ATHENS, Ga. -- Entering his third season at Georgia, Todd Gurley is being talked about as a Heisman Trophy candidate and projected an NFL first-round draft pick.
He’s certainly a special running back.
The kind of back Georgia hasn’t had since Knowshon Moreno, its last NFL first-round pick at the position in 2009.
Ask Danny “D.J.” Ware, who played six years in the NFL and was on two Super Bowl winning teams with the Giants, which back was better: Gurley or Moreno?
“It’s kind of a hard comparison,” Ware said. “Knowshon was a little smaller, but he was still beefed up. He did some amazing things. It’s kind of tough. Todd has done his fair share of amazing things, but I think Knowshon, he came in and had two seniors in front of him and still ended up being the man. Guys that were not bad, guys that were really good, he took off and ran away with the starting spot.”
Those seniors were Thomas Brown and Kregg Lumpkin. Ware would have been a senior, too, but saw a crowded backfield with Moreno coming off his redshirt year and decided to leave after his junior season.
“Todd, I don’t really know like who has been there to challenge him,” Ware said. “Keith (Marshall), but their running styles are so much different. They complement each other rather than compete with each other. Knowshon was doing it on his own pretty much.”
Gurley has rushed for 2,374 yards in two seasons, but missed three games last year due to an ankle injury and wasn’t fully healthy for others.
Moreno rushed for 2,734 yards in two seasons. That is still good for fourth most on the Bulldogs’ career list trailing only Herschel Walker, Garrison Hearst and Lars Tate.
Gurley averages 6.1 yards per carry, which ranks third on the Bulldogs’ all-time list. Moreno averaged 5.5 yards per carry but tops Gurley in yards per game 105.2. to 98.9.
They each caught 53 passes in two seasons. Gurley has five touchdown catches — all last season. Moreno had two touchdown catches.
Ware said he’s had a chance to speak a couple of times to Gurley, who still could have his best yet to come.
“A big body, runs hard, fast,” Ware said. “Catches the ball good out of the backfield, blocks good. He’s pretty much the total package. If he stays healthy, he’ll be a force to be reckoned with.”