The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

Sports

November 7, 2012

Gurley opening plenty of eyes

TARBORO — Tarboro native, Todd Gurley is making things happen in Athens, Ga. as a true freshman for the Georgia Bulldogs. His stats are piling up like he is a seasoned veteran who has carried the load for the Bulldogs before and is showing why the Bulldogs coaching staff pushed hard to recruit him out of high school.

Gurley is not used to losing football games, because in high school he only lost three times as a Tarboro Viking and has only suffered defeat once since he has been in Georgia.

One thing Gurley does know how do is be successful and use his size, speed and abilities to his advantage on the field and run over opposing players. He is on track to become a 1,000 yard rusher in his first season as a colligate player. Through nine games this season, Gurley has racked up stat after stat. He is leading the Bulldogs with 885 yards on the ground on just 138 attempts. He has caught nine passes for 90 yards and even has a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. Gurley has scored 10 times this season by way of rushing. He is averaging 95.2 yards a game and is averaging 6.2 yards per carry. Gurley is second in the conference in rushing behind Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M who has 922 rushing yards. He is tied for sixth with Marcus Lattimore in overall scoring in the conference as well.

"That is why I came here because I knew it was a great team and I dreamed big," Gurley said. "Why not me as a true freshman and dream big."

He has been compared to the likes of former Georgia Bulldog Hershel Walker. During Walker's freshman season in 1980, he gained 1,616 yards and led the Bulldogs to a national championship. That is the same goal Gurley had going into the season which was to continue winning titles. Gurley led the Vikings to three consecutive state titles in high school and was named the MVP of the championship game two straight years.

With his impressive stats, Gurley may be on his way to receiving his first award as a college player, which is becoming the SEC freshman of the year.

Georgia's offensive coordinator Mike Bobo is impressed with what Gurley has been able to do in the Southeastern Conference as a true freshman.

"He doesn't seem like a true freshman running back," Bobo told reporters. "He doesn't have a freshman body and he is physically like a grown man."

Gurley impressed the Bulldog's coaching staff when he arrived this summer, because he had knowledge of the game unlike most players his age. Gurley has used a game set mental approach to practice and it shows when he steps on the field on Saturday's while he is running over and through players on the opposing team.

 With his style of running and the strength he has, Gurley has opened the eyes of many opposing coaches in the conference.

Time after time, Gurley has shown surprise at the ease with which he has adapted to the conference. He just makes things look so easy with the way he carries the the ball and bounces off of opposing players.

Gurley has helped lead the Bulldogs to first place in the Eastern Division in the SEC and has guided them in the direction in hopes of playing for the SEC title. For that to happen Georgia has to win Saturday which will lock them up for the championship game.

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