If there’s one thing the Georgia Bulldogs have always done well, it’s run the ball. Lately, Athens seems like a running back factory. But Georgia has had great running backs for decades. At this point, it’s almost difficult to remember all of the great Bulldog backs. Nevertheless, we’ve put together our list of the best Georgia running backs of all time.
Michel is one of the rare Georgia running backs in modern times to stay four years and be a contributor all four seasons. He flashed his potential as a freshman and later eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark twice. Of course, his senior season was easily his best. In 2017, Michel averaged nearly eight yards per carry and scored 16 touchdowns. He was also massive in the College Football Playoff semifinals, rushing for 181 yards and three touchdowns to help get the Bulldogs to the title game.
Much like his pro career, Gurley’s college career was great in the beginning. He rushed for over 1,300 yards and 17 touchdowns as a freshman in 2012, leading a Georgia team that went 12-2 and finished the season ranked in the top-5. However, Gurley came up just short of 1,000 yards in each of the next two seasons, in part because of a suspension for violating NCAA rules in 2014. Ultimately, playing just six games in his final season hurt him compared to the backs ahead of him. But with a career average of 6.4 yards per carry, Gurley’s spot among the best in school history can’t be denied.
Not many college running backs these days have three 1,000-yard seasons during their careers. But Chubb accomplished just that, a feat made even more impressive when you consider the other backs he had to split carries with at Georgia. Over his four seasons, Chubb averaged close to 1,200 yards per season and found the end zone 44 times. Those numbers are hard to top.
Despite all of the great Georgia backs in the 21st century, Hearst is not to be forgotten. He was a steady contributor during his first two seasons and then became a superstar in 1992 while leading Georgia to a 10-2 season. Hearst had over 1,500 rushing yards that season while also setting SEC records for total touchdowns with 21 and 6.8 yards per carry. He finished third in the Heisman voting that year and remains the only Georgia player to win the Doak Walker Award.
Walker is one of the greatest running backs in college football history, period. He dominated in all three of his seasons with the Bulldogs, finishing in the top-3 of the Heisman voting each year, winning the award in 1982. When all was said and done, Walker rushed for over 5,200 yards and 49 rushing touchdowns over three seasons. During his three seasons, Georgia was 33-3 with Walker helping lead the Bulldogs to the 1980 national championship.