Georgia Football: Is Freshman RB Todd Gurley the Next Trent Richardson?

Barrett Sallee@BarrettSalleeSEC Football Lead WriterAugust 21, 2012

Georgia RB Todd Gurley / Photo Credit:
Georgia RB Todd Gurley / Photo Credit:

For nearly 30 years, Georgia fans have been waiting around for the "next Herschel Walker."

Jasper Sanks, Danny Ware, Kregg Lumpkin, Musa Smith, Knowshon Moreno, Isaiah Crowell and a host of others have carried that title onto campus in Athens, only to fail at living up to the seemingly insurmountable hype.

Incoming freshman Todd Gurley isn't being compared to the former Bulldog Heisman Trophy winner, but the name being bandied about in Athens carries similar pressure.

"The next Trent Richardson."

Gurley has been impressing everyone who has seen him during fall camp. The Tarboro, N.C., native had 58 yards in Georgia's first scrimmage of fall camp and then followed it up with 87 yards and two touchdowns on seven carries last week.

While the scrimmage stats are impressive, it's not just the numbers that have people comparing Gurley to the former Alabama star running back. It's his appearance, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

I think he probably compared me to him because I wear No. 3 and I have dreads like Trent Richardson. I have a long, long, long way to go to be like Trent Richardson. But, I mean , just for a starting senior here and one of the key leaders on the team to call me that, that’s big. I’ll just take that and keep working with it. That’s a nice compliment there.

Whether it's his ability as a running back or his appearance, Gurley's performance during fall camp has to make Bulldog fans smile.

The running back position became a big-time question mark after Crowell was dismissed following an arrest on felony weapons charges. Gurley, Richard Samuel, Ken Malcome and Keith Marshall are all capable of putting together a solid committee to handle the role in 2012.

That committee will provide the path of least resistance for Georgia toward accomplishing its team goal of winning the SEC and competing for the national championship. 

Gurley may have Richardson's appearance, number and skills, but that's too much pressure for an incoming freshman—particularly one on a team that's ranked No. 6 in both preseason polls.

Georgia has a history of comparing incoming freshmen running backs to former stars. In the interest of Gurley and Georgia, it's better to let Gurley be Gurley.

No pressure, kid.