Nick Chubb and Sony Michel have done a lot at Georgia to complement one another out of the backfield. It appears the two backs behind them are doing the same.
Appearing on 680 The Fan this week, head coach Kirby Smart spoke about the performances rising sophomores Brian Herrien and Elijah Holyfield have put in during spring practice. The two young backs have received a lot of reps during the past five weeks and have done their part to impress Georgia’s head coach.
“Brian’s had some really incredible runs where he breaks a lot of tackles and still improving his ball security,” Smart said. “He’s picked up better on protections.”
Another area Herrien has excelled at this spring has been in the passing game.
Georgia’s offense has experimented with Herrien as a slot receiver, with Smart saying he has done more than just perform the role well.
“He could probably be a starting receiver, believe it or not, because the guy has quickness, athleticism, can catch,” Smart said.
While Herrien has showed the burst and quickness to make him a versatile threat, Holyfield has done his part as a traditional power back.
Smart made mention of Holyfield’s performance in Saturday’s scrimmage, which saw Holyfield create some tough plays through the defense.
“Holyfield, I tell you, he had a couple of runs in the scrimmage that were really good the other day, that were explosive,” Smart said. “It seems he is running faster, more powerful, more comfortable. He’s just a bowling ball, man. He’s really physical, especially in the red area.”
While Herrien and Holyfield have received ample opportunity to improve during spring practice, it’s obvious that they will still work behind Chubb and Michel. But with the minor tweaks on offense, both backs could see the field more often if offensive coordinator Jim Chaney is able to rotate them in a bit more.
“Those two guys, they knew coming into the spring that they would be the guys we wanted to grow up and play more physical, and understand protections, and some of the new plays in the offense they had to pick up,” Smart said. “They both have done a really good job. I’m proud of the way they competed. They’ve earned the respect of the offensive linemen. They’ve earned themselves the ability to get some playing time.”