football Edit

Georgia's top RB commits of the era

Mark Pszonak contributed to this report.

Georgia doesn’t play around when it comes to recruiting running backs. Since five-star Isaiah Crowell chose the Dawgs in 2011, the program has been on an impressive run at the position.

Zamir White, Georgia’s recent commitment, is the sixth-ranked prospect in the 2018 Rivals100 and keeps the tradition going.

Amazingly, White is the seventh top 50 running back since 2011 to commit to Georgia. Here they are in order by ranking out of high school.

MORE: Clemson's top ATH commits | Tennessee's top DT commits

The skinny: Michel committed to Georgia in the spring of 2013, picking the Bulldogs over Miami, Florida and Florida State. Despite the Bulldogs adding additional backs in his class, most notably Nick Chubb, Michel stuck with his word and signed with Georgia. With Chubb’s injury issues, Michel has stepped up to the plate and rushed for 1,976 yards and 12 touchdowns over the last two seasons.

Farrell’s take: Michel, in the same class as Chubb, is the more well-rounded back of the two and that was the case out of high school. He can run inside, bounce it outside and he is a more natural pass catcher. A star since he was in the eighth grade, Michel has a chance to be an amazing NFL player and could have a breakout year this season for the Dawgs. He was part of an incredible group of backs at our Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge in Chicago, along with Leonard Fournette, Joe Mixon and Elijah Hood, all five-stars.

The skinny: Crowell took January official visits to Georgia and Alabama, which resulted in his commitment to the Bulldogs on National Signing Day. However, he only spent one season in Athens as he transferred to Alabama State after being dismissed from Georgia due to legal trouble. Despite two productive seasons at Alabama State, Crowell went undrafted but has since found a home in Cleveland, where he has rushed for 2,265 yards and 19 touchdowns in three seasons with the Browns.

Farrell’s take: Crowell didn’t pan out at Georgia, but he had a ton of talent and potential and was recruited by everyone. He had a great combination of power and speed, and balled out at the Under Armour All-America Game despite having an injury-riddled senior season. There were some questions about his durability but he’s answered those in college and in the NFL. UGA fans wish he would have done it in Athens.

The skinny: Chubb committed to Georgia over a group of finalists that included Auburn and South Carolina. After a huge true freshman season in 2014 with 1,547 yards and 14 scores, Chubb’s 2015 season was derailed by a knee injury. He returned last fall with 1,130 yards and eight touchdowns on the ground, but didn’t reach the levels he did back as a true freshman. Now fully healthy, all eyes will be on Chubb to see if he can regain the speed and power he possessed in 2014.

Farrell’s take: Chubb was only two spots away from a fifth star as a recruit. Based on the way he has played in Athens, despite the scary injury and some injuries this past season, Chubb has clearly been a five-star college back. His injuries this past season don’t have anything to do with the nasty knee issue so that’s good news and we could see the Chubb of old all next season. He’s a national top five player when healthy.

The skinny: While he picked up offers from coast-to-coast, when Georgia offered the Bulldogs immediately jumped to the forefront for Swift. After trimming his list to the Bulldogs, Penn State, Clemson, Florida State and Alabama, Swift pulled no surprises by committing to Georgia in August. Fighting for playing time with Chubb, Michel, Holyfield and Brian Herrien, it is unlikely that Swift will make a huge impact this fall, but he is definitely a name to remember in the future.

Farrell’s take: Swift reminds me a bit of Chubb when it comes to build and the ability to bounce off tackles; he’s just not quite as explosive at the same stage. Ironically, he ended up with the same national ranking as Chubb and he can have a similar career after learning under Chubb and Michel this season.

The skinny: Being from North Carolina, there was a big push for Gurley to stay home, but at the end he committed to Georgia over the Wolfpack and Tar Heels. Despite tearing his ACL during his junior season, Gurley still had a productive and memorable playing career in Athens. The injury obviously caused some concern among NFL teams, but the Rams still decided to select him with the 10th overall pick. Brought along slowly as a rookie, Gurley won the Offensive Rookie of the Year after rushing for 1,106 yards and 10 touchdowns, but then struggled during his second season in 2016. Will he be able to rebound in 2017?

Farrell’s take: He should have been a five-star. I kick myself and said so even before he emerged as a freshman star. While everyone else had fellow North Carolina running back Keith Marshall (below) as the man, I fell in love with Gurley's size and speed at the Shrine Bowl. Had he played in one of the two major all-star games, he would have been a five-star and I'd be bragging right now, but I still think national top 50 is pretty good. He ran very much like Adrian Peterson out of high school.

The skinny: The four-star from North Carolina was ranked as the second-best all-purpose back and No. 48 overall in the 2012 class. He committed to Georgia, a longtime leader, over Clemson, Florida, South Carolina and Notre Dame. Marshall was one of the fastest prospects in the country in 2012 and lived up to that with a stellar time at the NFL Combine (4.31). In between, his career at Georgia was average at best as Gurley excelled and Chubb burst on the scene. His best season was his first as he rushed for 759 yards and eight touchdowns as a freshman. He’s currently on the Washington Redskins roster after being drafted in the seventh round last April.

Farrell’s take: We had Marshall as an all-purpose back which was a compliment to his speed and ability to be utilized in the passing game but we had him ranked a bit lower than others because we worried a bit about a fumbling issue he had. That being said, a national top 50 recruit is a big deal and this kid was a blur out of high school. We thought the 1-2 punch of Marshall and Gurley would be amazing but Marshall had some injuries and just didn’t have the same ability as his North Carolina buddy.