Predicting the Top 5 SEC football players for 2015

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Dec 30, 2014; Charlotte, NC, USA; Georgia Bulldogs running back Nick Chubb (27) stiff arms Louisville Cardinals cornerback Terell Floyd (19) during the first quarter of the Belk Bowl held at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Nick Chubb – Sophomore Running back, Georgia 

The SEC is full of top-tier running backs, and there is a good chance that the name you find at the top of the list at season’s end will be Georgia’s sophomore running back Nick Chubb.

Chubb burst onto the scene in 2014, stepping up in the absence of injured running back Todd Gurley and rushing for an impressive 1,547 yards during his freshman campaign. He finished the season with the second most rushing yards in the SEC, which says a lot since he only rushed the ball over 10 times once during the first five games of the season.

But when Gurley went out, Chubb’s carries increased significantly. In fact, Chubb carried the ball at least 20 times in five of the last eight games of the season, including a season-high 38 carries during a 34-0 win against Missouri.

However, Georgia head coach Mark Richt said he doesn’t plan on relying so heavily on one back this season.

“Our philosophy has not been to just have one guy carry it (the ball) 35 times a game,” Richt said during the SEC Media Days. “Our goal has been to have guys that can share the load and keep guys fresh, guys healthy throughout the game and throughout the season.”

Chubb ended the season on a tear, rushing for eight-straight 100+ yard games, including a dominating 266 yard and 2 touchdown performance in a win against Louisville in the Belk Bowl. Chubb’s 7.1 yards per carry finished behind only Gurley’s 7.4 rushing yards per carry as the most in the SEC. All of this earned him 2014 SEC Freshman of the Year honors.

If Chubb can stay healthy, there is no reason to believe that he cannot put up big numbers yet again in 2015.

Next: Vernon Hargreaves