Georgia is a bit of an interesting team heading in to the spring practice season in Athens. The Bulldogs have been one of the top programs in the SEC East the last few years, and although they appear to be losing some key players and have to break in a new starting quarterback, nobody should be surprised if Mark Richt puts together a team worthy of a SEC run in the fall. Having a healthy running back will be key for the Bulldogs, so all eyes are on Todd Gurley.
“Well right now, Todd Gurley has still been bothered by the injury that he had, so I really don’t know what to expect from Todd in the spring,” Richt said when asked about Gurley’s status this spring. “My guess is that unless he’s completely healed by March 18, there will be some modification to what he’s doing.”
Gurley will be limited for much of the spring, if not all of it. Keeping him healthy is more important than rushing him back for spring practices, even if it means falling behind the pace in getting accustomed to an offense with a new starting quarterback. Fortunately, there is little for Gurley to prove this spring. When healthy, he is one fo the best running backs in the SEC, if not the nation.
Gurley was on he brink of a 1,000-yard season despite battling injuries at various points of the year. Gurley played in 10 games and rushed for 989 yards and 10 touchdowns. He will be the team’s leading rusher returning in 2014 and could be the top offensive player on the roster.
While Richt may not feel a need to get Gurley involved in spring practices, his offensive coordinator is singing a slightly more demanding tune.
“I believe he’s at the point in his career, as a third-year guy, he’s got to step up and be a leader for this football team,” Georgia offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution on Wednesday. He’s not a big talker but he can step up and be a leader by how he practices and that’s what I’m looking for this spring.”
Should Gurley push it now? Considering the way last season unraveled for the Bulldogs, it may be best to scale things back for now. We know what Gurley can do. There is nothing to prove now.