September 8, 2011

Gurley high on Dawgs

This weekend is pivotal for the Georgia Bulldogs, having possibly both post-season and recruiting implications.

Not only will the Bulldogs be kicking off league play against 12th-ranked South Carolina, but Athens will be inundated by a number of top UGA targets who will be watching to see how the Dawgs fair against their main competition in the SEC East.

Milbrook (N.C.) teammates Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall, who have confirmed they will be taking a joint official visit to the Classic City this weekend, sit atop Georgia's wish list.

UGA's coach staff has made sure to keep in close contact with the talented backs, which Gurley said has grown into a close relationship and secured his interest in the program.

"I talk to them a whole lot, like, two to three times a week. We just talk about the season, their season, just regular conversation. We talk about recruiting," Gurley said. "Coach (Mark) Richt and Coach (Bryan) McClendon, I like them a lot. That is why Georgia is up there in my top two. They make me feel comfortable, they are good coaches."

The rivals 250 member said he saw the Boise State game but it didn't affect his feelings either positively or negatively toward the program.

"I didn't think any bad thoughts. I could just see where they needed help. It was pretty good for a first game but they could have done better. Boise is a really good team, not like most teams people open against that are easy games," Gurley said. "It was two good teams and someone had to win."

And someone had to lose.

The 6-foot-1, 195-pound athlete said had he been a part of it, perhaps the outcome would have been different.

"I feel like I could have helped overall. They don't have the depth at running back, so instead of running just two, they could have used all 3 backs," Gurley said.

The North Carolina duo initially shared a common list of programs, but as the dust has begun to settle, front-runners have taken shape.

Marshall has scheduled two other officials to Notre Dame and Florida later in the season. Virginia Tech, Alabama and Florida State are in the mix for the final two spots. Marshall said North Carolina and South Carolina will get unofficial visits because they are close.

While Gurley said he is looking into taking officials at Auburn and Virginia Tech, the Dawgs' main competition comes from his home state Tarheels. Despite playing bridesmaid earlier in the summer, Georgia has recently made a big push for Gurley's attention and stand as his only scheduled official to date.

"They are really even. Both are very high on my list. When I visited Georgia over the summer, just seeing the campus, and developing my relationship with the coaches-- I could really see myself there."

Marshall said he plans to make his decision in December and enroll early. Gurley said his focus is on his team and the season but has no particular timeline for making a decision.

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