Tarboro, North Carolina is a small historical town in Eastern North Carolina with a population of about 13,000. The area was settled by British Colonists in the mid 1700s and was an important Colonial river port city up until about the time of the American Civil War.
Famous for Patriots such as Thomas Blount and other participants in the American Revolutionary War, the township still has a national historical district with over 300 significant buildings, churches and structures.
If you are a fan of American history dating back to Revolutionary War times, Tarboro would be a nice place to visit.
In recent times, Tarboro is more famous for being the home of none other than the Georgia Bulldog Running Back Todd Gurley.
In the 2011 football season, Todd Gurley ran for 2,600 yards and 38 Touchdowns, leading his team to the North Carolina State Championship. Gurley ran for 242 yards in the title game alone and scored 4 touchdowns.
He was a 4 star recruit in spite of the fact that he was also a high school track star running a 13.66 in the 110 High Hurdles and a 10.70. Sure, those aren’t world class times, but they are pretty good for a high school kid that weighs over 200 pounds.
Keith Marshall from Raleigh, North Carolina was the top recruit in the Tar Heel State and the number 2 rated Running Back in the country. That didn’t scare off Todd Gurley because he’s not afraid of competition.
Neither are true freshmen Georgia Running Backs Sony Michel and Nick Chubb and they proved that by signing with Georgia knowing about each other.
Todd Gurley exploded unto the scene in typical Todd Gurley fashion in 2012 when he ran for 100 yards on only 8 carries and 2 Touchdowns. Anyone that saw him then knew he was going to be a big star and he has been.
In 2012, Gurley ran for 1,385 yards and 17 Touchdowns as a true freshman.
Todd Gurley is not what you would call a typical, average Running Back. An average Running Back might be around 5-9 to 5-11 and from 180 to 200.
Gurley is 6-2, 235 with plenty of strength and power, plus that speed.
Much was expected out of Todd Gurley in 2013 and out of the Georgia Bulldogs as well. They had top Quarterback Aaron Murray returning as well as Gurley, and Keith Mitchell. Plus, several top Wide Receivers. One by one, all of them went down at one time or another in the season including Aaron Murray eventually. Gurley missed several games and Keith Mitchell was lost for the season and is still out.
Georgia struggled to an 8-5 finish when expectations were so high.
I don’t recall a college football team going through as much bad luck as the Bulldogs did in 2013.
2014 was supposed to be a great season for the Bulldogs. Gurley was back and at full speed. Keith Marshall was also supposed to be back and they also added hot shot recruits Sony Michel and Nick Chubb.
Gurley started off with an outstanding game against Clemson, running for 198 yards and 3 Touchdowns and returning a Kickoff 100 yards for a score as well.
A few games later, Gurley ran for over 200 yards against Tennessee and rose to the very top of the Heisman race.
Then, it all happened again to the Dogs. Sony Michel was already injured early in the season after rushing for over 300 yards and showing off his enormous potential. Keith Marshall never really came back before being hurt again.
But, Todd Gurley was suspended for signing and selling autographed memorabilia. Gurley missed 4 games due to suspension.
Luckily, the Bulldogs were able to sign outstanding Nick Chubb in the last recruiting class.
Sony Michel and Nick Chubb are eerily similar to Keith Marshall and Todd Gurley. Keith Marshall was the higher rated Running Back and more of a speed back, while Gurley also has the speed but is more of a power back. Same is true of Michel and Chubb. Michel is a burner out of Plantation, Florida and was higher rated than Chubb. But, Chubb ran track in high school competing in the 100 and 200 meters, the 4 x 100 relay, plus the shot put and long jump. Chubb had 10.69 best in the 100, which like Gurley, is not world class but is plenty fast for a 200 plus pound Running Back. Chubb is 5-10, 230 and a load to tackle.
Just like Marshall and Gurley, Michel got injured and Chubb stepped up.
Nick Chubb now has 1,039 yards rushing on the season and his future is bright.
With Gurley out of the lineup, the Dogs learned to depend on Chubb and he came through big averaging 167 yards per game rushing while Gurley was suspended.
Against Auburn, Todd Gurley was back. The former leader for the Heisman Trophy and high NFL Draft pick ran for 138 before tearing his ACL.
Gurley has run for 911 yards and 9 Touchdowns before his season ended yet again with a knee injury.
There’s no argument that Herschel Walker is the greatest Georgia Running Back of all time and maybe the greatest college player of all time.
Bu, Todd Gurley was in the running for the second greatest. Gurley just passed Garrison Hearst for second best all time rushing yardage for the Georgia Bulldogs and he would have smashed that record if he had been allowed to play in the 4 games he missed and without the injury.
The consensus feeling is still that Gurley will leave after this season for the NFL, but the damage is done. Gurley would have been the first Running Back picked in the first round since 2012. But, this injury cancels that.
Maybe Melvin Gordon of Wisconsin will still be taken in the first, but Gurley will have a tough time rehabbing.
Georgia did take out a 10 million dollar insurance policy for Gurley, so he should be fine. But, I am sure he would rather earn the money with an NFL club.
If you get the impression that this blog is a fan of Gurley, you would be correct. It’s also a fan of Nick Chubb and pulling for him to take up where Gurley left off.
Georgia is 8-2 on the season and 6-2 in the SEC standings. Missouri is currently in first place at 8-2 and 5-1.
Whoever wins the East will just earn the right to be slapped around by the West champion.
Georgia would still have loved to have been in that position.
Todd Gurley is still the pride of historical Tarboro, North Carolina and should do well with his life.
This blog is pulling for him.