When the Los Angeles Rams selected Todd Gurley with the No. 10 pick in the 2015 NFL Draft there was risk that came with the decision, at least at the time. While Gurley had flashed major upside throughout college, it was unknown how the former Georgia Bulldogs star would bounce back from injuries in his final two seasons.
One of the injuries Gurley suffered was a torn ACL that ended his final year in college. If he could hit the ground running after the injury, the consensus was that he had the upside to be an excellent pro running back. But for any NFL player who suffers an injury such as that, it can be tough to return to form after.
As we’ve quickly seen, the risk was worth the reward when it came to Gurley, as the Rams running back has been excellent to start his career. Over the span of the past two regular seasons, he’s played 29 games and racked up 2,556 rushing yards, 123 receptions, 1,368 receiving yards, and 40 total touchdowns (30 rushing).
For good measure, Gurley has led the NFL in rushing touchdowns in consecutive seasons while being named a First-Team All-Pro twice as well. As far as his college career goes, when the 24-year-old was on the field, he was a force for Georgia.
Todd Gurley’s College Career With Georgia
Gurley’s best season statistically came as a freshman in 2012 when he played in 14 games and racked up 1,385 yards on 222 attempts (6.2 yards per carry) while finding the end zone 17 times. His dominance in the early stages of his career with the Bulldogs led to major hype and speculation about his NFL future, but injuries impacted the next two seasons.
When on the field, Gurley was arguably the best player every game. In 2013 as a sophomore, he totaled 165 attempts for 989 yards (6.0 yards per carry) with 16 total touchdowns (10 rushing). He played in 10 games that year, missing three due to injury.
But it was the 2014 season which got off to a red-hot start and was derailed by a far more serious injury. As Tim Tucker of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution revealed at the time, Gurley suffered a torn ACL in his left knee during a win over the Auburn Tigers. This came after the star back had served a four-game suspension for selling his autograph to memorabilia dealers, a violation of NCAA rules.
In turn, Gurley wound up playing in just six games that season but was exceptional over that stretch. He had 911 yards on 123 carries (7.4 yards per attempt) with nine touchdowns at the time of the injury.
Todd Gurley Goes Pro After ACL Tear
While the season-ending injury impacted the final stat line for Gurley in what was an incredibly promising start to his junior year, it didn’t change his plans. As the Atlanta Journal-Constitution stated, it was known before the suspension and injury that the Georgia star would go pro after the 2014 season.
Gurley proceeded to do just that, leaving the Bulldogs as the second leading rusher in team history at the time. His 3,285 rushing yards came in behind Herschel Walker’s 5,259, but Gurley has since been pushed to No. 3 by his then-teammate and current Cleveland Browns rookie Nick Chubb.
Gurley was able to return in Week 3 of his rookie season following the injury and has since played in all but three regular-season games of the next 61.