Georgia-UGA-Kenny McIntosh
Kenny McIntosh came up big in the clutch with James Cook missing the New Year's Six Peach Bowl at the end of the 2020 season, making three catches on the game-winning drive in the final minute. Brynn Anderson AP Photos

Kenny McIntosh ready to help restore Georgia to ‘RBU’ after earning lead role in backfield

ATHENS —Georgia tailback Kenny McIntosh has waited his turn, and Dell McGee suggested that his patience is about to pay off.

McIntosh enters fall drills as the No. 1 tailback with juniors Kendall Milton 1B and Daijun Edwards 1C in McGee’s running backs-by-committee approach.

“He can do everything,” McGee said on Thursday, asked about McIntosh’s ceiling after being overshadowed by Zamir White and James Cook the past two seasons.

“He can run inside tackles, he can run outside tackles, he’s really good on the perimeter,” McGee said. “He has really, really good hands. Probably some of the best hands since DeAndre (Swift).”

Swift is the only running back McGee has recruited at Georgia to earn first-team All-SEC honors (2019).

Neither White nor Cook were among the eight running backs selected first or second-team All-SEC in 2020 or 2021.

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McIntosh has the potential to help restore Georgia to RBU status after a recent ESPN article left the Dawgs running position group out of its Top 5 ranking (since 1998, BCS Era).

Alabama ranked No. 1, followed by Wisconsin, LSU, Miami and Oklahoma.

To be fair, Georgia has not had a Heisman Trophy finalist since Garrison Hearst in 1992, while those other schools have produced Heisman Trophy winners and/or finalists.

The ESPN article, by David Hale, pointed out UGA has had several top-ranked recruits at the position that “washed out.”

McIntosh is not one of them, choosing Georgia over scholarship offers from Alabama, Oklahoma and Miami, among others.

To date, the 6-1, 210-pounder from Pompano Beach, Fla., has made the most of every opportunity he has been given and been first in line in all the drill work this fall.

McIntosh led the nation briefly in kick return average and was second in the country before suffering an injury in that high-risk role in 2020.

McIntosh returned later in the season to catch three passes on a last-minute, game-winning drive against Cincinnati in the New Year’s Six Peach Bowl.

McIntosh showed his athleticism when he threw a touchdown pass against Michigan in last season’s Orange Bowl win.

Against Alabama in the CFP Championship Game, McIntosh’s three catches were second only to Brock Bowers (four catches).

McGee said he considers McIntosh a complete back.

“He’s good at running routes and on blitz pickup on third downs,” McGee said. “So he’s definitely a complete back.

“He’s definitely going to be an integral part of our offense and he will be relied upon heavily. He also adds value to our special teams as a kick returner.”

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