The addition of 4-star running back Todd Gurley (Tarboro, N.C./Tarboro) gives the University of Georgia a key offensive weapon it sorely lacked this year on offense. At the high school level, Gurley has shown the ability to be a workhorse back that can play through injury.
As a junior, he rushed 139 times for 1,472 yards and 26 touchdowns, but he also had 79 tackles, an interception, and a forced fumble on defense. Gurley had over 200 carries his senior year, going for 2,600 yards rushing and 38 touchdowns. He ran for 242 yards and four touchdowns on an injured ankle in the 2-A state championship game last month, and two weeks later he rushed for 119 yards on 19 carries and two touchdowns to earn North Carolina Offensive MVP in the Shrine Bowl, which pits the top players in North Carolina against the best in South Carolina.
He has only lost two games as a varsity starter, is a two time NCHSAA 2-A state championship in track, made it to the IAAF World Youth Championship semifinals in the 100mm hurdles in France, and has been all-conference, all-area, all-state, won 3 state championships, MVP of the state championship, played in the Shrine Bowl, and is scheduled to play in the USA vs the World game on Feb. 1. For those who feel that a playoff system is too much wear and tear on a student athlete's body, just wanted to note that will be Gurley's 18th football game as a high school senior.
Simply put, Gurley is a competitor, a winner, and was incredibly productive as a senior. He has an impressive combination of size, power and speed, and I feel that Gurley will make any team considerably better on offense.
According to his ESPN scouting report here, Gurley is a “slashing back with very good quickness and agility that possesses some homerun threat capabilities because of his straight-line speed.”
His head coach, Jeff Craddock, also praised his strong character.
"We have seen his willingness to play through injuries and lead to state championships," Craddock said. “If you have only known seen Todd on film and on the football field, I can promise you he is a better young man and he will be successful in college and in life."
Gurley was a recruiting priority for running backs coach Bryan McClendon, as McClendon focused solely on Gurley and Keith Marshall for most of the 2012 recruiting cycle. He was able to beat out in-state North Carolina as well as Clemson for both, continuing Georgia’s success recruiting the Tar Heel State. Former players Georgia has got from North Carolina during the Mark Richt era include Mohammad Massaquoi, Joe Cox, Dannell Ellerbe, Trinton Sturdivant, Dan Inman, Mario Raley, Kenneth Harris and Ricardo Crawford, and current freshman quarterback Christian LeMay.
With the addition of Gurley, it is not known whether or not the Bulldogs will continue to pursue fellow 4-star running back Mike Davis (Stone Mountain, Ga./Stephenson). Davis himself has stated he is not worried about Gurley's decision.
“It doesn’t matter to me what Gurley does," Davis told DawgNation earlier this week.