ATHENS –Hunter Long, about to start his fifth season at Georgia, rattled off a list of the talented running backs he’s been around. Isaiah Crowell, Todd Gurley and now Nick Chubb.
But Chubb, Long added, has set himself apart in at least one way.
“No matter what day it is, no matter if it’s storming, if he doesn’t want to be out there, no matter what he’s out there and when he puts on his helmet he’s ready to work,” Long said. “He’s going to be the hardest working guy on the field every time.”
Chubb’s ambition also sets the tone for the entire offense.
“Even when the o-line is dragging around or something like that, and we see him bust a run and giving effort like that, it motivates everybody. It motivates the coaches and everyone around him,” Long said.
Senior right guard Greg Pyke agreed. Chubb’s method of practice makes everyone else, Pyke said, want to “play that much harder.”
Georgia’s depth at running back includes a stable of talent, with senior Keith Marshall, newcomer Tae Crowder and junior Brendan Douglas all contending for their spot.
Chubb not only welcomes the competition for No. 1, but encourages it.
“I told everybody you just have to be willing to go out there and compete every day and practice,” Chubb said. “Tae Crowder said his job was just to get all of us pumped up and we said, ‘ No you’ve got to compete with us every day and try to take a spot.’ ”
With the likely Heisman candidate already having a freshman All-SEC and AP First Team ALL- SEC caliber year under his belt, Chubb is looking to 2015 for new challenges and goals.
“I set goals, but I like to keep them to myself. It’s a personal thing,” Chubb said. “[Running backs coach Thomas] Brown makes us write them down and only we see them and he sees them.”
While Chubb remained tight-lipped about his personal goals, senior kicker Marshall Morgan targeted Chubb as his man to beat.
Morgan joked at the end of last season about the cumulative point disparity between himself and Chubb; Morgan’s 115 beat out Chubb’s 96 for top scorer of the season. And he’s got his eyes set on that yet again.
“If I do my job and happen to have more points than Nick Chubb, my year’s made,” Morgan said. “He’s the real deal. There’s a lot of talk about Chubb but no one ever sees the kicker and the points they contribute.”
While Morgan has the advantage of opportunity, the offensive linemen expressed confidence in Chubb and the rest of the unit to work their way into the end zone.
“You’ve just got to give those guys an inch,” Long said. “Even if you slip up one time and don’t get your hat in the right place on a block and give [the running backs] an inch, that’s all you’ve got to give them. It’s really fun to watch them run.”