With the already stacked Georgia Bulldogs backfield set to become even more crowded, head coach Mark Richt is sliding some of his running back talent elsewhere.
J.J. Green has moved to cornerback, Richt said. He was tailback last season.— Marc Weiszer (@marcweiszer) March 5, 2014
As the Dawgs were riddled with injuries in 2013, Green was thrust into action as a true freshman and finished No. 2 on the team behind rising junior Todd Gurley with 384 rushing yards and three touchdowns off 68 carries.
However, carries would have been harder to come by for Green next season.
Gurley will be back along with No. 2 back, junior Keith Marshall, who appeared in just five games before going down with a torn ACL. Sophomore Brendan Douglas will return as well after netting 345 rushing yards and three scores off 84 carries.
That trio will be joined by two of the nation's top recruits at the position, 5-stars Sony Michel and Nick Chubb. Michel was the No. 3 running back, while Chubb was No. 5 in the 247Sports Composite Rankings.
|Player||Year||Career Stats/Recruit Rankings|
|Todd Gurley||Junior||387 CAR, 2,374 YDS, 27 TD|
|Keith Marshall||Junior||173 CAR, 1,005 YDS, 9 TD|
|Brendan Douglas||Sophomore||84 CAR, 345 YDS, 3 TD|
|Sony Michel||Freshman||5-star, No. 3 RB, No. 19 OVR|
|Nick Chubb||Freshman||5-star, No. 5 RB, No. 33 OVR|
GeorgiaDogs.com, 247Sports Composite Rankings
If the logjam at running back wasn't reason enough for Green's position change, the need at defensive back certainly contributed to the decision.
Safety Josh Harvey-Clemons was recently dismissed from the squad after violating team rules. Harvey-Clemons filled both a safety and nickel corner role for the Dawgs.
The position switch should be relatively organic for Green, who was recruited as both a running back and cornerback. He was a 3-star according to the 247Sports Composite ratings coming out of high school.
More help is on the way at corner for UGA as well. The Dawgs signed the No. 8 corner in the nation, 4-star Malkom Parrish, along with a pair of 3-stars: No. 3 junior college CB Shattle Fenteng and Shaquille Jones.
It will be interesting to see how the Georgia secondary shakes down through spring practice and fall camp as new defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt settles into Athens.
Meanwhile, Green could still fill a playmaking role on special teams. He led the Dawgs with 168 kick return yards and was No. 2 in all-purpose yardage.