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The Bulldog coaches hit the recruiting trail in 2013 wanting, but not necessarily needing, help at the tailback position. With Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall a prohibitive favorite for the majority of carries in 2013 and 2014, it proved quite a chore to bring top-flight running backs to the Classic City. Nevertheless, Georgia did secure the pledges of touted Orlando back A.J. Turman and the last minute commitment of Augusta's Brendan Douglas. Even with Boo Malcome's decision to transfer, Coach McClendon will still have a lot of talent to work with this fall.
2014 presents a slightly different scenario. Oh sure, barring something unfortunate Gurley and Marshall should both be around season after next. But with Gurshall approaching NFL eligibility after that season, the Georgia coaches need to secure players in the coming class who can provide depth as soon as 2014, and step into a starting role by 2015 if necessary. Offers have already gone out to several potential candidates, and I'd expect the Bulldogs to take at least twotailbacks on Signing Day a little less than a year from now. One of those candidates is Nick Chubb, currently a junior at Cedartown. Chubb announced his presence in 2012 with a huge junior season in which he rushed for 2717 yards and 39 touchdowns. That effort didn't go unnoticed, as he received scholarship offers from a veritable who's who of college football powers, including Alabama, Auburn, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Florida State, Ohio State, Florida, Michigan State, Tennessee, Penn State, Arkansas, and Georgia. Film from his junior campaign is below:
Chubb doesn't appear to have the world class speed of a Keith Marshall or Todd Gurley, though reports from the Georgia Rising Seniors all-star game indicated otherwise. My estimation is that Chubb is, more often than not, faster than whoever you have chasing him, which is plenty fast for me. Personally, I prize the ability to break tackles over lightning speed, for the simple reason that not every play provides an opening through which a back can take it to the house. However, it's exceedingly rare in SEC play for the ball to be snapped on a running play and the tailback not have to break at least one tackle from a big, athletic defender to make anything at all happen. Put another way, and in the words of Bear Bryant, big backs are good because "fast guys get tired but big boys don't shrink." It's difficult to argue with that logic as you watch Chubb churn forward for 10-15 yards a pop.
At 5'10 and 208 pounds Chubb is big for a high school back and will likely continue to grow. A lot of schools are likely to recruit Chubb specifically with the pitch that he'll be able to earn early playing time.
Chubb does a nice job keeping his balance, but I would like to see him run behind his pads a little more. Perhaps his best quality is his patience. Chubb does a good job following his blockers and displays good vision. Watching him pick his way through holes while dragging defenders along is truly a joy. He just has great instincts for picking up yardage. It's hard to teach that.
Chubb recently named Georgia as his early leader, which is fine with me, because he's perhaps the best big back I've seen in the southeast for 2014. As noted above, Georgia will likely be looking to sign at least two tailbacks in the 2014 class. The Bulldogs already have a commitment from George Walton Academy tailback Stanley Williams, but Williams has made clear that he's still planning on taking some visits (maybe even some imaginary ones) and listening to what other schools have to say. So Chubb is an important target. I expect that he'll be courted by many of the schools listed above right up until Signing Day, even if he decides to commit to the Bulldogs (his childhood favorite) at some point. Chubb will be hard to secure, but well worth the effort. Until later . . .