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History shows landing 2 elite running backs a real possibility for Georgia football

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History shows landing 2 elite running backs a real possibility for Georgia football

CLOVIS, Calif., — Kendall Milton announced his commitment to Georgia on Monday night shortly after 5 p.m. local time.

Not even 30 minutes after his announcement, Milton was already discussing the possibility of landing another elite running back.

“I plan on playing with another great back,” Milton said. “So [I’m] going after Zach. Going after Tank. Trying to put together this all-star team to make the competition a little bit easier.”

The subject of which running back Georgia might prefer is a much deeper subject of debate. Evans is the No. 1 running back in the country while Bigsby is the No. 1 running back in the state of Georgia. Evans has a higher ranking, but Bigsby has the appeal of being an in-state commitment.

Both players rate among the top 35 players in the country using the 247Sports composite rankings. Evans — from Houston — is the No. 6 player in the country. Evans is the No. 31.

As for the plausibility of landing two highly-touted running backs, it’s more common than you might think. And it’s beginning to happen a lot more now that running backs, like Milton, are aware of how important it is to have a measured workload before getting to the NFL.

Related: The No. 1 RB prospect or a ‘Tank’ in Athens? Kendall Milton shares his view on that

From 2010 to 2015, only four signing classes featured two top-10 running backs, using the 247Sports composite rankings. Since 2016, it has happened six times.

 Year School Top 10 running backs signed
2010 UCLA Jordan James, Malcolm Jones
2012 Georgia Keith Marshall, Todd Gurley
2013 Alabama Alvin Kamara, Alten Tenpenny
2014 Georgia Nick Chubb, Todd Gurley
2016 Ohio State Demario McCall, Antonio Williams
2017 FSU Cam Akers, Khalan Laborn, Zaquandre White
2018 Ohio State Jaelen Gill, Brian Snead
2018 Georgia Zamir White, James Cook
2019 LSU John Emery Jr., Tyrion Davis
2019 Penn State  Devyn Ford, Noah Cain

*Does not include players who were ranked as athletes, like Derrick Henry was in 2013

Of the 10 teams to pull off the feat, Georgia has done it three times. The first was in 2012 when the Bulldogs landed Keith Marshall and Todd Gurley. It happened again in 2014 when Nick Chubb and Sony Michel.

Those first two pairings proved to be very beneficial for the Bulldogs. Before Marshall’s career was derailed by injuries, he and Gurley were a big reason the Bulldogs came as close as they did to beat Alabama in 2012.

All Chubb and Michel did was finish as the second and third all-time leading rushers in Georgia history. They also led the Bulldogs to a College Football Playoff win in 2017.

Georgia running backs coach Dell McGee netted the Bulldogs two more elite prospects at the position once again in 2018, when the Bulldogs landed Zamir White and James Cook.

McGee, one of Georgia’s best recruiters on a staff full them, has shown he’s capable of reeling in the big fish. With Milton in the Georgia class, McGee has landed at least a commitment from a 5-star running back in each of the last five recruiting cycles. He signed D’Andre Swift in 2017 and White in 2018. John Emery Jr. committed to Georgia during the 2019 cycle, but he ended signing with LSU, where he will pair with a fellow top-10 ranked running back in Tyrion Davis.

Milton was honest that Georgia might not necessarily be the best option for either Evans or Bigsby.

“What’s best for me might not be what’s best for Tank or what’s best for Zach,” Milton said. “At the end of the day, whatever is their best decision – whatever God wants them to be – then they should take that opportunity.”

But Milton also made it clear that either Evans or Bigsby could be a tremendous fit with him at Georgia.

“Both of them — Tank and Zach — they both have similar running styles,” Milton said. “Both built backs. Playing with one of those backs, it wouldn’t be any sort of a dropoff if we were playing together. It would sort of be a one-two punch type of thing.”

After Milton committed to the Georgia coaching staff back in June, Milton’s father, Chris, said McGee gave a fist pump subtle first pump.

But should Georgia land either Evans or Bigsby, McGee might just have to give a Tiger Woods-like double fist pump to celebrate another big win for ‘RBU’ and the University of Georgia.

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