SEC’s top 25 players of 2013: No. 3 Georgia’s Todd Gurley

SDS is continually counting down the top 25 players in the SEC for 2013, and we’re not stopping until we get to No. 1. I know you’ll agree with every single one…

No. 3 Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia (SO)

2012 stats: 222 carries for 1,385 yards and 17 TDs
2013 projected: 225 carries for 1,410 yards and 20 TDs

Why he’s worthy: Georgia’s star running back Todd Gurley almost wasn’t a running back. Upon signing, he was considered more of an insurance policy for Isaiah Crowell and Keith Marshall, with some talks about him moving to safety. Fast-forward to Crowell’s dismissal, and Gurley became a full-time running back who blew up in fall camp.

Related: Todd Gurley vs. TJ Yeldon

He isn’t just the best running back in the SEC; he’s the best overall back in college football. His team-high 222 carries finished only second to Florida’s Mike Gillislee, and his 1,385 rushing yards finished second to only Johnny Manziel. Gurley also finished tied for second with 17 touchdowns in one of the most impressive seasons by a freshman running back.

Usually 18-year-old freshmen hit a wall at some point during the year. Gurley never did, and it speaks to the way he kept himself conditioned and rested the full season, despite carrying a massive load for the offense.

So, what does he do for an encore? It will truly be tough to duplicate his freshman output, and I think he and Keith Marshall will share more carries. But he, along with Marshall, make UGA’s offense so explosive. Throw Aaron Murray in there, along with a slew of offensive linemen and wide receivers, and we’re asking ourselves whether Georgia has the best offense in the country.

Gurley is the type of back who just bullies defenders. He breaks tackles and is a smooth operator in the open field, with speed to burn. He’s the total package.

The Countdown:

1.  Biggest freak in college football
2.  Johnny what’s his name?
3.  Best running back in college football
4.  The biggest winner in the rankings
5.  College football’s No. 2 overall running back
6.  A record-setting QB
7.  The Tide’s defensive glue
8.  The best offensive tackle in college football?
9.  Alabama’s O-line anchor
10. Texas A&M’s versatile left tackle
11. The biggest deep threat in the country?
12. Florida’s dancing defender
13. One LB who should explode in 2013
14. Jarvis Jones who?
15. The SEC East’s top receiver
16. Florida’s Honey Badger
17. A receiver who doesn’t drop passes…ever
18. LSU’s freak
19. A Rebel who knows he’s good
20. Funny name; not a funny game
21. Arkansas’ O-line anchor
22. A receiving freak
23. An underrated Tennessee head smasher
24. LSU’s defensive quarterback
25. An unheralded Hog

Photo Credit: Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports