ATHENS — Todd Gurley touched the ball only nine times in Georgia’s G-Day game Saturday, but that was enough to remind the crowd of his potential impact on next season.
Gurley got 70 yards out of the limited plays, including 32 yards rushing on six carries and 38 yards receiving on three catches. His best run was his first, a 13-yard gain. He later scored a touchdown on a 2-yard run.
Most important, he appeared healthy after playing in only 10 of Georgia’s 13 games last season and missing parts of others, mainly because of an ankle injury.
Coach Mark Richt said he wasn’t sure going into spring practice if Gurley would be able to go full-speed. Once he realized Gurley was healthy, Richt prodded the star tailback to show more effort in practice.
“It wasn’t awful. But when you’re Todd Gurley, people tend to notice what you do, and you can’t hide,” Richt said. “We just talked a little bit about his ability to lead … by practicing hard and buying into what the coaches are doing. He took everything very well. I think it did pick up his practice effort.
“And I’m not making excuses for the guy, but when you’re a big-game competitor kind of guy and have been through it a year or two, spring ball probably just doesn’t get him too excited, quite frankly. He’s, like, ‘Let’s get this going here; let’s play ball.’ But even though he may feel that way, he still has to give effort on a daily-best basis to become great. Those are some of the things we talked about, and he was awesome with it.”