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NCAA Football Georgia BulldogsSEC Football

Todd Gurley Darkhorse for Doak Walker Award with Georgia Bulldogs in 2013

Daniel Shirey – USA TODAY Sports

The Georgia Bulldogs have an opportunity to put together a special season in 2013. As they welcome back every starter from their offense in 2012, Mark Richt has his team looking towards greatness next fall. One of the key players that will get them to the top is running back Todd Gurley who will build off a breakout freshman season and put himself into the running for the Doak Walker Award at season’s end.

In his first season of major college football, Gurley made it look easy, leading the SEC in rushing with 1,385 yards and 17 touchdowns. He flashed that elusive combination of size and speed that every running back would love to have, and he might just be scratching the surface of what he’s capable of. Coming back in 2013 with an experienced offensive line in front of him and a year of strength and conditioning under his belt, Gurley is poised to take his game into the next level in 2013.

If he does, he will be difficult to ignore when postseason awards get handed out. The SEC is widely considered one of the top defensive conferences in all of college football, so to put up even better numbers as a sophomore than he did as a freshman will be a feat on its own. He’ll have stiff competition for the award, of course as talented running backs all over the country are looking to take the hardware home as well.

He will have to compete with the likes of Ka’Deem Carey of the Arizona Wildcats who came seemingly out of nowhere in 2012 to lead the nation in rushing and get named to the All-American team. Lache Seastrunk of the Baylor Bears also made a splash last season and wasn’t even the featured back for the Bears until late in the season. Perhaps James White will keep the award with the Wisconsin Badgers after he steps in for Montee Ball. Or it could be any number of other talented backs waiting for their chance to burst onto the scene next fall.

There are going to be a lot of worthy candidates for the award given to the nation’s top running back, but none may be as talented or poised for success as Gurley at UGA. Will he take off next fall and walk away with the hardware next December?

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