douglas, we like what he did. We've got a couple highly-touted guys coming in, I wanna see what they can do.

"So are we gonna give it to (Gurley) 30 times a game and wear him to a nub, no. But there may be a game or two where he's feeling in, and we've got momentum, and he's pounding, we're gonna let him pound. But Douglas pounds pretty good too. Keith Marshall can hit a home run at any moment. So we'll use all those guys."

Richt was alluding to the duo of Nick Chubb and Sony Michel, two highly-rated recruits who arrived on campus this week. Still, Gurley is at a different level talent-wise, as Richt acknowledged when asked if it would be difficult to recruit a tailback for the 2015 class.

"Because what's the chance of Gurley staying around a long time?" Richt said. "Even Keith Marshall for that matter."

Gurley and Marshall will both be juniors this season, and eligible for next year's NFL draft.

Chubb as 'Kimbo Slice'

Chubb has been a bit of an Internet sensation the past month, due to pictures circulating from his track performance. Georgia senior quarterback Hutson Mason saw the picture of Chubb jumping in place about six feet in the air.

"Nick Chubb looks like Kimbo Slice. That might be his new nickname," Mason said, referring to the mixed martial arts fighter. "I saw a picture of him running down the track, he looks like Kimbo Slice running down the track."

Mason hasn't practiced with the freshman tailbacks yet, but he's apparently seen and heard enough of them to decide they shouldn't be redshirted. He wondered if they would put some of the tailbacks back to return kicks and punts.

"Just getting the ball in the playmaker's hands," Mason said.

Richt mulling restructuring support staff

In the wake of the resignation of his on-campus recruiting coordinator, Richt said he was thinking about structuring the recruiting staff a different way.

"We're gonna look at our recruiting system and try to do what's best. There could be a change in how we restructure things, possibly. We're gonna be discussing that, actually, (Tuesday) afternoon."

Daryl Jones resigned last week, saying in a statement it was to pursue other opportunities.

"I'm really excited for his future, and wish him well," Richt said. "And I know we'll find somebody that will do a great job."

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