- Radi Nabulsi, Reporter, DawgNation
To gear up for 2013 national signing day, DawgNation's Radi Nabulsi is breaking down every commitment in the Bulldogs' 2013 recruiting class.
Vitals: Running back A.J. Turman, Orlando. Fla./Boone | 6-foot, 198 pounds
Committed: November 13, 2012
ESPN.com grade: 82. Four-star prospect.
ESPN.com rankings: No. 259 in ESPN 300, No. 22 running back, No. 124 in Southeast region, No. 47 in Florida
Picked Georgia over: Florida State, Notre Dame, Tennessee, Wisconsin and others.
State of the position: With Richard Samuel graduating and Ken Malcome transferring the Bulldogs are will lean even more on true freshmen running backs Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall. Former walk-on Brandon Harton was given a scholarship two seasons ago but played sparingly last season as the freshmen duo took most of the snaps.
Pros: “Turman is a college-ready back who might fall under the radar due to his lack of flash. He is a tough, productive, inside runner with durability and workhorse type qualities. He's the type of back who knows when to turn it on to pull away or lower the shoulders and get the tough yards. He's a decisive runner who looks to square up quickly and get north and south. He runs through consistent first contact and can absorb a hit and keep his balance. He runs hard, with authority and looks to finish. He's a future 220-pound load-carrier if he lands in the right downhill system.” -- ESPN scouting report
Cons: “He shows a solid stiff arm when second level tacklers come in higher, but does need to watch his overall pad level. Also, his hands and blocking skills need polish. He's a straight-line runner with minimal shake and elusiveness when he pops one into the second level -- he's not a threat in open field.” -- ESPN scouting report
Similar to/potential role: Malcome. Turman is a bruising back that Georgia can use to pound a defense into submission.
Expected impact: 2013. With Gurley and Marshall in the backfield it would be easy to predict a redshirt season for Turman, but if we look deeper we can see where he could see the field earlier. There were times last season that running backs coach Bryan McClendon shied away from using Marshall in favor of a heavier, stronger back against the more physical defenses. That sounds like a perfect role for Turman.