Around the Hedges in 80 Days: T. Gurley

Fifty-two days remain until Georgia kicks off its season opener against Buffalo on Sept. 1. In the days counting down to the opener, DawgNation will profile, with our “Around the Hedges in 80 Days” series, a Bulldogs player we expect to make an impact. We will review each player’s career thus far and project his long-term potential as we progress through our alphabetical list, from center David Andrews to receiver Rantavious Wooten.

52. Todd Gurley

Freshman, Running back

6-foot-1, 195 pounds

Fall forecast: Gurley seemingly had an opportunity to play as a freshman even before Isaiah Crowell’s dismissal -- a development that made the star freshman signee an even more likely contributor.

Gurley was not as heralded a prospect as fellow freshman tailback Keith Marshall, but he was an immensely successful high school player and projects as a valuable every-down back in college.

He’ll have to battle Marshall, Ken Malcome and Richard Samuel for playing time initially, but Gurley figures to make his mark at Georgia in short order.

Possible career impact: Without question, Crowell’s departure created opportunity for everyone on the tailback depth chart. The next few months will determine which players best capitalize on that opportunity in 2012, but this competition figures to continue for several seasons as Malcome is just a sophomore and Marshall and Gurley are freshmen.

Georgia’s coaches seem to be high on all three players, meaning tailback should be a more productive and reliable position for the Bulldogs for the foreseeable future.