UGA’s Backfield: Who Should Get The Second Most Touches?


UGA will have one of the deepest running back groups in the entire country next fall.  Sophomore tailback Nick Chubb had a breakout freshman season and is a preseason contender for the Heisman Trophy.  Chubb’s 2014 season with the Georgia Bulldogs was the greatest by a UGA tailback since Herschel Walker led the Dawgs to a 1980 National Championship.  Obviously Nick Chubb will receive the most carries of the Georgia tailbacks in Brian Schottenheimer’s system.  But outside of Chubb, who should get the second most touches?

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HC Mark Richt and OC Brian Schottenheimer have the luxury of choice in selecting Chubb’s primary backup.  Fellow sophomore five-star recruit Sony Michel came to Athens from Fort Lauderdale last fall with the hopes of continuing UGA’s excellent tradition of elite tailbacks.  Michel had a good freshman year for the Dawgs despite missing half the season with a shoulder injury suffered against Troy.  Sony can certainly bring the lightning to complement Chubb’s thunder.  As a sophomore Michel could easily get 10-15 carries a game so long as he has a healthy 2015 campaign.

Junior RB Brendan Douglas has been a DGD since coming to Athens in 2013.  Douglas plays bigger than himself, kind of how Mike Alstott used to at Purdue and later for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  The Augusta Hammerhead is a great change of pace back for the Dawgs.  He runs with conviction every time his number Coach Richt calls his number.  Although he has fumbled in the past, there is value in Douglas’ reliability and should continue to see action in year three at UGA.

Keith Marshall has been lost in the mix in the Georgia backfield these last two seasons.  His inability to stay healthy after a great freshman year has him buried on the depth chart.  This former five-star recruit from North Carolina made up half of the 34 Gurshall backfield of 2012 with St. Louis Rams RB Todd Gurley.  Marshall has gotten through spring practice relatively unscathed and if healthy, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Keith run angry in 2015 to make up for lost time.

I should also mention AJ Turman who had a great spring for the Dawgs.  His performance in G-Day was exemplary and if he keeps progressing in fall camp, AJ could break into the running back rotation for the Georgia Bulldogs in 2015.

Honestly, it doesn’t really matter who receives the second most amount of carries in the UGA RB corps.  My guess is if all things are equal, Sony Michel gets the second most behind Nick Chubb but barely.  In some games, Douglas, Marshall, or Turman could get double figure carries depending on the opponent.  I haven’t even mentioned that FB Quayvon Hicks and WRs Isaiah McKenzie and Terry Godwin could even see some hands off or jet sweeps in Schotty’s offensive game plan.  Even QBs Faton Bauta and Jacob Park can move around in the pocket and pick up yards scrambling.

One thing is for certain for the University of Georgia’s football team in 2015.  The Dawgs are going to run the ball and they are going to run with authority.  If the starting quarterback protects the football and Jeremy Pruitt’s defense continues to progress in Year Two, the Dawgs could have themselves a very special season in Athens playing Between the Hedges in 2015.