Behind the Numbers: Could Todd Gurley Win the Heisman?

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By Shelton Griffith

 After a convincing victory over Clemson on Saturday, the Georgia Bulldogs are now No. 6 in the AP poll  One could point to the improved defense or the commitment to the running game as the cause for such a walloping defeat, but the real reason for Georgia’s domination over Clemson was the play of Heisman trophy candidate Todd Gurley. As of now, ESPN has Gurley No. 1 in its Heisman ratings after the first week of college football action.  Not only is Gurley a special player but also he is on pace to finish his career as the second greatest running back in the history of Georgia Football.  He is also projected as a top 10 draft pick in the 2015 NFL draft according to Dan Kadar at SB Nation.

 

Player Year Total Rush Yds Totals Yds Avg Total TD
Herschel Walker 1980-82 5,259 5.3 49
Tim Worley 1985-88 2,038 5.8 27
Rodney Hampton 1986-89 2,668 5.7 22
Garrison Hearst 1990-92 3,232 6 33
Terrell Davis 1991-93 1,919 5.4 16
Robert Edwards 1993-96 2,033 5.2 27
Verron Haynes 2000-01 737 5 8
Musa Smith 2000-02 2,202 4.9 19
Knowshon Moreno 2007-08 2,734 5.5 30
Todd Gurley 2012- 2572 6.1 30

 

 

So the question now is whether Todd Gurley can win the Heisman trophy? To answer that lets compare Gurley to previous RBs in past who won the Heisman and past Georgia RBs including Herschel Walker who won the Heisman during his time at Georgia.

 

Name Year School Conf Pos G Att Yds Avg TD
Mark Ingram 2009 Alabama SEC RB 14 271 1658 6.1 17
Reggie Bush 2005 Southern Cal Pac-10 RB 13 200 1740 8.7 16
Ron Dayne 1999 Wisconsin Big Ten RB 12 337 2034 6 20
Ricky Williams 1998 Texas Big 12 RB 11 361 2124 5.9 27
Eddie George 1995 Ohio State Big Ten RB 13 328 1927 5.9 24
Rashaan Salaam 1994 Colorado Big 8 RB 11 298 2055 6.9 24
Barry Sanders 1988 Oklahoma State Big 8 RB 11 344 2628 7.6 37
Bo Jackson 1985 Auburn SEC RB 11 278 1786 6.4 17
Mike Rozier 1983 Nebraska Big 8 RB 12 275 2148 7.8 29
Herschel Walker 1982 Georgia SEC RB 11 335 1752 5.2 16

 

Gurley is on pace to finish the season with 2772 rushing yards and 42 touchdowns which will rival only Barry Sanders’ amazing 1988 Heisman season. While it seems unrealistic to expect Gurley to finish with these numbers, a less than stellar passing game this season and a plethora of running backs could lead to Georgia being a high rate running team.

Not often do running backs win the Heisman trophy, but with Georgia’s commitment to the running game, Gurley could find himself following in the footsteps of Herschel Walker and hoisting the Heisman trophy at season’s end in New York.

 

 

 

 

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