Keith Marshall’s season ended at Tennessee on October 5 last season.  He went down with a torn ACL.

The road back is a long one, and often lonely one.

“It felt like it took forever,” Marshall said Monday while speaking to the media, “but now it felt like it flew by.  It’s definitely something that I’ve been excited just to get back out there and play.”

After a stellar freshman year teaming up with teammate Todd Gurley in a duo that would eventually be dubbed “Gurshall”, Marshall surpassed 1,000 yards in his Georgia career before injuring his knee on a pass play against the Vols last season.

Not only is he the lightening to Gurley’s thunder, but Marshall is a devastating threat catching passes out of the backfield.  He’s worked in the offseason to change his technique and improve the way he runs, including using his knees to drive and finish plays rather than leaning forward as he did often during his freshman campaign.

“The last couple years I think I ran hard, just I leaned forward when I ran so a lot of times I fell,” Marshall said.  “Just working on getting my knees up better.”

After he went down last year, Gurley went on to become arguably the best back in the SEC and a Heisman contender entering 2014.  Stud freshmen Sony Michel and Nick Chubb arrived this summer to lofty expectations, as well.  Marshall will serve as the primary backup to Gurley and will share some carries, though head coach Mark Richt said in his opening press conference on Tuesday Michel and Chubb will see playing time.

He viewed his injury as just a part of the game and he worked hard to rehab this offseason.  He even changed his major from management to finance, focusing more on school.

Marshall has stayed healthy so far, not missing a day of practice.

“I feel good,” Marshall said.

He’s down eight pounds to 212 from last season, and has made it clear his expectations have not changed at any point throughout his Georgia career.

“I’m trying to be a great player,” he said.