UGA Football

Georgia forms another running back tandem with addition of James Cook

Georgia tailbacks Nick Chubb (27) and Sony Michel (1) celebrate on the sidelines during the fourth quarter of a 41-0 win over Tennessee.
Georgia tailbacks Nick Chubb (27) and Sony Michel (1) celebrate on the sidelines during the fourth quarter of a 41-0 win over Tennessee. TNS

In Georgia’s offensive backfield, the pattern has repeated itself ... again.

A duo of star running backs departs, and a new tandem of future stars is formed. It came to fruition Thursday when top-50 prospect James Cook committed to the Bulldogs.

Cook, out of Miami Central, joins Zamir White — the nation’s top-rated running back — in what is penciled in to be Georgia’s backfield in 2018.

According to the rankings, Cook, White and Justin Fields — who could be leading a future Bulldogs offense as the nation’s top dual-threat quarterback — are all rated as five-star prospects.

Georgia’s recruiting success at the running back position is becoming more of a standard as each year passes. Throughout the past six recruiting classes, Georgia has formed three running back duos, and the previous two have featured players who have set program records.

As the Bulldogs’ recruiting legacy lives on, some believe it makes one thing evident.

“This is RBU,” Georgia senior running back Nick Chubb said earlier this season, echoing the notion of his coaches who use “#RBU” when celebrating a new commitment on Twitter.

Chubb is currently pairing with Sony Michel while Todd Gurley teamed up with Keith Marshall before them.

Cook’s commitment marks the latest work of running backs coach Dell McGee on the recruiting trail. The second-year position coach served as a primary recruiter for Cook, Fields and White and also landed each of the other running backs that will be in Georgia’s five-deep rotation in 2018 — D’Andre Swift, Elijah Holyfield and Brian Herrien are the others.

McGee has drawn plenty of praise from recruits, most notably from Fields. After his announcement Oct. 13, Fields said McGee was “the best recruiter in the country.”

With Cook joining the class, McGee’s success is being noticed among the top recruiting sites. He is ranked as the nation’s top recruiter by, ahead of Ohio State’s Greg Schiano.

Georgia’s push to land Cook came after he de-committed from Florida State on July 4 as he originally had the intention of following his brother Dalvin in playing for the Seminoles. The thought of having another star-caliber tandem brings excitement to those up front who are tasked with opening up running lanes, too.

“It’ll be a really fun time blocking for them,” said Owen Condon, a three-star offensive tackle commit. “They’re two of the best in the nation and will help us win games. Pairing them with Justin will be crazy.”

After a slow start, Georgia’s recruiting class ranks fifth nationally and first in the SEC, according to the composite rankings.