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A Redshirt Season For Georgia RB Marshall Is A Possibility

keith marshallSpeedy Georgia running back Keith Marshall had his 2013 season cut short by an ACL tear last October.  That same injury could cost him all of the 2014 season.  Sort of.

Marshall will be a true junior this year if he plays.  But having not used a redshirt to date allows Georgia coaches and staff to determine what’s best for Marshall this season — play him?  Or let him sit?

As Seth Emerson of The Macon Telegraph points out here, sitting Marshall could be best for everyone.  Todd Gurley — another junior — figures to be the go-to back this season.  If he turns pro after this season, Marshall would have but one season left as the starter as opposed to two (if he redshirts).

The trouble, of course, is factoring in injuries to this equation.  No one expected Marshall to go down a third of the way into the season last year.  If Gurley goes down to injury this year and Marshall’s redshirt is pulled in order to replace him (assuming he’s healthy), then the Bulldogs could be looking at a reversed situation next offseason.

UGA running backs coach Bryan McClendon said this week that “the plan is to see how far along (Marshall) is, and then do what’s going to be best for him.”  He added: “That’s going to be priority #1.  To do what’s best for him.  And that way, I think everybody will be able to sleep good at night.”

There’s one other factor at play here and that’s Georgia’s depth at the running back spot.  Marshall might redshirt only to find that he’s no longer the starter even when Gurley leaves.  First, we don’t know how his repaired knee will impact his abilities.  Second, Brendan Douglas and AJ Turman are still on the team.  True freshmen Nick Chubb and Sony Michel hit town in August.  And if recent form holds, Mark Richt will ink another strong duo of backs next February as well.

The best option might be to focus on Marshall’s recovery alone when determining whether to redshirt him or not.  New injuries and new all-star prospects tend to scuttle many long-range plans.

Marshall averaged 6.5 yards per carry as a freshman in 2012, tallying 759 yards and eight touchdowns total.  His figures were down in 2013 to a 4.4 yards-per-carry average, 246 yards and just one touchdown through little more than four games.

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Georgia Lands Top In-State Running Back

Georgia’s 2014 class received a big boost Tuesday night when running back Nick Chubb from Cedartown (Ga.) announced his commitment to the Bulldogs.

Chubb, who’s ranked the No. 1 running back in the state of Georgia by 247Sports, chose Georgia over Auburn and South Carolina.

“(Georgia is) where I feel most comfortable,” Chubb told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I’ve been to Georgia more than anywhere. I really like it there.”

Chubb’s commitment is good news for Georgia, which before Tuesday had struggled to land a marquee in-state player. That raised questions about the Bulldogs’ recruiting in their home state after a disappointing haul in 2013 and a slow start to the 2014 class.

But now Georgia can point to Chubb, who joins running back commitment Sony Michel from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., in the Bulldogs’ class of 2014. That’s a nice haul at running back, writes Kipp Adams of ESPN RecruitingNation.

“The addition of Chubb gives the Bulldogs the top running back prospect from Florida and Georgia this year, an impressive accomplishment for any program and a badge of honor for running backs coach Bryan McClendon.”

Chubb is the eighth prospect to commit to Georgia’s 2014 class.

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