- David Ching, ESPN Staff Writer
ATHENS, Ga. -- Nick Chubb is obviously Cedartown coach Scott Hendrix’s go-to guy on the football field. Rushing for 2,721 yards -- a Georgia state record for a 10-game season -- and scoring 38 touchdowns as a junior will win you that honor.
It turns out that the National Honor Society member is also who Hendrix leans on to keep his fellow Bulldogs on the right path -- whether it’s helping freshman football players attach chinstraps to their new helmets or giving a wayward teammate a necessary talking-to.
“If I have a kid that needs some direction, whether it is work ethic or behavior, I just say, ‘Nick, go take care of it,’ and that is all I have to say. I do not know what he says to them, but it gets taken care of,” Hendrix said of the 5-foot-11, 216 pound tailback. “He is a real leader, especially when you see how talented yet how humble he is. All the other kids see how hard he works and they know he is about the team and not himself, so that carries a ton of credibility. When he talks, they all listen.”
Many of the nation’s top programs took notice of that total package by offering scholarships to the four-star tailback before Chubb officially accepted Georgia’s offer on Tuesday evening. He becomes the seventh player on the Bulldogs’ 2014 commitment list and the second tailback -- along with Sony Michel, the No. 16 overall prospect on the ESPN 150 -- which helps fill a major need on Georgia’s roster.
Bulldogs tailbacks Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall will be juniors in 2014 and will be eligible to enter the draft after that season, leaving 2013 freshmen A.J. Turman, Brendan Douglas and possibly J.J. Green as the only other scholarship players at the position.
But in Chubb, they will add a power runner with good hands and a surprising second gear whose skill set is reminiscent of Gurley’s.
“Nick is unbelievably strong. He can squat 560 pounds, power clean 355 pounds and bench press 360 pounds,” Hendrix said. “He has good vision and his burst is a lot faster than people think. He is a load once he reaches the second level. The aspects of the game he does not do well he will work on like crazy to improve them. He had two fumbles all of last year, and both were against Ridgeland.”
That doesn’t mean Chubb is ready to fill the All-SEC tailback’s shoes just yet, however. His coach admits that Chubb must work to refine his pass-catching skills -- Cedartown doesn’t have a particularly successful passing game -- and still must develop his skills as a blocker.
“Nick is a typical SEC running back that is big and strong enough to run inside and fast enough to kick it outside,” Hendrix said. “He catches the ball better than average, but he will have to work on it because we do not do it a lot here. As a blocker, he might not need to be one-on-one with [South Carolina defensive end] Jadeveon Clowney, but I know he is physical enough and he will be sticking his nose right there where he is supposed to be.
“He can do whatever the Georgia backs do, and I am not saying he is as good as they are now, but he will have the skill and work ethic to do whatever their offense requires.”
That work ethic is what led Hendrix to predict that Chubb will become a well-rounded SEC back and a solid citizen at UGA.
“He is going to outwork whoever else is up there,” Hendrix said. “We did not have workouts today, but he came in and worked out two hours on his own. They will play the best players, but he will not get picked over because of a lack of work ethic.”
1dSam Khan Jr.