Which SEC Powerhouse Holds Edge for 4-Star RB Nick Chubb?

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Which SEC Powerhouse Holds Edge for 4-Star RB Nick Chubb?
Via 247Sports

Nick Chubb is one of the more talented running backs in the 2014 recruiting class, and he has three major SEC teams on top of his interest list: Georgia, Tennessee and Auburn.

All three programs have a good deal to offer Chubb, and he projects to be an effective running back at the college level wherever he does end up. In fact, he has elite potential.

Chubb checks in at 5'11'', 216 pounds and he runs a 4.56 40 according to 247Sports. He has the size to be a power back and the speed to be extremely good on the edges, so he would undoubtedly be a big pickup for all three of these schools. 

Which program has the edge as of right now though?

In order to effectively answer that question, let's take a look at what Chubb thinks of each program, per a report from Kipp Adams of ESPN.com:

“I like Auburn, Georgia and Tennessee right now,” Chubb said. 

Chubb really enjoyed his visit to Knoxville, Tenn., a month ago, but admits the Volunteers have taken a temporary step back in regard to his relationship with the coaching staff. 

“Tennessee was my first offer and when I visited I really liked what they were saying about how they would use me,” Chubb said. “But their running backs coach Jay Graham left and I wanted to come play for him, so that kind of affects things for them until I get to know the new coach.” 

Chubb went on to say that he likes Auburn running backs coach Tim Horton and Adams referred to the Tigers as "moving up." Finally, Chubb had this to say about Georgia, per Adams:

Georgia is my home state, I am a Bulldog right now at Cedartown and I like Coach [Bryan] McClendon and Mark Richt, ... I spoke to Coach McClendon last night and he wants me to come over and watch practice. 

Chubb Via 247Sports
Comfort level with staff oftentimes plays a huge role in the recruiting process, so it looks as if Tennessee is firmly behind the eight ball with Coach Graham heading to Florida State.

That leaves Auburn and Georgia, and both staffs have reportedly developed a good relationship with Chubb. Depth chart would be the next factor to look at, but Chubb is reportedly not worried about having to compete for a position on the depth chart, per Adams' report

Both programs benefit from that statement considering that Auburn just landed 4-star running back Kamryn Pettway, and came away with three running backs committed to the 2013 class. Georgia, on the other hand, already has the commitment of 4-star 2014 all-purpose back Stanley Williams, has signed 2013 running back A.J. Turman and currently feature two stars in the backfield in Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall. 

Chubb will have to work his way onto the field at either program, and either program's scheme will allow him to make plays. Georgia's efficiency in the run game is extremely evident, and Gus Malzahn's spread offense at Auburn should feature a strong running game as well. He likes to utilize a running, play-action, fast-paced offense.

From here on out it comes down to the X-factors.

It would seem as if Georgia would have a "proximity advantage" with Chubb, but in actuality, Auburn, Alabama, is closer to his hometown of Cedartown, Georgia, than Athens is (by about 15 minutes mind you). That said, Georgia would claim the "home-state advantage" and Chubb did make mention of Georgia being his home state, per Adams' report. He also mentioned playing for the Cedartown Bulldogs, so there seems to be a slight affinity to the mascot.

Michael Chang/Getty Images
Mascots and school nicknames may seem like a small factor, but even the smallest details count on the recruiting trail.

The other detail to consider is, ironically enough, depth-chart related. Chubb mentioned that depth isn't an issue, but when you take a closer look at the personnel, Auburn just landed a running back who has a very similar skill set to Chubb's, in Pettway

Predict where Chubb will commit:

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Depth may not matter, but I can imagine that personnel does.

At Georgia, Chubb could really stand apart as a powerful runner who can be utilized in short-yardage and goal-line situations right away. For Auburn, the Tigers already have that player in Pettway, so Chubb will have to find a way to stick out apart from his natural skill set.

Combine that with Georgia's reputation for churning out elite running backs, the "home-state advantage," and the fact that the Bulldogs are in a better position to compete in the SEC in the next few years than Auburn is—and Georgia should have the edge for Chubb, albeit a slight one.

 

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