Georgia Bulldogs running back A.J. Turman knows that he is fighting an uphill battle. The competition at running back is fierce as Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall are the top two backs, while J.J. Green and Brendan Douglas proved to be worthy backups last season. Then there are newcomers Sony Michel and Nick Chubb, who are expected to do some big things this upcoming season.
So Turman has to have a good G-Day game to solidify his status on the depth chart which is also why he is the one player to watch on Saturday.
After practice this past Tuesday, Turman told Seth Emerson of the Macon Telegraph that he has done what he’s needed to do, but he really needs to show the rest of the world what he can do on Saturday, especially with him not having any games under his belt.
Turman had his chance to get some playing time last year due to the injuries to Gurley and Marshall. However, Turman pulled an MCL muscle during preseason practice, and that led to Green and Douglas getting the majority of snaps.
Turman did travel with the team during the early stages of the season, but the coaches decided to put the redshirt on him after the Tennessee game.
2014 marks a new year for Turman, and so far, he has been having a great start with a successful spring. What has helped Turman the most is the coaches have been taking it easy on Gurley when it comes to the workload, Marshall is still recovering from knee surgery and Green has moved from tailback to cornerback. So Turman and Douglas have gotten the bulk of carries this last two weeks.
In the first scrimmage of spring practice, Turman struggled to get anything going as he rushed for 20 yards on 10 carries. But in the second scrimmage that took place last week, he was able to pick things up with a four-carry, 22-yard performance. Despite not having the stats to back it up in the first scrimmage, Mark Richt told Gentry Estes of 247 Sports (subscription needed) that Turman ran the ball well and did some good things.
When asked about Turman later in the week, Richt told Emerson that he improved a lot in terms of his work ethic and he’s grabbing everyone’s attention in the effort he has made.
The G-Day is set up where Turman will get a lot of carries. So there’s a really good chance that he could really impress the coaches, players and fans on Saturday. Turman, who is now at 210 pounds, told Estes that he likes a lot of contact and likes to run between the tackles. He also told Estes he wants to be at 220 pounds before the season begins.
We know what Gurley, Marshall and Douglas can do. But Turman is an unproven player that has been doing good things since he’s arrived on campus last year. It’s time for him to show Athens why he was a top recruit last year and why Richt has given him so much praise this spring.