Nick Chubb: Best Player in the SEC?


Nick Chubb enters the 2015 Regular Season after a sensational true freshman season with the Georgia Bulldogs, one where he took over for Todd Gurley and dominated the SEC in the final 8 games of the 2014 Season.  As a true sophomore is Nick Chubb the best player in the SEC heading into 2015?

Nick’s freshman season for the Dawgs was nothing short of extraordinary: 1,547 yards on the ground for 14 scores on an astounding 7.1 yards per carry.  Chubb had the best season of a freshman tailback not named Herschel Walker in Georgia Bulldogs football history.

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Even with tremendous depth in the UGA RB corps, Nick Chubb is certainly in the early discussions for the 2015 Heisman Trophy.  If Chubb were to repeat or improve on his success in 2014 this fall, I would find it extremely difficult to not have Nick Chubb at the Trophy Presentation in New York this December.

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  • Getting to New York as a Heisman Trophy finalist means that Nick Chubb is one of the 3-6 best collegiate football players in the Division I level.  UGA has not had a guy make it to the presentation since RB Garrison Hearst finished 3rd back in 1992.

    There are definitely other worthy players across the college football landscape (USC QB Cody Kessler, TCU QB Trevone Boykin, Oklahoma RB Samaje Perine, Clemson QB Deshaun Watson to name a few) to make the trip to New York in the other Power 5 Conferences.  But how does Nick Chubb stack up in the SEC?

    In the Southeastern Conference, I see five players at the moment who are a cut above the rest: 3 on the offensive side of the ball and 2 on defense.  On offense that would include UGA RB Nick Chubb, LSU RB Leonard Fournette, and Mississippi State QB Dak Prescott.  Defensively Ole Miss DT Robert Nkemdiche and Florida CB Vernon Hargreaves, III immediately come to mind.

    Oct 18, 2014; Little Rock, AR, USA; Georgia Bulldogs tailback Nick Chubb (27) rushes against the Arkansas Razorbacks at War Memorial Stadium. Georgia defeated Arkansas 45-32. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

    In my opinion, Prescott belonged at the Heisman Trophy Presentation for his play last year with the Mississippi State Bulldogs as a junior.  If MSU has another strong season, I see Dak as the main reason for the Bulldogs’ success.  Should State win the West given all that Dan Mullen‘s team lost this offseason, it would be very hard to not give Prescott the Heisman.

    Fournette was the number one overall recruit of the High School Class of 2014.  Chubb outperformed Fournette in their freshman year, though Leonard did come on in the bowl game for the LSU Tigers.  Though I wouldn’t guarantee any accolades for Leonard Fournette just yet, he’s the main challenger for Nick Chubb as the best back in the SEC.

    It’s hard to compare offensive and defensive players in terms of value.  No doubt Robert Nkemdiche and Vernon Hargreaves, III are the best players on their respective teams.  I expect both to enter the NFL draft a year early as true juniors this spring.  Both should go in the Top 10, probably Top 5.  Should Florida surprise or Ole Miss stay strong, I could see either Nkemdiche or Hargreaves winning the lucrative Chuck Bednarik Award for Best Defensive Player in College Football.

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    I’m certain this can and will all change once the 2015 Season wraps up but here is how I see the Top 5 players in the SEC: 5. Leonard Fournette, 4. Vernon Hargreaves, III 3. Robert Nkemdiche 1b. Dak Prescott 1a. Nick Chubb.  Picking between Chubb and Prescott is darn near impossible, but I give the slight edge to Nick Chubb since I feel that his Bulldogs team will have a better year than Prescott’s.

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    Winning trumps all and while I expect both UGA and MSU to make bowl games, I can’t say that I can see Mississippi State playing in the Orange Bowl again in 2015 given how much turnover MSU experienced this offseason.  Barring any injury, Nick Chubb should make an All-American team this fall and contend for the Heisman Trophy, all of that contingent on the Dawgs having a strong 2015 season.

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