After being passed up by team after team, publication after publication, list after list, Nick Chubb is an All-American.
And leave it up to coaches in the FBS to award him with that honor, given they can best see what he brings to the Georgia Bulldogs. On Wednesday, the American Football Coaches Association announced its All-America teams for 2017. Roquan Smith was a lock for the first team. Isaiah Wynn landed on the second team, the latest honor he’s collected in the postseason.
Also on the second team, after being left off every other 2017 All-America team in favor of running backs with significantly more carries: Nick Chubb.
Chubb came back to Georgia for his senior season, and in splitting carries with four other talented backs, he has flourished. He’s carried the ball 191 times for 1,175 yards for an average of 6.2 yards per carry. Chubb has scored 13 touchdowns.
Georgia, featuring the backfield of Chubb, Sony Michel, D’Andre Swift, Brian Herrien and Elijah Holyfield, has routed most opponents. That means Chubb rarely has taken extended snaps in the fourth quarter and is why his stats dropped off and caused him to be passed up for postseason honors and awards. Instead, honors have gone to his fellow running backs such as Rashaad Penny at San Diego State and Bryce Love at Stanford, who rightfully are being recognized for outstanding seasons.
He seems fine with that. Georgia finished undefeated in the SEC East, won the conference championship and secured a berth in the College Football Playoff.
Chubb is healthy. He’s been fresh for every quarter of every game and likely will be even fresher for the Rose Bowl on New Year’s Day. Chubb is back to running over people, back to running past people.
After a phenomenal freshman season, devastating knee injury, long recovery, patient return to full strength and speed, discussions of leaving for the NFL, and returning to Athens for his senior season with good friend and backfield mate Michel, Chubb now is second in rushing in SEC history behind Herschel Walker.
In Georgia history, the career rushing yards record book reads Walker, then Chubb, then Michel.
Walker won the Heisman Trophy in 1982. Chubb didn’t earn that same honor, but when he takes the field at the Rose Bowl in the next game of his special senior season, it will be with a significant distinction.
Freshman quarterback Jake Fromm will be handing off to an All-American.