The one thing everyone is forgetting when it comes to Zamir White
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Zamir White doesn’t have to be a star for Georgia football to be successful in 2019
The most interesting player heading into Georgia’s spring practices likely won’t see the field at all when G-Day rolls around on April 20. That’s because the Bulldogs will likely be cautious regarding redshirt freshman running back Zamir White.
White, as most fans know, is still recovering from his second ACL injury, which he suffered back in August while working on Georgia’s punt team. The reason he’s the most interesting player though is because of his obvious potential. Just watch a few minutes of his high school highlights, and you’ll see why he was the nation’s No. 1 running back coming out of the 2018 recruiting class.
— UGA Football Live (@UGAfootballLive) October 7, 2017
Georgia fans got a bit of good news on the White front on Thursday, as DawgNation’s Jeff Sentell spoke with White’s high school coach, Richard Bailey, who gave some very encouraging news on White.
“I really feel like the chances of recovering from what he has had is 100 percent,” Bailey said. “He is going to be back and as good as ever if not better than ever. Especially with what he has added to his body in the weight room since he has been at Georgia.”
Just about everyone wants White to have a big season. But here’s the thing: Georgia doesn’t need him to be a star for the team to be successful in 2019.
Most national media pundits peg the Bulldogs as a top-5 team heading into the 2019 season. Most of those pundits aren’t factoring White into the equation when considering Georgia’s 2019 potential. They’ll mention Jake Fromm, D’Andre Swift, Georgia’s loaded offensive line or the burgeoning talent on Georgia’s defense.
Georgia already has a star running back in Swift. He rushed for over 1,000 yards last season, and will likely do the same in 2019. In the worst case scenario — where White isn’t totally healthy — Georgia still has senior running back Brian Herrien to lean on. There are also younger options like James Cook and Kenny McIntosh.
White has hinted how his offseason is going, as he recently posted an impressive workout photo to his own Twitter account.
— Zamir White (@zeus1_34) February 19, 2019
Georgia’s offense is going to be good regardless of what White is able to provide in 2019. But if White is able to give anything to Georgia this year, the offense will almost certainly be the best of the Kirby Smart era. Fromm is an elite quarterback, and the Bulldogs might have the best offensive line in the country. There are some fair questions about Georgia’s pass-catching weapons, but that isn’t for a lack of available options.
I understand why some might want to pump the brakes on White. Personally, I think if he’s healthy, like his high school coach expects, he’s going to put up big numbers in 2019. I do think he can top 1,000 yards. But Georgia doesn’t need him to be a superstar.
White is no doubt itching to get back onto the field. And if he lives up to the great expectations that have been placed on him, Georgia will have a very real claim as the nation’s best team.
“If he’s healthy, he is at the right place to run the football,” Bailey said. “He is at the right school that is committed to running backs being successful. They definitely have a great reputation for doing that.”
Elijah Holyfield is the latest Georgia running back to shine at NFL combine
Elijah Holyfield’s NFL combine process continues on Friday, as he’ll take the field for drills, things like the 40-yard dash. But he’s already gotten off to a strong start in Indianapolis.
Holyfield put up 26 reps on the bench press on Thursday. That’s good for third among all running backs in 2019. In the last two years, only five running backs have put 26 or more reps. Two of them, Holyfield and Nick Chubb — who put up 29 reps last year — went to Georgia.
Holyfield also spoke with reporters on Thursday and gave some pretty revealing answers, including why he made the decision to leave Georgia early.
“I had to look at how much could I improve at this time, or how much could I improve my stock going back to school, and I felt it would be better for me to go ahead and come out,” Holyfield said. “My teammates, I really didn’t want to leave them.
“I didn’t want to leave Georgia on that note, I have a lot of good friends on the team, and that’s not the way I wanted to go. but I had to do what’s best for me and put everything else aside.”
If Holyfield tests well again on Friday, he’ll have a serious chance at moving up in the NFL draft. Other than Alabama running back Josh Jacobs, there isn’t a clear-cut running back who will go in the first round. Given Holyfield’s lack of touches — just 215 carries in college — some team could find him very attractive.
As a junior, Holyfield rushed 1,018 yards and 7 touchdowns. Last year Georgia had two running backs taken in the top 35 picks, as Sony Michel was taken in the first round by the New England Patriots. Chubb went to the Browns at No. 35 overall. And both of those players had a strong rookie seasons in the NFL. Michel scored the only touchdown in the Super Bowl, while Chubb played a key role in the Browns’ resurgence.
If Holyfield lands in the right situation, he can certainly have a big rookie season.
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