banner
Caulton Tudor

Will Dawgs' Gurley be first N.C. native to win Heisman?

Posted May 16

— When the web site OddsShark.com came out with its early Heisman Trophy handicap list earlier this month, it was no surprise that 2013 winner Jameis Winston was a favorite to repeat.

The Florida State quarterback is listed at 5-to-2 with quarterbacks Marcus Mariota (Oregon) and Braxton Miller (Ohio State) just behind.

But the name that caught my immediate attention was No. 5 on the list - running back Todd Gurley of Georgia.
Gurley is from Tarboro, and a native North Carolinian never has won the Heisman.

South Carolina has produced a winner - Doc Blanchard, Army’s legendary “Mr. Inside” fullback. A McColl, S.C. native, Blanchard won the award in 1945.

Virginia has had a winner - Ron Dayne, the bullish Wisconsin running back in 1999 who was born in Blacksburg.

A guy born in Japan has won - quarterback Robert Griffin III of Baylor in 2011.

Even a kid born in the Philippines won it - quarterback Tim Tebow of Florida in 2007.

But North Carolina is 0-for-ever when it comes to college football’s most important individual award.

UNC’s Choo Choo Justice (Asheville) finished second to SMU’s Doak Walker in 1948 and second again in ’49, when Notre Dame’s Leon Hart won.

There was Shelby’s Bobby Bell, a defensive lineman for Minnesota who was third behind Oregon State quarterback Terry Baker and LSU halfback Jerry Stovall in 1962.

There have been a few more challengers over the years, but Gurley, a junior who rushed for 989 yards last season (despite an ankle injury) and 1,385 yards as a freshman in 2012, may have the best chance yet.

It starts with Winston’s situation. Even though the odds favor him, the odds are also again the Seminole. Only one player ever - Ohio State running back Archie Griffin in 1974 and ’75 - has repeated.

Remember that it was a year ago about this time that the 2013 odds came out with 2012 winner Johnny Manziel handicapped well ahead of the pack. Winston, a red-shirt freshman at the time, wasn’t on anyone’s list at all.

Something else in Gurley’s favor is the fact that a running back winner is about due again. Other than Alabama’s Mark Ingram in 2009 and Southern Cal’s Reggie Bush in 2005, quarterbacks have dominated the century.

The unknown is Gurley’s health. Like classmate and Raleigh-native Keith Marshall (Millbrook High), Gurley had a frustrating run in 2013.

Marshall’s 2013 season ended with a knee injury in early October after he had rushed for 759 yards as a freshman and 246 yards in four games before the injury.

Gurley sat out three games in mid-season and wasn’t completely at full speed thereafter.

Both are expected to be in sound health when Georgia hosts Clemson to start the season on Aug. 30. After the opener, the Bulldogs go to South Carolina on Sept. 13 to begin SEC play. If Gurley puts together big performances in both of those high-profile games, he should be able to grab the early Heisman lead.

For the local schools, it was a bleak day when Georgia coach Mark Richt and his staff were able to invade North Carolina and pick off both Marshall and Gurley. It epitomized the talent drain that has plagued college football in the state for decades.

But Gurley and Marshall left for the lure of the “big time” and 2014 will be their chance to be on the biggest stages in the sport. The Bulldogs are likely to be favored to win the SEC East and Gurley will start squarely in the Heisman chase.

4 Comments

This blogpost is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • Doc Holliday May 17, 10:53 a.m.

    He has to stay healthy and UGA has to make a run at a NT.

  • lewiskr45 May 16, 2:58 p.m.

    The Florida State quarterback is listed at 5-foot-2

    You want to rethink that for a minute?

    — Posted by Ken D.

    I'm guessing he meant 5-2 odds...

    Either way, no, no he won't be the 1st NC native to win it.

  • lec02572 May 16, 2:36 p.m.

    Gurley is a man amoung boys. Tried to tell the local schools about him his Soph. year, but they didn't listen. If he can stay injury free he will dominate games.

  • Ken D. May 16, 2:20 p.m.

    The Florida State quarterback is listed at 5-foot-2

    You want to rethink that for a minute?

  • CBB: North Carolina vs. Ohio State

    Saturday at 1:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • CBB: UCLA vs Kentucky

    Saturday at 3:30 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: San Diego at San Francisco

    Saturday at 8:25 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: Panthers vs. Cleveland

    Monday at 1:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NHL: Hurricanes vs. Toronto

    Tonight at 7:00 on 99.9 The Fan

  • CBB: Duke vs. UConn

    Tonight at 8:00 on 620am

  • WBB: Duke vs. UMass Lowell

    Tomorrow at 6:30 pm on 620am

Scoreboard
Local
Final
NCCU 108
BASC 52
 
Final
CHA 106
PHO 111
Final
NCSU 83
TENN 72
7:00pm Tonight
CAR
TOR
 
8:00pm Tonight
DUKE
UCONN
 
Final
CLE 98
ATL 127
Final
CHA 106
PHO 111
Final
DET 106
DAL 117
Final
BOS 109
ORL 92
Final
MIA 87
UTA 105
Final
TOR 105
BRK 89
Final
SAN 116
MEM 117
Final
POR 104
MIL 97
Final
DEN 111
HOU 115
Final
LAC 102
IND 100
8:00pm Tonight
CHI
NYK
 
8:30pm Tonight
HOU
NOP
 
10:00pm Tonight
SAC
MIL
 
10:30pm Tonight
GSW
OKC
 
Final
UNT 78
LANG 65
 
Final
Terriers 64
DELST 72
 
Final
MSST 55
ARKST 69
Final
NCCU 108
BASC 52
 
Final
GMAS 99
CATAWBA 69
 
Final
WOFF 64
CSOU 58
 
Final
HIGH 106
FERR 48
 
Final
JVU 68
GWEBB 65
 
Final
ILL 73
HAMP 55
 
Final
BST 52
JMU 72
 
Final
YOUNG 84
KNST 90
 
Final
UMO 71
LONG 60
 
Final
PITT 65
MAN 56
Final
OSU 97
NCAT 55
Final
FSU 93
UNF 77
 
Final
TOL 83
RMU 57
 
Final
CAMP 70
SIUE 65
 
Final
DUQ 52
RFLSH 67
 
Final
NCSU 83
TENN 72
Final
UCF 75
DET 70
Final
UNCW 73
LIB 70
 
Final
LOYC 83
ABCHRIST 44
 
Final
MURST 94
ALCOR 56
 
Final
HOU 56
ARKPB 61
 
Final
NW 67
CMICH 80
Final
WKENT 75
CHIST 60
 
Final
ODU 58
UGST 54
Final
SMU 67
ILLCH 46
Final
LALAF 115
MLGN 76
 
Final
TULSA 74
MIZST 70
Final
UWGB 66
MORE 50
 
Final
NEOM 92
NCOL 82
 
Final
TTU 101
SCST 39
 
Final
DEN 83
TAMCC 73
 
Final
STEPH 66
TXST 60
 
Final
STLU 75
TXPA 69
 
Final
MEM 83
USCU 73
 
Final
ILLST 64
TENNM 54
 
Final
MSU 66
EMICH 46
Final
GRCN 80
INCWORD 82
 
Final
STAN 67
LMU 58
Final
BAY 66
NMST 55
 
Final
CIN 71
SDST 62
Final
AUB 80
WINT 62
 
Final
NMU 76
CARK 55
 
Final
PEPP 53
HOW 45
 
Final
CPSL 60
NE 58
 
Final
UNLV 75
PORT 73
Final
OREG 79
CSNO 56
Final
WASH 86
GRAM 38
12:30pm Today
RICE
STTHOMASTX
 
7:00pm Tonight
UVA
CLST
 
7:00pm Tonight
LIU
FIU
 
7:00pm Tonight
STET
GSOUT
 
7:00pm Tonight
QUIN
LEH
 
7:00pm Tonight
SFLA
SHU
 
7:00pm Tonight
RICH
SALA
 
7:00pm Tonight
CAN
USB
 
7:00pm Tonight
DEL
TEMPL
 
7:00pm Tonight
WCU
WRST
 
7:00pm Tonight
VERM
YALE
 
7:30pm Tonight
SDKST
IDST
 
7:30pm Tonight
RIDE
MRGST
 
7:30pm Tonight
LATU
NICST
 
8:00pm Tonight
CHAR
APP
 
8:00pm Tonight
MISS
CCAR
 
8:00pm Tonight
DUKE
UCONN
 
8:00pm Tonight
BRAD
EUREK
 
8:00pm Tonight
PEAY
OAKC
 
8:00pm Tonight
JST
SMISS
 
8:30pm Tonight
SD
MNTST
 
9:00pm Tonight
UAB
LSU
 
9:05pm Tonight
EVAN
OHIO
 
10:00pm Tonight
CSFU
CSDH
 
10:00pm Tonight
ORST
DEP
 
10:00pm Tonight
PAC
NEV
 
10:00pm Tonight
USF
PORST
 
10:00pm Tonight
IDAHO
WALLA
 
10:05pm Tonight
UTST
CALST
 
Final
NJD 0
OTT 2
Final
MIN 2
BOS 3
Final
VAN 0
DAL 2
7:00pm Tonight
PIT
COL
 
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
FLA
 
7:00pm Tonight
CAR
TOR
 
7:00pm Tonight
CLB
WAS
 
7:30pm Tonight
MON
ANA
 
10:30pm Tonight
SJS
EDM
 
10:30pm Tonight
LOS
STL
 
8:25pm Tonight
JAC
TEN