Georgia's Gurley: 2,000 yards 'would be awesome'

Associated PressJuly 17, 2014 

HOOVER -- Todd Gurley downplays talk of being a potential Heisman Trophy candidate, but the Georgia running back can't contain a smile at the mention of one milestone that's probably unrealistic.

What would it be like to run for 2,000 yards like Boston College's Andre Williams did last season?

"If I could get 2,000 yards, that would be awesome," Gurley said Thursday at Southeastern Conference media days. "If the Lord would bless me with that, oh my gosh. That's going to be pretty hard to do in the SEC."

Pretty hard to do at Georgia, too, with a backfield that also includes Keith Marshall and other highly recruited backs. But a player can dream.

Gurley was one of numerous key Bulldogs players who were injured during an 8-5 season. He missed three games but still flirted with 1,000 yards and has run for 2,374 yards and 27 touchdowns in two seasons.

He and Alabama's T.J. Yeldon are the marquee tailbacks in a league that's short on experienced quarterbacks but has three 1,000-yard rushers returning from last season, not even counting Gurley or Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall.

There's also Arkansas' Alex Collins and South Carolina's Mike Davis among others. It's a deep group in a season when Georgia and other teams are breaking in new starting quarterbacks.

Gurley was asked if there's a friendly competition among the running backs.

"Who wouldn't want to lead the SEC in rushing yards?" he said. "I just go out there and do my game. I don't worry about what other people do. I definitely respect their game and I definitely watch their tapes. I show respect, but it's not really a competition."

Kentucky: Mark Stoops has established that Kentucky can bring in highly-rated recruits.

Now the Wildcats' second-year coach is trying to turn that added talent into a few more victories.

Stoops is still looking for his first victory in the Southeastern Conference following a 2-10 season in 2013, including an 0-8 mark in conference.

Stoops said on Thursday at SEC Media Days that the Wildcats are "physically better" and that "hopefully that will translate to more wins."

Kentucky returns 15 starters from last season, including seven on offense and eight on defense. But there is still some uncertainty at quarterback with Patrick Towles, Maxwell Smith, Reese Phillips and Drew Barker battling for the job.

Smith threw for 1,276 yards last season, but missed all of spring workouts because of a shoulder injury.

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