Douglasville’s Brian Herrien is a senior. Junior D’Andre Swift is a popular choice for All-SEC teams, Heisman Trophy consideration and NFL draft boards as an early entry.
Georgia also signed only one running back in its last recruiting class. Zamir White, a 5-star recruit last year, is rounding back into form, but he is coming off consecutive season-ending ACL injuries. White has also yet to log a collegiate carry.
Those are four big reasons why the Bulldogs must restock their running backs with two elite talents in the 2020 cycle.
The name at the top of that list for the longest time has been 5-star Kendall Milton. A resident of Clovis, Calif., Milton is down to four schools. The nation’s No. 3 running back prospect will make his decision from among Alabama, Georgia, LSU and Ohio State.
He will do so July 29. The chance for UGA here has a lot to do with his connection to running backs coach Dell McGee and conversations he’s had with coach Kirby Smart.
He likes the fact that Smart played for the Bulldogs and is now coaching at his alma mater. Milton, who will major in business and entrepreneurship, aspires to own a chain of car dealerships after his time in the game is up.
Milton sees value in those potential connections within the alumni network and support base for his post-playing career. He said the way Georgia prepares its players for life after football was his biggest takeaway from his unofficial visit for G-Day in April.
If his choice does turn out to be Georgia, he shared the biggest reason why.
“I would say the relationships throughout the school,” Milton said. “Everybody is connected from the professors to the coaches to the training staff. Everybody is connected, so I would say the relationships.”
The 6-foot-2, 229-pound rising senior wants to find a situation where he can come in and be a No. 1 or No. 2 option at RB. That’s provided he does what he needs to earn that role.
Bigsby becoming a priority?
Milton has been an absolute priority since before his junior season. He also is at the state of his recruitment where he’s looking at other elite running backs to see who he would like to share reps with.
Nobody wants 30 carries per game anymore. Not in a big-time program. Georgia has not given a back more than 25 carries in a game since Nick Chubb did so in Smart’s debut against North Carolina in 2016.
The 5-star California resident feels like many do now, it is better to go in with another top RB to share carries. Georgia has a history of doing that. It will allow an elite talent to retain more tread on the tires for a prosperous NFL career.
Callaway’s Cartavious “Tank” Bigsby of Callaway High School was a prospect that Milton saw up close last week at The Opening finals. That showcase event in Frisco, Texas, brings together the nation’s best for combine testing, position-group drills and 7-on-7 competition.
In Bigsby, Milton saw a potential running mate.
“Tank he is a great player,” Milton said. “I feel like, you know, in a game, I was to come out and Tank was to come in there would be no drop-off. It would be the same production. So I feel like with Tank that he would be somebody I could play with and we could change the culture somewhere.”
“It would be great to play with him,” Bigsby said while in Texas. “We would do well together. He looked good out here this week.”
Auburn and South Carolina stand out as schools to watch for his recruitment.
What ‘Tank’ thinks about Georgia
His answer traced to a connection with McGee, but more on the level of a mentor. Not just as a coach.
“He’s just been teaching me stuff,” Bigsby said. “Just life stuff. Plays. Stuff like that. Stuff that is on the next level and for the next level. Talking to me. Just things I need to know. That’s major. For real.”
The origin of his “Tank” nickname is unique.
“When I was young I was playing rec league (football) and I was 6 years old,” he said. “I busted my head open and got stitches. My coach called me ‘Tank’ then because I kept running. I’ve been ‘Tank’ ever since then. My mom even started calling me that.”
Bigsby ranks as the nation’s No. 8 running back prospect (247Sports Composite scale) for 2020. That service will also list him as the nation’s No. 50 overall prospect.
The film has always been great for Bigsby. He tore through some championship-caliber defenses last fall en route to 2,221 yards, 9.3 yards per attempt and 22 scores as a junior.
The rising senior posted a laser 4.55 time in the 40-yard dash out at The Opening. That was able to put to rest any questions about his overall top-end speed.