Nick Chubb’s feelin’ good, like he knew that he would.
Chubb said he scored two touchdowns in the scrimmage, but more signficiant than the scores was the first hit he took from outside linebacker Johnny O’Neal.
“The hard part was mentally,” Chubb said. “Just taking that first hit and deciding, ‘I’m ready. Let’s go.’”
He added: “When it happened, I just was making sure my body wasn’t bending any other ways. It was good.”
Chubb wasn’t thrilled that officials were blowing the plays dead early when he was the ball-carrier because he “wanted to feel like I was with the team and play and get tackled to the ground and play live just for myself.”
He said “getting tackled a couple of times,” helped his knee in the return.
His father, a cousin and an aunt were there watching an important day for Chubb.
Chubb said he’s still working to get his speed back to the level he was at last season when he rushed for 747 yards and seven touchdowns in only five games (plus that one carry). He’s doing it now while wearing a brace on that left knee.
“It’s just different running with that thing, but I feel good when I have it on,” he said.
He said there wasn’t any swelling after the scrimmage and he “felt better, just the mental part. …After that scrimmage I felt more confident in myself and my teammates and just everyone around me.”
Unfortunately, it does not seem the same can be said for his backfield mate Michel.
Sony Michel’s status still appears unchanged based on what head coach Kirby Smart had to say during an appearance on 680 The Fan.
After giving an optimistic take on fellow running back Nick Chubb, who is “pointing in that direction” to return to the football field against North Carolina, Smart seemed less enthused about Michel’s status.
Michel has been wearing a black non-contact jersey in practice and was most recently wearing a wrap around his arm. Michel sustained an open fracture to his left forearm in an All-Terrain Vehicle accident on July 3.
In recent practices, Michel has taken hand-offs and caught passes in individual drills.
But Smart said Michel hasn’t been getting much work in team situations, which was also evidenced by sticking to conditioning work during last Saturday’s scrimmage.
“I don’t know if he’s getting more reps,” Smart said. “He’s not able to carry the ball yet. It’s a step by step process for him. We don’t know where he’s going to be.”
At this point, I’m taking that as a no-go for the opener.
At least it appears that Georgia will get some contributions from the true freshmen, as Chubb indicated that he’s impressed with what he’s seen from Holyfield and Herrien. There’s also the reliable Brendan Douglas to toss in the mix. But I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to see a sizeable gap between what a healthy Chubb brings to the table and what the other three might bring — and we still don’t know how healthy Chubb is yet.
Which means it’s time for a reader poll.