Nick Chubb carried the Georgia Bulldogs to victory on Saturday, rushing for 222 yards and two touchdowns. However, there was another running back in the game who also provided a spark for the UGA offense.
That player was true freshman running back Brian Herrien.
On his very first career carry, Herrien took the ball 19-yards for a touchdown. The Georgia native finished the season-opener with 59 yards and a score, while averaging a whopping 8.4 yards per carry.
After the game, head coach Kirby Smart had nothing but praise for the youngster.
In fact, Smart was so happy with the performance Herrien put together and the hard work that it took to get Herrien to this point that he admitted he nearly came to tears on the 19-yard touchdown scamper.
“I’ll tell you what, tears almost came to my eyes when that kid had that touchdown run because a lot of y’all how far he came,” Smart noted at the post-game press conference.
“He’s sitting in his second semester, he’s got to make four or five A’s to even be eligible. I had a great relationship with him from Alabama. We thought he was a really good player when I was over there, and I was like just hang on, don’t sign, just wait, we’ll be there for you if you can make your grades, and for that kid to come as far as he did, get thrust into the limelight and go out there and do what he did, it’s really special, and he’s got a lot of improving to do. He’s got to improve on his protections, he’s got to improve on his ball security, but he’s two great guys to learn from, so I’m really proud of Brian.”
Herrien sits behind Chubb and Sony Michel, who remains day-to-day, on the depth chart, but he seems to have leapfrogged another highly-talented freshman, Elijah Holyfield, for playing time.
It’s going to be fun to see how Herrien continues to develop and what opportunities he continues to receive once Michel can return to the lineup.
At the very least, we know he is on his coach’s good side.