Georgia coach Mark Richt might not think his star running back, Todd Gurley, needs the benefit of a full-fledged Heisman Trophy campaign by the school's athletic department to win college football's most prestigious individual honor, but that doesn't mean he's above stumping for Gurley a bit.
Amid the quarterback candidates that inevitably command the Heisman conversation, Gurley can at least count on support from his coach.
"If he's in great condition and he stays healthy, I think he can't help but to have a tremendous amount of production and be a very strong candidate for the Heisman Trophy," Richt said, according to Bleacher Report.
Richt was right to add the caveat of good health up front. While there is no question Gurley is one of the college game's most feared backs, he missed the entire month of October last fall with an ankle injury that prevented him from compiling consecutive 1,000-yard seasons. When he returned, he looked like the same back, but didn't carry quite the same load and averaged just 13 carries over his first four games back in the lineup.
Despite the injury, Gurley established himself as a much better receiver last year with 37 catches for 441 yards and six touchdowns, numbers that dwarfed the receiving totals of his freshman year in 2012 (16). That season, fully healthy, he rumbled for 1,385 yards and 17 scores to establish himself as one of the SEC's top backs.
Another season like that, and Gurley could find himself at the Downtown Athletic Club in December.