published Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

Georgia tailback Nick Chubb making case for playing time

Running back Nick Chubb takes the ball from quarterback Jacob Park during Georgia's first day of practice.
Running back Nick Chubb takes the ball from quarterback Jacob Park during Georgia's first day of practice.
Photo by Contributed Photo /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Less than two weeks into his inaugural preseason camp at Georgia, freshman tailback Nick Chubb has been videotaped lighting up a teammate on a blocking drill and led all rushers in the first scrimmage.

Chubb's adjustment to college must be a breeze.

"It's been tougher than I expected," Chubb said Monday by phone. "In the summer, we were going over stuff and trying to get the basics down, but when we got out here in pads and I saw everything in full motion, it was a lot tougher than I thought. I'm still struggling with some of the plays, but I'm listening to the coaches and the players."

The former Cedartown High School standout signed in February as a 5-foot-10, 215-pounder but revealed Monday that he is up to 228. In Saturday night's scrimmage at Sanford Stadium, Chubb rushed seven times for 52 yards and drew quick praise from coach Mark Richt.

Chubb had a long run of 19 yards, according to statistics kept by the coaches.

"He's a load," Richt said. "He's a tough guy to bring down. He's a strong guy, and tackle-breaking is a big part of his game."

Chubb and fellow tailback Sony Michel were Rivals.com top-50 national prospects when they signed, as were juniors Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall in 2012. With Chubb the bigger of the two freshmen, he already is hearing comparisons to Gurley, the bigger of the two juniors.

Chubb believes those are beyond premature.

"We both run hard, and we both have good vision, but I think there are more differences," Chubb said. "He's just so much more experienced. He's a great running back, but he also knows so many things. I guess you could say he's a lot wiser than I am right now."

Chubb is learning from Gurley and other more experienced tailbacks, and the same goes for Michel, a 5-11, 210-pounder from Plantation, Fla.

"It's been a wonderful experience," Michel said. "I feel like a freshman from the perspective of having to learn, but in terms of work ethic, I'm in there to compete. Nick and I are learning from each other and feeding off each other, and if we're not sure about something we can ask the older guys.

"They're there to help us. We want to work to be at their level."

Pass protection often is an area that keeps eager Bulldogs tailbacks from getting on the field as quickly as they would prefer, and Chubb admits he's no exception.

"Blocking is not a challenge," he said. "The challenge is knowing who to block and when to block. They change it around on most every play, so you've really got to pay attention to the play-calling."

Odds and ends

The Bulldogs held two practices Monday after having Sunday off. ... Among the players sitting out during the portion open to the media were senior inside linebacker Ramik Wilson, junior fullback Merritt Hall, freshman receiver Isaiah McKenzie and freshman safety Dominick Sanders.

Contact David Paschall at dpaschall@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6524.

about David Paschall...

David Paschall is a sports writer for the Times Free Press. He started at the Chattanooga Free Press in 1990 and was part of the Times Free Press when the paper started in 1999. David covers University of Georgia football, as well as SEC football recruiting, SEC basketball, Chattanooga Lookouts baseball and other sports stories. He is a Chattanooga native and graduate of the Baylor School and Auburn University. David has received numerous honors for ...

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