Georgia Football: Is A.J. Turman the Next Back Up?


Georgia running back A.J. Turman is a redshirt sophomore that not many Georgia fans have seen a lot of, and he could be a huge part of the 2015 team.

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Quick, name Georgia’s best running backs.

Nick Chubb…ok got it, absolutely. Sony Michel…right, he’s definitely there. Keith Marshall…still a lot of unrealized potential, but yes. Quayvon Hicks…yes, a fullback but definitely quite versatile. Brendan Douglas…yes, the big bruiser has had some big moments.

But what about A.J. Turman?

Yeah, I know. Those of you who aren’t really hardcore roster-watching fans probably just said “who?”, and that’s understandable. After all, the last time anyone saw Turman doing any substantial running was during his senior year of high school (2012) at Boone H.S. in Orlando, Fl. He came to Georgia in 2013, redshirted his first year and then was out for 2014 with a foot injury.

So not really knowing who A.J. Turman is could be considered a forgivable offense.

You’ll probably know who he is after 2015, however.

Georgia’s uber-deep running back roster just keeps churning out top backs, and sometimes they come from the most unsuspecting players (did anyone really see Terrell Davis coming out the way he did in the NFL?).

While Turman may not have had the 5-star credentials that Gurley, Marshall, Cubb and Michel carried, and he may not have been recruited and signed with all the fanfare and celebration, the fact is that Turman is probably every bit as good a back as any starting tailback in the SEC not named Nick Chubb.

Turman was a 4-star prospect, and the No. 23 running back in the nation in 2012, according to the 247 Sports composite rankings, and those are no slouch-type numbers. When Nick Chubb needs a rest, don’t be surprised to see Turman’s number called.

Of course it would be great to see Keith Marshall fulfilling the promise that he showed during his freshman year, but continued injuries on top of more injuries have hampered not only his ability to perform, but the expectations of the coaching staff. While he looked to be stronger than ever at the start of this spring, he once again fell victim to being dinged up.

The other backs have shown flashes…some moments of greatness…but have either found themselves also injury-bitten or just not as consistent as needed. This year could be Turman’s chance to rise to the top and show that he’s Georgia’s next back up behind bell cow Chubb.

Oct 5, 2013; Knoxville, TN, USA; Georgia Bulldogs running back Keith Marshall (4) was injured during the game against the Tennessee Volunteers at Neyland Stadium. Georgia won in overtime 34 to 31. Mandatory Credit: Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

When Turman came to Georgia, it wasn’t as a “maybe we can use him here or there” kind of player. He was a running back, and a damned good one, and he was looked upon to be an impact player. The one thing that offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer will want to avoid this season is overusing Nick Chubb. He’s going to want to have his best back with some fresh legs for that tough end of season stretch. A.J. Turman could help keep that on track.

Even ESPN’s Edward Aschoff has Turman listed as a potential sleeper this year, a role that could become something that more and more analysts predict for the relative unknown out of Orlando.

Georgia has a lot of good backs, an awful lot of them, and A.J. Turman could be the guy that makes everyone sorry they forgot about him this year, especially opposing defenses.

Next: An Homage to the Georgia Kicking Greats