We're continuing our marathon preview of Georgia's 2014 signing class here during the last few days before National Signing Day. This afternoon we're looking at a player who's been the focus of attention since right after Signing Day last year, big time tailback Nick Chubb.
When we first scouted Nick Chubb last February following his breakout junior season we noted some questions surrounding his game. But those questions didn't prevent literally ever major college football program in the southeast and almost everyone in the country from offering him a scholarship before he completed his junior season.
Since then Chubb has answered all doubters. Take a look at these highlights from his recently completed senior season:
The attribute that stood out most when I saw Chubb as a junior was his combination of vision and patience. But I wanted to see him work on running behind his pads and keeping his leg drive through and out of contact, rather than just bulling over defenders. Judging by the above highlights, mission accomplished.
At 5'11 and 216 pounds Chubb already looks like an SEC tailback. He's got a very strong lower body:
Also squat max day at Cedartown. Coach tells me Nick Chubb just did 615 lbs. Not too shabby..— Rusty Mansell (@Mansell247) December 18, 2013
And he now does a great job of staying behind his pads, not presenting a big target to tacklers, and getting up to speed coming out of contact. If anything he seems to have improved his open field running, learning to trust his instincts in the open field. I have no doubt that he's a little bigger and a bit faster than he was in 2012.
I hate to even say this, because it's absolutely unfair to draw the comparison, but the closest thing to Chubb's senior highlights that I've seen in the past few years was Knowshon Moreno's senior tape. At this point Chubb is bigger, faster, and better in the open field than Washaun Ealey. He's got better lower body drive and size than Isaiah Crowell. He's as good in all those areas as Todd Gurley was at the same stage, though I still don't think he has either Gurley or Keith Marshall's top end speed. But that's looking really hard for something to fault.
I'm not saying Chubb will start ahead of those guys, in fact I'm fairly certain he won't. Chubb came from an attack at Cedartown that featured him prominently, to the tune of 20+ rushing attempts per game. As with most freshman tailbacks, he's going to have to learn the pass protection aspect of his position to see consistent playing time. But I expect to see Chubb in the tailback rotation as a freshman along with Gurley, Marshall (if healthy), J.J. Green, A.J. Turman, and Brendan Douglas (assuming he doesn't grow into a fullback). And that's to say nothing of fellow 2014 signee Sony Michel, who we'll profile tonight. Bottom line, Tailback U. has once again lived up to the name. Until later . . .