ATHENS – Nick Chubb made clear that when it comes to his future, he’s still focused on the present. When the prospect of playing in the pros was brought up, however, Georgia’s star tailback did smile.
“Ever since I was a young kid I always thought about playing in the NFL,” Chubb said. “As a young kid, where I come from, people would doubt you, say only 3 percent make it, something like that. I never let it get to me. Now I’m here, with an opportunity to go if I want to. So it’s a blessing.”
The key phrase being “if I want to.” And that’s a decision that looms for Chubb, who might be playing his final two games at Sanford Stadium over the next two weeks.
Speaking after Wednesday’s practice, Chubb said he hasn’t made a decision. Before he does, he will reach out to former teammate Todd Gurley, who declared as a junior and is now in his second year as the Los Angeles Ram’s starting tailback.
There are a couple reasons many would assume Chubb would also leave: Running backs don’t have long careers and thus tend to leave when they can, and Georgia’s offensive line, as much as it’s struggled this year, must replace three senior starters.
“I’m not sure. But you’ve got to consider those things. Running backs don’t last a real long time in the NFL. Everyone knows that,” Chubb said. “But me, I worry about things that are going on right now, and that’s not really a factor for me.”
Chubb said he would probably discuss it after the bowl with close family members, and might reach out to former coaches. Asked if a first-round projection would matter to him, he answered: “Not at all.”
A first-round mock draft posted by Pro Football Focus on Wednesday did not have Chubb in it. But running backs going in the first round – such as Gurley – have become more of a rarity. Chubb’s decision will rest on other things.
“A lot goes into it,” Chubb said. “Probably what’s best for yourself. If you feel like you need to come back here and do something, finish up the job, something like that, then you’ll come (back). I know a lot of guys leave for family reasons, but I don’t think I have those kind of family reasons. So I’m not sure.”
An agriculture major, Chubb said he’s on pace to graduate in May of 2018, which would be his senior year.
Chubb has moved up to fourth all-time on Georgia’s career rushing yards list, with 3,086. He’s within striking distance of third (Garrison Hearst, 3,232) and second Todd Gurley (3,285). First place, (Herschel Walker at 5,259) is probably pushing it, but there’s a good chance Chubb leaves the program – even if it’s after this year – as the program’s second all-time leading rusher.
“I try not to think about it, but (with) social media people tag me in it. My mom’s excited about it,” Chubb said. “People tell me about it all the time. It’d be an honor to get up there, be one of the top backs at the University of Georgia. Herschel Walker’s way ahead but hopefully I get everybody else. If I do it would be truly a blessing.”