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Kendall Milton fits mold of elite UGA tailbacks past

NCAA Football: Georgia at Georgia Tech Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

You know how they say that people have a “type” for dating purposes. Well, Georgia has a “type” for tailbacks. Oh sure, James Cook is a tad smaller and shiftier. Elijah Holyfield was a human bowling ball whose biceps had great triceps.

But by and large the Bulldogs’ stock in trade over the past decade has been biggish tailbacks with great vision and better than expected quickness. Track meet fast players who shouldn’t weigh 220 or more pounds. Todd Gurley. Nick Chubb. Sony Michel. D’Andre Swift.

Zamir White fit that mold coming out of high school, and the hope coming off an injury-free season is that he’ll continue the tradition of jumbo lightning backs in 2020. And he’ll be joined by another guy who looks the part, California tailback Kendall Milton.

Milton, out of Buchanan High in Clovis, is the #4 ranked player in talent-rich California and the #6 tailback. As one would expect from a marquee player at a critical position Milton had offers from a true who’s who of college football’s elite programs, choosing the ‘Dawgs over schools like Alabama, LSU, Ohio State, and Oklahoma.

At just over 6’1 and 215 pounds Milton is already an SEC-sized back. I don’t know that he has the elite track speed of a Todd Gurley or Sony Michel. But he has more top end speed than you would expect from a guy his size. Milton tends to run high, not necessarily staying behind his pads, especially when he’s picking his way through traffic.

I’m normally not a fan of that, but he makes up for it with phenomenal vision and balance. Milton bounces off contact as well as any back in this class, and his cuts are outstanding for a taller, bigger back. I’m on record as saying the ideal build for a tailback (if such a thing exists) is about 5’9, 220, with bowed legs and a big butt. Honestly that’s because those traits tend to correlate with a lot of the things Milton does well without having them.

I don’t know enough about his receiving ability or blocking skills just because I haven’t seen Milton play live and nobody seems to put that stuff in highlight tapes. But Milton’s as good a back for what Georgia wants (or has in the past wanted) to do offensively as was available in this class. Look for him to get in the mix for carries as a true freshman, and fight for the starting spot in 2021 depending on what Zeus and James Cook decide regarding the draft. Until later...

Go ‘Dawgs!!!