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When Elijah Holyfield was pondering where he wanted to go to college

in Dies ist ein Forum in der Kategorie 22.01.2019 08:44
von panxing18 • 274 Beiträge

ATHENS Cleveland Browns T-Shirts , Ga. (AP) —, he certainly took an interest in history.Specifically, Georgia’s long lineage of great running backs.“It was a very big deal to me. I’ve watched Georgia football for a long time and I’ve really loved all the Georgia backs,” said Holyfield, son of former heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield . “It had a lot to do with my decision.”From Herschel Walker through the 1-2 punch of Nick Chubb and Sony Michel, the No. 5 Bulldogs might as well be known as Running Back U.They’re living up to reputation again with the current backfield duo of Holyfield and D’Andre Swift.In last week’s pulverizing 34-17 victory over Kentucky , which locked up Georgia’s spot in the Southeastern Conference championship game, Swift rushed for 156 yards and two touchdowns, Holyfield tacked on a career-best 115 yards and a score, and the Bulldogs finished with a season-high 331 yards on the ground against one of the nation’s top-ranked defenses.Georgia (8-1, 6-1, No. 5 CFP) leads the SEC in rushing (233.8 yards per game), carrying on a tradition that goes back as far as 1942 Heisman Trophy winner Frank Sinkwich but really picked up steam with the arrival of Herschel Walker.Walker, who capped his brilliant career by capturing the Heisman in 1982, is still recognized as the greatest back in school history. But he’s had plenty of challengers over past 3½ decades.Since Walker left school a year early to play in the ill-fated United States Football League, seven Georgia running backs have been picked in the first round of the NFL draft — an esteemed list that doesn’t even include Terrell Davis, who was only a sixth-rounder but went on to a Hall of Fame career with the Denver Broncos.More recently, Georgia’s pipeline has grown to include Todd Gurley, Sony Michel and Nick Chubb — who actually were on the same team in 2014 and are all now thriving in the NFL. Gurley stars for the Los Angeles Rams , earning All-Pro honors in 2017 and leading the league in rushing this season. Michel is starting for the New England Patriots as a rookie, while Chubb is getting significant playing time with the Cleveland Browns .Coach Kirby Smart certainly relies on that heritage when he’s trying to persuade a high school running back to sign with the Bulldogs.“I think it helps tremendously to have the guys, the history of Robert Edwards, Garrison Hearst, Terrell Davis, I mean Herschel https://www.brownsfanshop.com/hats , just back after back after back after back,” Smart said. “Now it’s probably more prominent than it’s ever been because of the stage that Todd is on and what he’s been able to do, and Nick and Sony’s exposure last year through the national championship game.What does the coach tell prospective backs who are considering Georgia?“If you’re a premier back in the country and you say, ‘I want to go somewhere that I can learn to play in a pro style, catch the ball in the backfield, and I also want to be able to protect so that I can increase my value, and I also want to have durability where I’m not going to be beat up when I come out of there,’ there’s nowhere better to go,” Smart replied.Indeed, Georgia has relied on an abundance of talented running backs the last few seasons.Previous coach Mark Richt was able to land Gurley and Keith Marshall in the same recruiting class — they were dubbed “Gurshall” in a nod to Walker — though Marshall never realized his full potential because of injuries. Richt pulled off another double-coup when he landed Chubb and Michel.Holyfield, a junior, signed with the Bulldogs even though he knew he’d spend at least one season playing behind Chubb and Michel (and it wound up being two when both stayed through their full eligibility). Swift came aboard last season, even with all those talented backs on the roster. Zamir White, touted as the nation’s top prospects, signed with Georgia coming into this season but was sidelined by a knee injury .Holyfield said the competition for playing time makes everyone better. He leads the Bulldogs with 674 yards rushing, but Swift, who has battled injuries and finally seems to be at full strength, has gained 622 yards. Swift has also been an effective weapon in the passing game with 17 receptions for 161 yards.“When you have somebody who’s just as good as you playing next to you, it pushes you every single day,” Holyfield said. “I know I can’t take a day off because he’s not going to take a day off.”Georgia faces Auburn (6-3, 3-3) on Saturday in the 123rd renewal of the Deep South’s oldest rivalry.The Tigers certainly know what they’re up against.“Swift and Holyfield kind of resemble the backs they’ve had in the past,” defensive tackle Dontavius Russell said. “It’s always a challenge.” Sam Darnold once thought he’d be wearing an orange helmet just a few shades brighter than his hair color.But the former USC star wasn’t precisely what the Browns were looking for in a franchise quarterback in the NFL draft. Darnold checked most of the boxes, but not all of them and Cleveland passed on him with the No. 1 overall pick, selecting Baker Mayfield instead.On Thursday night, Darnold can show the Browns they made a mistake.Another one.The youngest quarterback to start a season opener since 1970 Cleveland Browns Hoodie , Darnold will perform on a national TV stage for the second time already as a pro when he leads the New York Jets into FirstEnergy Stadium to face the Browns, who have played well enough to win their first two games but are still searching for their first victory since Dec. 24, 2016.Heading into April’s draft, Darnold was considered the top of the deep 2018 QB class and it appeared he would wind up in Cleveland, where quarterbacks have come and gone like restaurant busboys over the past two decades.“Yeah, I thought I could’ve ended up there or several other teams,” Darnold said this week. “I was excited to go anywhere. “Whoever wanted me, whoever wanted to pick me as a top pick, to me it was a dream come true right when it happened.”After the Browns nabbed Mayfield and the Giants grabbed running back Saquon Barkley, the Jets took Darnold and have been more than satisfied by his early development.He rebounded from throwing an interception that was returned for a TD on his first pass attempt in the opener and led the Jets to a 31-point win, and last week the 21-year-old became the youngest QB to pass for 300 yards.Darnold insists he’s not seeking any revenge or trying to prove anything to the Browns.“No,” he said. “I’m just going to go out there and play ball.”The Jets and Browns are on divergent paths with their rookie quarterbacks. New York has chosen to start Darnold, while Cleveland is holding Mayfield out to watch and learn behind Tyrod Taylor.It’s not a race and the Browns feel no need to rush their plan.“We feel very comfortable with the guy that we selected in Baker, and I’m sure they do with him,” coach Hue Jackson said. “He’s a fine prospect and is going to be a fine player. I think they got a good one, but we feel we have a really good one, too.”After facing Ben Roethlisberger and Drew Brees 鈥?two future Hall of Famers 鈥?in Weeks 1 and 2, the Browns aren’t looking at Darnold as any break.“I don’t think that any game in the NFL is a breather,” said linebacker Joe Schobert.“He’s got a big arm. He’s doing good things as their quarterback. The hardest thing to do is come into the NFL and play quarterback and be successful. And he’s so far shown himself to be pretty poised and good at it.”PRESSURE PACKEDThe Browns are down and desperate. They need a win, and after stubbing their toes twice already, need to beat the Jets. A 1-1-1 record seems light years from 0-2-1.“Our team is excited, hungry, disappointed, anxious 鈥?all of those words you want to use,” said Jackson https://www.brownsfanshop.com/James-Burgess-Jersey , who is 1-32-1 in two seasons. “We just need to get it done.”BACK ‘HOME”The Dawg Pound will be a homecoming of sorts for several current Jets, who are former Browns.Running back Isaiah Crowell played the past four years in Cleveland. Wide receiver Terrelle Pryor spent two seasons with the Browns, including a breakout campaign in 2016 when the former quarterback had 1,007 yards. His QB for parts of those seasons was Josh McCown, now Darnold’s backup and mentor.Cornerback Buster Skrine played in Cleveland from 2011-14. Jets coach Todd Bowles, too, has Cleveland connections as an assistant under Butch Davis from 2001-04.ALIVE & KICKINGGreg Joseph was on the beach hanging out with friends last weekend, “you know, just living the South Florida life.” Things changed quickly.The rookie is now in the spotlight 鈥?or crosshairs 鈥?as Cleveland’s new kicker. Joseph signed this week after the Browns cut Zane Gonzalez for missing two field goals and two extra points last week.Joseph, who spent the preseason with Miami, is excited about the opportunity.“My film’s out there. My stats are out there,” he said. “I learned a lot about me, the athlete I am and the competitor I am. I’m ready to bring it here.”Q IS THE ANSWERDarnold’s favorite target through two games has been wide receiver Quincy Enunwa, who has a team-leading 13 catches for 155 yards and a touchdown. Enunwa has been targeted 21 times, more than Pryor (11), Robby Anderson (six) and Jermaine Kearse (two) combined.SACK RACEThe Jets got their first four sacks of the season last Sunday against Miami, the most since getting to Taylor seven times when he played with Buffalo in Week 9 last season.“The whole unit, we definitely picked it up last week,” defensive end Leonard Williams said. “We didn’t have any sacks in the first week, even though they got the ball out pretty quickly. At the same time, I don’t want to make excuses. We definitely picked it up last week and I hope we continue to make strides on that.”___

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