Zamir White vows to uphold ‘RBU’ legacy for UGA this season
For the first time in almost a decade, Georgia has some questions at the running back position. Zamir White is going to do his best to emphatically prove he can answer just about any and all of those questions in the 2020 season.
In a video interview put out by the Georgia Football Twitter account, White talked about his goals and hopes as they pertain to Georgia football. He knows he’s got big shoes to fill with D’Andre Swift now off in the NFL, joining the likes of fellow former Georgia running backs Todd Gurley, Sony Michel and Nick Chubb.
“I have to carry on that tradition,” White said. “I got to be the next guy up to keep that going. I just have to keep on working hard and follow my teammates and make sure the next guys up are prepared.
“I got to be that leader and just step up and just be that guy now.”
— Georgia Football (@GeorgiaFootball) August 23, 2020
White figures to get the first crack at replacing Swift, who ran for 1,218 yards last season. This will mark the first time since 2011 that Georgia did not return a running back who rushed for at least 500-yards in the previous season.
When Swift was limited by a shoulder injury in the Sugar Bowl win against Baylor, Georgia turned to White to be the lead running back. Against the Big 12’s top defense, White fared well as he ran for 92 yards on 18 carries.
He also had a pretty stellar touchdown run, showcasing his athleticism and power.
-White runs it in from 13 yards out
-Georgia makes the lead 25-7 over Baylor
— Sideline CFB (@SidelineCFB) January 2, 2020
As a redshirt freshman, White ran for 408 yards and 3 touchdowns. Given his prior status as a 5-star running back, the expectations for White entering this season are high. And he’s looking forward to living up to them.
“What pushes me is I don’t want to be a failure. Where I am from there aren’t many people that make it out,” White said. “So it’s hard to make it out of there so I am just blessed to be here. That’s why I work so hard.”
While it was certainly a strange and unusual offseason, this was the first time in his Georgia career that White didn’t have to spend the summer rehabbing from a knee injury. In each of the prior two years, White was having to spend his offseason rehabbing, as he tore the ACLs in both knees as a senior in high school and a freshman in college.
This offseason, he got to focus more on weight training and improving his game. White added that his favorite part of the offseason was lifting weights because it helps further identify who are the top competitors on the team.
White has shown some production to go along with his great potential. But in addition, to becoming a more vocal leader for the running backs, there are some on-field elements that White wants to improve.
“Coach Dell (McGee) pushes me about being a mobile back and being a catching back,” White said. “Just being the first, second, third-down back. I just got to work on my catching and stuff like that but I’m going to get it down.
“I’m definitely going to get it down.”
Given his strength and prior reps, White is the top pass-blocking back on the Georgia team. While new offensive coordinator Todd Monken figures to try and incorporate fellow running backs such as James Cook and Kenny McIntosh into the mix, White is aiming to prove he can be a do-everything running back for Georgia this season.
White’s first chance to impress will come on Sept. 26, when the Bulldogs travel to Arkansas. Georgia will spend the next month by going through fall practices, which first began last Monday.
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