Gurley among UGA’s considerations to return kickoffs

There has been a lot of buzz in Georgia’s preseason camp about the potential of freshman Isaiah McKenzie returning kickoffs this fall. But coach Tony Ball, who oversees that aspect of special teams for the Bulldogs, said he has a lot of intriguing options to put back deep — including using tailback Todd Gurley.

“It’s a good problem to have,” Ball said of the many possibilities at his disposal. “You’ve got Todd, you’ve got Malcolm (Mitchell) when he’s healthy, you’ve got Justin (Scott-Wesley), you’ve got Reggie (Davis), you’ve got Sony (Michel).It’s a really good problem to have.”

McKenzie, the 5-foot-8, 164-pound return specialist out of Fort Lauderdale, was the first up with the No. 1 return unit when the Bulldogs scrimmaged at Sanford Stadium this past Tuesday. Freshman Rico Johnson went second and Michel — McKenzie’s teammate from American Heritage High — was the third up.

Gurley did not get a repetition in that practice, nor did he return any kicks last season. He had averaged 34.7 yards on seven returns as a true freshman in 2012, including a 100-yard touchdown against Buffalo in the season opener.

Ball said the fact that Gurley is the Bulldogs’ premier tailback this season would not preclude them from utilizing him in a return role.

“Everyone’s a possibility,” Ball said. “Anybody who can help us win.”

Georgia used five different players to return kicks last season. J.J. Green and Sheldon Dawson had the most with seven apiece. But the Bulldogs’ average of 18.6 was among the lowest in the league.

“I don’t want to play that many guys … but we’ve got a good group to choose from,” Ball said.