Georgia RB Todd Gurley has been at or near the top of the SEC at his position since the day he joined the program in 2012. Last year he missed the entire month of October with an injury and still threatened the 1,000-yard mark with 989. The junior has NFL size at 232 pounds and brings fearless power between the tackles. He also made great strides as a receiver last year with 37 receptions. Look for Gurley to lead the league in rushing this season and, as long as Georgia is within reach of the new College Football Playoff, contend for the Heisman Trophy as well.
Pulling back the curtain on the vote
Throw out a No. 15 ranking by one panelist, and Gurley's standing was remarkably consistent among our analysts. He received the low ranking of 15, but every other panelist had him in their personal top 10. In fact, all had him ranked in their top seven, including two that had him as high as second. No panelist ranked another running back higher on their personal lists.
What some of our analysts are saying about Gurley
"He runs angry and reminds me of former Volunteer Jamal Lewis." - Daniel Jeremiah
"Powerful runner with the size, strength and vision to run roughshod over the SEC. Gurley could emerge as the Heisman Trophy front-runner early in the season." - Bucky Brooks
"Coming off injury, but few want to tackle him." - Charles Davis
"Has burst, size, strength and can catch." - Gil Brandt
"He's dealt with a few injuries but is still the best back in college football with his blend of speed and power. He's a big-play machine who has a nose for the end zone." - Bryan Fischer
"The word that comes to mind when Gurley runs the ball is fearless. He hits the hole between the tackles with a reckless, powerful style that lends itself to broken tackles." - Chase Goodbread
"He's fast. He's powerful. He's athletic. He can catch. And he can block. What does all that mean? He eventually is going to be rich, too." - Mike Huguenin
Where do fans rank Gurley?
We asked Twitter and Facebook users who they considered the best player in college football. Gurley received 20 percent of the more than 19,000 fan ballots cast, tied for the most among all players to receive votes. He even received a vote from an NFL running back.
Shaun Draughn (@2ShaunDraughn0) August 6, 2014