Georgia’s Dell McGee breaks down Bulldogs’ talent at running back

Credit: Tony Walsh/UGAAA

Credit: Tony Walsh/UGAAA

Georgia’s offense from last season’s championship squad isn’t nearly as depleted as the team’s defense, with seven starters returning compared with three.

But Zamir White and James Cook, the Bulldogs’ leading rushers from last season, departed for the NFL – so the backfield will look different this season. Senior Kenny McIntosh, UGA’s third-leading rusher with 346 yards, figures to play a big role, as do juniors Kendall Milton and Daijun Edwards, and Georgia also has freshmen Andrew Paul and Branson Robinson.

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Running backs coach Dell McGee met with the media Thursday and gave his thoughts on his running back corps:

Kenny McIntosh

“Kenny McIntosh, a senior, who had a really nice spring and showed a lot of leadership in the summer work program, and he’s doing a great job of mentoring the two young guys who had just come in in Branson Robinson and Andrew Paul. ... He can do everything. He can run inside tackles. He can run outside tackles. He’s really good on the perimeter. He has really, really good hands, probably some of the best hands since D’Andre (Swift). He’s good at running routes. He’s a blitz pickup on third down, so he’s definitely a complete back. He’s learned a lot from James and Zamir.

“He’s also a good example of, just like James and Zamir were, of staying the course, not being too anxious to enter the NFL or enter the transfer portal, just being patient. All of his hard work, and his patience will come and pay off this year, but I think the sky is the limit for him. He’s definitely going to be an integral part of our offense, and he will be relied upon heavily. He also adds value to our special teams as a kick returner.”

Kendall Milton

“Kendall Milton, a junior, who has suffered some injuries each year that he has been here. He’s been very healthy this spring, and he’s also been healthy this summer, so we’re looking for big things out of him, and he also serves in a leadership role because he had a chance to be led by Zamir and James, four-year guys, and Kenny. ... He’s looked great during fall camp.

“You lose reps when you’re not on the football field, but the way we structure practice and walk-throughs, he’s getting those mental reps that are well-needed against various looks. So, from that perspective, he’s still inclined to be a good running back on Saturday nights and afternoons.”

Daijun Edwards

“Daijun Edwards (has been) a consummate student-athlete. He’s very unselfish, a team player, knows his role and fit. He’s going to be counted on as well this year because he adds value to our football team. ... He’s really quiet. He’s not going to be a boastful guy. He doesn’t talk a whole lot. What you are going to get is what you see, based on what you’ve seen. He is very unselfish. He closed out a lot of games. He wasn’t a guy that was pouting because he didn’t get in earlier in the game.

“He has value and has a role on special teams, and that’s a very, very important component of our success on the football field. He is going to be a competitor, and he is having a great camp thus far and he had a great spring, too, so we expect great things out of Daijun. He has graduated to a level where he is, level where he is going to get snaps.”

Andrew Paul

“He comes from a good high school program (Parish Episcopal School in Dallas, Texas) that won a state championship. He’s six-foot, 220 pounds, great size, has good speed. He’s a great kid from a great family. Very quiet, hard worker, so he fits all the character of things we’re looking for in our football players. We also needed another running back. We always like to keep five in our roster. Our lineup number is six, but we’ve been kind of shorting that number because of the talent that we’ve had in the (group). He’s just getting here. He wasn’t a mid-year (enrollee), so he’s behind from a mental standpoint. We’ll get a chance to evaluate him further in the scrimmage on Saturday, which I know all of our guys are looking forward to it.”

Branson Robinson

“Branson, the way he’s built, he’s built like a brick house. He doesn’t have a neck. He’s very similarly built in the shoulders like one of my old teammates, Takeo Spikes. Nick Chubb was a good-looking student-athlete as well. Branson is more than just muscle. He’s very dedicated. He works hard in the weight room, obviously, and in strength and conditioning. He’s a sharp young man with a lot of promise this year.”