Is it premature to label Georgia star running back Todd Gurley, just a sophomore and only 17 games into his college career, a future NFL first-round draft pick?
Dan McCarney doesn't think so.
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The North Texas coach watched his defense hold Gurley under 100 rushing yards -- the first time anyone's done that since Georgia Tech did so last November -- but nevertheless appointed Gurley as somebody's first pick, some day.
"Todd Gurley is a future first-rounder," McCarney said. "He is a sensational football player. Anytime you can hold a player like that to 12 yards as his longest run, you are doing some really positive things."
In his previous four games dating back to last season, against BCS conference foes Alabama (SEC title game), Nebraska (bowl game), Clemson and South Carolina (this season), Gurley averaged 133 yards per game. North Texas held the 6-1, 232-pound standout to just 91 yards in a 45-21 road loss.
As for when McCarney's prediction may come true, the 2015 NFL Draft is the earliest Gurley could be available, if he chose to turn pro following his junior season. If he stays at UGA through his senior year, Gurley would be a 2016 draft pick.