November 17, 2012

Gurley stays humble

One would thinking etching your name in the Georgia record books next to Bulldog legend Herschel Walker would have elicited a little excitement from running back Todd Gurley.

But if he was feeling the urge, he wasn't about to let his emotions show after joining Walker as the only true freshman in Georgia history to run for over 1,000 yards.

"It's a blessing," said Gurley, barely cracking a smile. "It's an honor to be next to him for something like that. It's a good accomplishment. But we've still got a lot of work to do."

Gurley did manage a little humor when asked if he was glad that he had actually surpassed the 1,000-yard plateau.

"I guess that's what people have been waiting for, but I've got it now. I've got it, but I still don't feel like I'm there. I just feel it's nothing to be worried about," Gurley said. "There's still a lot of ball to be played. Accomplishments are something you look at the next year, or when the season is over."

Senior teammates Tavarres King laughed when told what Gurley's reaction was.

King has seen a lot of running backs come and go during his five years in Athens, but few - if any - have shown the kind of traits Gurley has displayed this year.

"That's just the way he is. He's just that kind of guy. He's a humble guy. He doesn't worry about things like that," King said. "He likes winning, he's not worried about that. It's fun to block for that guy, it's fun to watch him run down the sidelines - all that stuff. He deserves everything he's getting because he works so hard. He's worked since he came in to be the best - he and Keith (Marshall) both."

Offensive coordinator Mike Bobo says the fact Gurley is so humble is a huge reason he's been so successful.

"There's no doubt that he's a humble kid. He's gifted physically, but he works extremely hard. He pays attention each week," Bobo said. "Coach (Bryan) McClendon has done a great job and he's done a great job taking coaching. A lot of credit goes to those other guys. We've got some maturity up front, some maturity at the tight end position, the receivers and at quarterback. We've just got to continue to get that."

Ironically, his effort in Saturday's 45-14 win wasn't one of Gurley's more memorable performances.

The FCS Eagles proved a tough obstacle for Gurley, who rushed for 68 yards on 15 carries, although he scored Georgia's first touchdown on the Bulldogs' opening drive.

However, that was still enough to push the Tarboro, N.C. native over the 1,000-yard mark (1,043).

All total, he's now the 11th Bulldog to rush for 1,000 yards and the first since Knowshon Moreno in 2008.

"A lot of people think because Georgia Southern is I-AA that they were nothing to worry about but they've got six national championships," Gurley said. "A lot of people will have their opinion but until you look at them on film, you can't see that they've got good coaching and those guys are good."

But so is Gurley, who along with Marshall, have 17 runs of 20 or more yards this year.

"It's all about the line, man, the fullbacks, the receivers … that says it all," Gurley said. "They get us past the linebackers and that lets us finish off the secondary."

Again, King couldn't help but smile.

"I've said it before," King said. "I've never been around guys like that, who are just way ahead of their years. I'm glad they're on my side.