The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

Sports

November 19, 2012

Gurley breaks 1,000 yard mark

TARBORO — Former Tarboro Viking running back and true Georgia Bulldog freshman Todd Gurley accomplished a goal that only two true freshman running backs have ever accomplished while playing for Georgia. He broke the 1,000 yard mark Saturday in the Bulldogs 45-14 route over Georgia Southern.

Gurley became the first true freshman Bulldog back to break the mark since Hershel Walker did it in 1980. Walker finished the season with 1,616 yards and 16 touchdowns.

Gurley, who needed just 27 yards to reach 1,000 coming into the game, finished the game with 68 yards on 15 carries a 1-yard touchdown run. Gurley now has 1,041 yards this season and has scored 13 TDs, which includes a 100-yard kick-return TD.

Gurley was happy to break the 1,000 yard mark, not for himself, but for everybody else.

"I guess it's what people have been waiting for so I have it now," Gurley said. "I am happy about it, but like I said, I still feel like I have a lot of ball to play right now. I feel like it's not something I should be looking at."

Gurley has impressed the coaching staff at Georgia since he arrived there in July.

"Having Todd Gurley - I like to throw Keith Marshall in there, too, they're definitely two impact players on this team this year," Georgia head coach Mark Richt said. "Our run game was in question this year after loosing three guys on the line that were drafted and we weren't sure who our backs were going to be."

Richt said, then Gurley and Marshall stepped in an showed what their true freshman ability was about and the offensive line began blocking extremely well.

Marshall, who is from Raleigh and Gurley's roommate, had 29 yards on seven carries Saturday, which gives him 674 yards this season as a true freshman also.

Earlier in the season, Gurley and Marshall had the nickname of "Gurshall" pegged  on them with the comparisons to Walker because of their style of play.

Gurley knows about accomplishments, because he had many of them in high school. He won three state 2-A championships, was named the NCHSAA Player of the Year, named the championship game MVP two consecutive years and the Shrine Bowl MVP last year.

"Accomplishments are something I will look at when the season is over or 10 years down the road," Gurley said. "I still have a lot of ball to play."

Knowshon Moreno had 1,334 yards as a red-shirt freshman in 2007. Other then that, the closest was Rodney Hampton, who had 890 yards in 1988.

Gurley and Marshall have shared the majority of the carries this season, because the coaching staff knows the impact it can take on a player in Southeastern Conference. Gurley also knows as well.

"In this league you aren't going to last long taking 30 carries every week," Gurley said. "You need somebody to be there with you. We have other backs that can get into the rotation."

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