Georgia will grind down SEC defenses with arguably the nation's top running back tandem this fall. Next season, it's set to bring in the nation's top running back recruit. Five-star Zamir White revealed in a ceremony at his high school in Laurinburg, N.C., on Tuesday that he has verbally committed to the Bulldogs.
White had released an ordered top four comprising four schools in February: 1. Georgia, 2. Alabama, 3. Clemson and 4. North Carolina. He’s since taken visits to see several programs, including the Tar Heels, Bulldogs and Tigers. Heading into Tuesday, most experts predicted Georgia would land White, although his high school coach was quoted in a report last week saying that North Carolina had “made a little push.”
Ultimately, the prospect nicknamed Zeus decided to follow in the footsteps of another blue-chip rusher from North Carolina who elected to play for the Bulldogs, Tarboro High's Todd Gurley.
White projects as a top-end feature back at the next level. At 6’1", 210 pounds, he’s powerful and elusive in space, and he has the jets to gallop away from defenders for big chunks of yards. He was named North Carolina’s Gatorade Player of the Year after rushing for 1,693 yards and 26 touchdowns on 9.7 yards per carry last season. Scout.com rates him the top running back and the No. 7 player in the class of 2018.
This would be a massive pickup for Georgia in any recruiting cycle, and it comes at an opportune time for the Bulldogs in this one. Entering Tuesday their 2018 class ranked 45th in the country, according to Scout.com. White will not only raise Georgia's ranking, but he also gives it a marquee prospect in a haul that previously lacked one: Only one of the Bulldogs' other commits, North Gwinnett (Ga.) High guard Warren Ericson, is rated in the top 20 nationally in his respective position group.
Georgia has a long way to go before its 2018 class is even in the same stratosphere as the class it signed in February, which ranked behind only Alabama's. Yet White is exactly the sort of prospect coach Kirby Smart needs to get there. Plus, the Bulldogs still have a number of recruits of White's caliber in their sights, including five-star quarterbacks Justin Fields and Matt Corral and five-star offensive guard Jamaree Sayler.
If White sticks to his pledge, it shouldn't take long for him to get a chance to show whether he was worth all the hype. Georgia is set to lose its top two running backs, Nick Chubb and Sony Michel, after this season. The Bulldogs have other options that can handle part of the rushing workload, like sophomore Brian Herrien, but if White's as good as advertised, Smart won't be able to keep him off the field.
A Gurley-like true freshman campaign (1,385 yards, 7.3 yards per carry, 17 touchdowns) is a pie-in-the-sky expectation for White. But even if he falls short of an instant impact of that magnitude, White should figure prominently in Georgia's plans to replace Chubb and Michel.