ATHENS — Steve Spurrier won an award. And he lost any chance at Nick Chubb.
It was the summer of 2013, and Chubb was a highly-recruited tailback, and South Carolina was among his suitors. Chubb was already leaning towards Georgia, his home-state team, but the Gamecocks were still in pursuit.
Chubb took two visits to South Carolina, both of which he described as “last-minute.” He liked the campus, and the overall visits were good. But on neither visit did he see Spurrier, even after the second one was scheduled with that in mind.
“I think he was getting some kind of award at Florida,” Chubb said on Tuesday.
That elicited some laughter from both the media and Chubb, whose laughter was more nervous. No need to poke the bear that is Spurrier, who has defeated Georgia four out of the last five years.
The award Spurrier received appeared to be the “Great Floridian Award,” bestowed personally by governor Rick Scott. Spurrier won the Heisman Trophy as a Florida player then coached the Gators to a national title in 1996. (When Brian Schottenheimer, now Chubb’s offensive coordinator at Georgia, was one of Spurrier’s backup quarterbacks.)
Spurrier was asked about it Wednesday on the SEC teleconference.
“Yeah, I was out of town when he came. Sometimes I’m in town, sometimes I’m out,” Spurrier said. “But like you said, I think he was going to Georgia anyway.”
Chubb originally set his commitment date for late spring of 2013 – either April or May – and was set to announce for Georgia. Then South Carolina “stepped into the picture,” and Chubb pushed his commitment date back so he could visit Columbia. Just not its head coach.
“I would’ve got to meet the head coach. That would’ve been great to know who I was gonna play for,” Chubb said. “But I probably would’ve come to Georgia.”
Chubb was SEC freshman of the year last year, rushing for 1,547 yards despite only starting eight games, and coming off the bench in the other five. This year he has 309 rushing yards in two games, and has a streak of 10 consecutive 100-yard rushing games.
“I’m glad I’m here,” Chubb said, chuckling.