Georgia fans have gotten used to terrific running back tandems in recent years. Nick Chubb and Sony Michel led the Bulldogs to the Playoff in 2017. D’Andre Swift and Elijah Holyfield emerged last season. However, now that Holyfield has left UGA for the NFL, who will join Swift as the top rushing duo for Georgia this season?
That’s the subject of today’s DN90.
DawgNation’s Chip Towers — who recently previewed the running back position as part of an ongoing series looking ahead to spring practice — made a strong case for Brian Herrien stepping up his game and stepping into the role Holyfield occupied a year ago.
Georgia coach Kirby Smart has said in the past that Herrien has been a consistently strong practice performer despite not always getting as much playing time as he would probably like. Yet when Herrien has been given an opportunity he’s made the most of it.
In his first college game in the 2016 season opener vs. North Carolina, Herrien averaged 8.4 yards on seven rushing attempts and scored a touchdown. Herrien also scored a touchdown in his most recent game — the Sugar Bowl vs. Texas at the end of last season.
Herrien will certainly get an opportunity to compete. Yet the battle for playing time is expected to be intense. Herrien will be joined in that competition by two former elite recruits — Zamir White, the nation’s No. 1 running back from the 2018 class, and James Cook, the No. 3 all-purpose back from that same year. UGA also signed Kenny McIntosh in December — the No. 11 running back from the 2019 class.
White is attempting to return from two knee injuries, Cook was used sparingly last season and McIntosh will only be a true freshman, so it’s difficult to say which of those backs will become Herrien’s chief rival for carries.
This position group will definitely be one to watch this spring.
For more on Herrien, check out today’s edition of DN90 linked above.