In a season where the Dawgs return two senior running backs to lead an otherwise young backfield, former SEC head coach Gene Chizik ranks Georgia as the top run game in the SEC heading into 2021.
This past offseason saw both veteran running backs return to Athens for their senior seasons. Zamir White, the bellcow back out of Laurinburg, North Carolina, ran for 779 yards and 11 touchdowns on 144 carries.
2020 was White's first season as a starting running back since his senior year in high school. The one fans call "Zeus" nearly rushed for a thousand yards in a shortened season and after starting his college career with two knee surgeries to repair torn ACLs.
White was the power back for Georgia in 2020 due to a loss of agility and quickness after two ACL tears. One ACL tear is tough to come back from, but two ACL tears makes White's story even more special as he looks like Georgia's potential thousand-yard back in 2021.
White's running mate from a year ago, James Cook, will share the backfield with the former North Carolina native once again. However, Cook's role at Georgia has never been the typical role of a college running back. Instead, Cook has been a "gadget back" for Georgia as he is often lined up as a receiver or will motion out of the backfield and turn into a receiving option.
Like White, 2020 was the first full season Georgia fans got a good look at the younger brother of the Vikings' Dalvin Cook. Cook recorded 303 yards on the ground on just 45 carries. But also contributed as a receiver with 225 yards on 16 receptions.
Cook and junior Kenny McIntosh will be the dynamic gadget backs for Georgia in 2021, allowing Zamir White and sophomore Kendall Milton to be the bruisers out of the backfield.
Playing behind two backs with very similar skillsets to those behind them makes it difficult for the younger backs like Milton and McIntosh to get the carries or snaps they may get elsewhere, but 2020 gave Dawg fans a glimpse at what could be to come in the future as both Milton and McIntosh played an important role in 2020, often bringing a change of pace to the backfield.
McIntosh is the flashier back who plays a role similar to Cook, while Milton's role in the offense after just one season draws comparisons to Nick Chubb. Milton's bruising running style is a constant talking point when comparing the two backs.
That is not even mentioning Daijun Edwards, who saw limited action a season ago as a freshman but flashed potential when getting the spotlight.
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