Gurley: More Than Meets The Eye


After UGA’s first two games of the season, word on the street favors Todd Gurley to be a contender for the Heisman trophy. Gurley went to work this offseason, trying to work on his game without the ball. This was evident playing against South Carolina, since his pass-blocking has improved tremendously since last season.

During the first game of the season, Gurley averaged 12.8 yards per carry and had 154 yards rushing in just 12 carries. This past week he carried the ball 30 times for 134 yards. Overall, the running back has 43 carries, 286 yards, 3 rushing touchdowns and one receiving touchdown. Gurley was quoted saying “I’m not a freshman anymore. I’m a sophomore. Basically I feel more comfortable than I did last year for the first two games. That’s about it.”

But Gurley’s confidence is not the only thing that has changed this season. If you were a Georgia fan in Death Valley three weeks ago, you were probably so high in the stands that you may not have noticed the new addition to Gurley’s name on the back of his jersey. The lead rusher’s jersey now reads Gurley II. Set on representing his father, Todd Gerome Gurley, the running back has been adamant about changing the name on the back of his jersey since his freshman year. John Meshad, UGA’s director of equipment turned down Gurleys’ request last season. Meshad did not want to say yes to one player because then he would have to make changes for other players on the team as well. However, after 1,745 yards and 18 touchdowns as a true freshman, Gurley earned the chance and his request was granted the second time around.

UGA’s roster is loaded with championship level talent, so what makes Gurley stand out. You could argue that his stats alone put him in the spotlight, but I believe there is something more. Gurley’s persistence on wanting to change the name on his jersey shows that football is more than a game to him.  This kind of persistence displays the fact that Gurley highly respects and cares for his father, and desires to make his father proud.  When Todd Gurley steps out onto the field, he is not only representing himself, but his father as well. I believe this speaks of his character. It adds to the idea that Gurley is a team player, and he doesn’t just think about himself.     In my opinion, this is what makes Gurley stand out, and this is what makes him a great football player.  Todd Gurley displays what it means to be a great player in more ways than just the stats.

The new addition also adds motivation for Gurley to succeed. He is now playing for a name than represents more than his own. Some say Gurley is trying to get away from being called ‘Gurshall.’ Others say say he wants to honor his father. Regardless, Gurley is content with his new jersey and more confident then ever on the field. He takes pride in being called the second rather than junior. One day he intends on naming his son the third.




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