Todd Gurley

Getty Images

Georgia RB Sony Michel suffers broken forearm

1 Comment

Georgia running back Sony Michel suffered a broken left forearm on Sunday and underwent successful surgery Monday at Athens Regional Medical Center, the program has confirmed. The Bulldogs stated only that Michel hurt the arm in “an accident,” but the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported the injury came while the tailback rode an ATV.

Michel is expected to make a full-recovery, but his early-season availability is unknown at this time. Georgia opens its season opposite North Carolina at the Georgia Dome two months from yesterday.

Michel’s injury is the latest at a position that has been full of them of late. Todd Gurley missed most of his final season in red and black with a knee injury and Nick Chubb was lost for the 2015 season midway through the year with an ACL injury of his own.

Chubb still has not been cleared to return to action, so Michel’s injury could mean the Bulldogs call on senior Brendan Douglas, redshirt freshman Tae Crowder or a pair of true freshmen to carry the load for Kirby Smart‘s team.

Michel led the club last season with 219 carries for 1,161 yards and eight touchdowns while also finishing third on the squad with 26 grabs for 270 yards and three scores.

Gurley, Lattimore tweet support for Nick Chubb following horrific injury

Associated Press
3 Comments

If anyone can understand what’s going through the head of Nick Chubb right now, it’s Todd Gurley and Marcus Lattimore.

In the first play of the first possession of Georgia’s game against Tennessee, Chubb went down with an absolutely horrific-looking injury as his left knee bent in a way that God never intended.  Officially, UGA stated that the running back wouldn’t return to the game because of the left knee injury, but gave no prognosis beyond this weekend.  Unofficially, it very much appears that Chubb’s 2015 season has come to an end.

For those who are squeamish, look away.

Chubb took over as the Bulldogs’ top back almost exactly one year ago today, becoming one of the most productive players at the position in the country during that time; entering Week 6, he was third in the country in rushing yards.  Chubb’s emergence coincided with All-American Todd Gurley’s NCAA-related suspension and then, in his first game back, a torn ACL.

Gurley ended up leaving UGA after his junior season and became the first running back taken in the 2015 NFL draft.  Upon hearing/seeing the news of Chubb’s potentially devastating injury, Gurley could only shake his head and offer up prayers.

Former South Carolina All-American Marcus Lattimore, himself the victim of a significant knee injury that cost him the remainder of his collegiate career as well as any meaningful NFL career, tweeted support for the fallen player as well.

While there remains uncertainty regarding the severity of Chubb’s injury, there’s one near-certainty moving forward: the calls for Leonard Fournette — and now the sophomore Chubb as well –to sit out the 2016 season and protect himself from such an injury will grow louder and louder in the coming days and weeks.

2015 could be the year of the running back in college football

7 Comments

College football has been a game for quarterbacks over the last decade or so, but the 2015 college football season could be a big one for the running backs. The young running backs that have taken the big stage during the 2014 season have shown glimpses of what could be one of the finest seasons for fans of the running game in quite some time.

Just look at some of the names coming back to line up in the back field with authority in 2015.

Now a couple of years removed from the SEC’s best quarterback class in some time, the SEC should be heavy on the run in 2015. The SEC’s leading rusher returning in 2015 will be Georgia’s Nick Chubb for his sophomore season, and LSU freshman Leonard Fournette could also be worthy of striking his Heisman pose. Chubb rushed for 1,547 yards and an SEC-leading 14 touchdowns this season, and most of that came while backing up Todd Gurley until he went down to injury. Fournette also rushed for over 1,000 yards, including 143 yards in a bowl game loss against Notre Dame. If you need more running power from the SEC, look no further than Arkansas with sophomore Alex Collins. Collins is coming off a 1,100-yard season with 12 touchdowns and should be a big piece of the offense for Bret Bielema in 2015. If there is one thing Bielema knows how to do, it is run the football. With Collins on the field, Arkansas will do just that. Alabama will look for a big year from  too. Henry was 10 yards shy of a 1,000-yard season but he did rush for 11 touchdowns for the Crimson Tide.

Up north, the Big Ten should continue to see plenty of production on the ground. In 2014 the Big Ten running game was the story with Wisconsin’s Melvin Gordon earning a nod as Heisman finalist and Nebraska’s Ameer Abdullah a household name. But the Big Ten also saw great seasons from Indiana’s Tevin Coleman, Minnesota’s David Cobb and Michigan State’s Jeremy Langford. The Big Ten will lose all of these players to the draft, but there are some talented running backs ready to pick up the steam. Right now there is no hotter name among young running backs than Ohio State’s Ezekiel Elliott, who turned in a postseason run worthy of Mr. January consideration. Wisconsin has Corey Clement ready to be the next running back in line in Madison. Two other sophomores to keep an eye on in the Big Ten will be Michigan’s Derrick Green, who could have a big impact if he bounces back healthy in 2015, and Penn State’s Akeel Lynch if the Nittany Lions firm up on offensive line.

Move just west of Penn State and you may find the best running back in the state with Pittsburgh’s James Conner. The sophomore led the ACC in rushing with 1,765 yards and his 26 touchdowns were twice more than the ACC’s next leading rushing touchdown leader, Boston College’s Jon Hilliman (a freshman). Florida State’s Dalvin Cook could have a huge role in 2015 as well.

Out west it is easy to get caught up in the quarterback action in the Pac-12. This year was certainly the case with players like Marcus Mariota and Brett Hundley, but next year could see some big years from running backs as well. Paul Perkins of UCLA led the Pac-12 in rushing with 1,575 yards this season and will be back in 2015. So will Arizona’s Nick Wilson, the conference’s fourth-leading rusher as a freshman, and Oregon’s Royce Freeman. Freeman did not have a great championship game against Ohio State, but he should take on a heavy load without Mariota leading the offense in 2015.

The pass-happy Big 12 is not without some impact running backs in 2015 either. Oklahoma’s Samaje Perine led the Big 12 with 1,713 yards and 21 touchdowns as a freshman in 2014. Baylor’s Shock Linwood was second in the Big 12  as a sophomore with 1,252 yards and 16 touchdowns. West Virginia’s Rushel Shell is also capable of doing some major damage if the Mountaineers have more faith in him.

Quarterbacks will likely remain the face of many programs, but the 2015 season could be a huge season for the running backs.