Part of the reason Georgia running back Zamir White has so much hype surrounding him has to do with his recruiting ranking. White was the No. 1 ranked running back in the 2017 class and a 5-star prospect. Because of this, he’s got incredibly high expectations heading into 2019 for someone who has suffered two different ACL injuries.
But another reason to temper expectations when it comes to White is because Georgia has another talented running back ready for a breakout season in Brian Herrien. And while White was tabbed as a 5-star recruit, Herrien was a 0-star recruit during his recruiting process.
Herrien shed some light on his recruiting process when he was a prospect during the 2016 cycle.
“I feel like UGA is getting a pretty good player. Now the people that slept on me get to see what they missed out on,” Herrien told DawgNation after signing with Georgia in May of 2016.
He backed that up almost immediately. Herrien scored a touchdown and ran for 59 yards in his first game for Georgia against North Carolina. As a junior, Herrien averaged 5.9 yards per carry and 3 touchdowns. In the 2019 Sugar Bowl, a game Georgia lost with many players not playing well, Herrien finished with 4 carries for 17 yards and an 18-yard touchdown catch.
Heading into his senior season, Herrien has a very real opportunity to play an even bigger role. Georgia must replace Elijah Holyfield, who ran for 1,018 yards a season ago. And while White has hype and talent, he is also yet to play a down of college football.
With White still recovering, Herrien had a strong spring practice for the Bulldogs. He carried the ball 7 times for 25 yards but also added 3 catches for 50 yards and a touchdown.
“Brian is a good back, and Brian has gotten better,” Georgia coach Kirby Smart said about Herrien. “He’s been here for several springs, (and) one of those spring he carried 20 or 30 times when Nick (Chubb) and Sony (Michel) were coming back as seniors.
“So I’ve seen a lot of body of work from Brian. He has a good skillset caching the ball, he has a good understanding of our offense, and I thought he looked good today.”
Herrien’s pass-catching ability became even more important following the dismissal of wide receiver Jeremiah Holloman. With Holloman now gone, Georgia will have to replace its top 5 receiving leaders from a season ago. Because of that Fromm is likely to target his running backs — like Herrien — even more in 2019
As talented as fellow running back D’Andre Swift is, he’s not the type of player to command 300 carries. Georgia is going to need to get significant carries from its other running backs. It could turn to White — a former 5-star prospect —to do so. But it also has a self-described 0-star running back in Herrien, who has put himself in position to have a very big final season in Athens.
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