There’s special. And then there’s special.

John Pennington notes that Michael Dyer and Marcus Lattimore joined a small club last season – SEC running backs who gained over 1,000 yards as a freshman.  But there’s an even more exclusive club within that club, as this chart indicates.

Running Back School Fr-So Years Fr. Rushing Total So. Rushing Total
Herschel Walker Georgia 1980-81 1,616 1,891
Reggie Cobb Tennessee 1987-88 1,197 547
Emmitt Smith Florida 1987-88 1,341 988
Chuck Webb Tennessee 1989-90 1,236 156
Jamal Lewis Tennessee 1997-98 1,364 497
Justin Vincent LSU 2003-04 1,001 322
Darren McFadden Arkansas 2005-06 1,113 1,647
Mike Dyer Auburn 2010-11 1,093 ???
Marcus Lattimore S. Carolina 2010-11 1,197 ???

Only two of the seven freshmen prior to last season managed to repeat the accomplishment as sophomores.

Also, don’t forget Walker compiled his numbers in the eleven-game regular season era.  With no SECCG to play in, either.


Filed under Georgia Football, SEC Football

34 responses to “There’s special. And then there’s special.

  1. Puffdawg

    Where’s Bo?


  2. ChicagoDawg

    #34 remains the outlier among outliers.


    • Wonderful Ohio on the Gulf 'Dog

      Plus, Herschel played in fewer games per year and defenses gave up many fewer yards in the Herschel era than they do now.


      • ChicagoDawg

        Along with stone-age one dimensional (everyone in the stadium knows what’s coming) offensive attacks going against defenses set up to stop the run i.e. wide-tackle six and 5-2. Imagine Herschel at the CFB level in a true play-action oriented pro-style offense.


  3. Knowshon 1300+ as a RFr and 1400 as a So.

    Weird they left him off. Guess it was true freshmen only?


  4. BCDawg97

    And McFadden should’ve won the Heisman his SO year. But they had the “no sophomore” rule and gave it to Troy Smith, conveniently changing that rule the very next year for the GPOOE.


    • This run of his still blows me away:


      • BCDawg97

        When they played in Athens, we were sitting in the end zone and he took a sweep around the right side. From a purely football standpoint it was awesome to see the play develop. Greg Blue first appeared to take a bad angle, but it was just his sheer speed. It was so sick.


        • Dboy

          You will notice defensive players often take bad angles on exceptional offensive players. They do not anticipate the speed that will soon be displayed.


      • SCDawg

        So glad we never had to play Ark after his Fr year.


      • I remember watching that game in a hotel room in Phoenix, AZ. One of the craziest SEC games ever; right up there with Bama/AU last year.

        I think you have to credit Emmitt for being close enough for gov’t work…he came up 12 yards short of the century mark in the 11-game, pre SECC Game, pre Ol Ball Coach era.

        Crazy that Florida couldn’t beat Georgia with that guy.


  5. Dawg93

    Aren’t the results above more a by-product of staying healthy vs. some type of SEC RB sophomore slump?

    We all know Jamal Lewis was knocked out for the season in ’98 right before they played us that year. I don’t know about the others, but looks like Webb got hurt the next year too.


    • Whatever the reason, two backs rose above it. That’s makes them pretty unique in my book.


      • Russ

        Well, there’s Herschel, and there’s everyone else. Every so often it’s nice to be reminded just how amazing a player he was.


      • Go Dawgs!

        Exactly, Senator. It’s not like Herschel didn’t get hit. It’s not like the other running backs on that list weren’t good enough to do it twice. Only two were tough enough AND good enough to do it. That’s the point.


  6. Go Dawgs!

    Not only did Herschel not have a 12th game or an SEC Championship Game to play in to pad his stats, but he also didn’t get to count his bowl game stats in his totals. That’s why, if any player ever does better his three-year totals, it will still be a crock.


  7. dean

    I would expect Dyer’s numbers to dip considerably this year with AU losing all (I think) of their O-line and Cam.


  8. Irishdawg

    Sure, he played in fewer games, but Herschel had the advantage of not being merely human. What is he now, 50? And he looks like a comic book artist drew him. That’s not normal.


  9. Junkyard Dawg '00

    1,891 yards in Herschel’s SO year which doesn’t include his bowl game, correct? Did he eclipse the 2000 yard mark with the bowl game?


  10. A Different Jim

    No, he had 84 years rushing but he had 53 yards receiving out of a total of 83 yards passing for GA.

    Team Stats
    Pittsburgh Georgia
    27 First Downs 11
    44-208 Rushing 36-141
    26-41-2 Passing 8-15-2
    261 Passing Yards 83
    85-469 Total Offense 51-224
    2-44.5 Punts 6-39.5
    5-3 Fumbles-Lost 2-2
    14-96 Penalties-Yds 5-35

    Pitt: Thomas 26-129; DiBartola 13-68
    UGA: Walker 25-84, 2 TDs

    Pitt: Marino 26-41-2, 261 yards, 3 TDs
    UGA: Belue 8-15-2, 83 yards

    Pitt: Dawkins 6-77, 1 TD; DiBartola 8-64; Brown 6-62, 2 TDs
    UGA: Walker 3-53


  11. 81 Dog

    that game still stings, but even though it was 30 years ago, it seems like yesterday. You look at the stats, and you would think they blew us out, but if you were there, you’re still cursing Bill Lewis for that tremendously insightful call on 4th and 5 for the ballgame.


  12. Slaw Dawg

    I didn’t appreciate the extent of Herschel’s rep until I lived outside Georgia. I’ve found that many other SEC fans (Auburn and Gators aside) have respect for Herschel and his legend and that it even extends beyond the South. During 13 years in Tennessee, I never once heard him maligned and more than 1 UT fan mentioned his ’80 and ’81 performances against their own team with admiration. Said one “yeah, I saw him put those cleat marks on Bill Bates and knew it was a different ball game.” An older UT fan, who was at both of those games (and admitted the ’81 game was one of the few he ever left early) thought Herschel was the best RB ever to play and “we sure as Hell couldn’t stop him.” Heck, even a Florida fan said at the outset of the Tebow era “We hope he can be our Herschel.” Even here in the North, football fans of a certain age want to know what it was like to watch him play in person and whether he was really as nice a guy as he seemed to be. (Answers: “like the best of Campbell and Dorsett, but you had to see it to appreciate it” and “yeah, he was the opposite of the jock stereotype.”) One of his SI covers adorns the wall of our local sporting goods store along with Ali and other sports giants, the only non-local college player so honored.

    In fact, what’s great about it is that, unlike, say, with Hines Ward and Fran Tarkenton, non-UGA sports fans associate Herschel first with UGA, and he has never sullied that tie. So, like Vince Dooley and Mark Richt, he does tremendous credit to our institution, and I’m as grateful for that as I am for the wins he delivered.


    • Stoopnagle

      Thank the USFL for that primary association…


    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      SD, I am unaware that Hines Ward ever has sullied his tie to the university of Georgia. Everything I have ever read or seen concerning Hines Ward and his conduct toward and relationship with the University of Georgia has been positive. If I am wrong please enlighten me.


  13. There was Herschel and then there is everyone else–


  14. Cojones

    Mayor- I think that SD was referring to Hines and Fran as known first as Pro players on teams before they are known as Bulldogs. No one can refute the gestures that Hines Ward makes in identifying himself as a Georgia Bulldog because he has worn our logo while being interviewed. Further, even when Isner pulled on a Dawg’s shirt before his internationally- televised interview last year, few people remember what school he is proud of diplaying, rather they remember the event.