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Top-rated running back picks Georgia

12/6/2011

Georgia got a major boost in recruiting Tuesday when highly touted running back Keith Marshall picked the Bulldogs over Clemson, Florida, Notre Dame and South Carolina.

Marshall (Raleigh, N.C., Millbrook), who is the No. 6 player on the ESPNU 150 list and the second-rated running back, rushed for 1,848 yards and 24 touchdowns during his senior season and finished his high school career with 4,552 yards and 52 touchdowns.

"That was from my heart," the five-star running back said about Georgia. "When I woke up this morning, that's where I knew I needed to go."

And Georgia needed him to come.

Marshall intends to enroll at Georgia early and could compete for playing time this spring. This is a huge get for Georgia. The Bulldogs didn't exactly have a lot of depth at running back this season, and freshman Isaiah Crowell, who earned SEC Freshman of the Year honors from the Associated Press, failed to stay healthy all year.

The addition of Marshall could light a fire under Crowell. Crowell's mental and physical toughness, maturity, and work ethic were all challenged and criticized during his first year at Georgia. Having to compete with one of the top incoming recruits could be the motivation Crowell needs heading into his second season.

Marshall dealt with tendinitis in his knee during the early part of his senior year, but is very explosive and exciting in the open field. When he finds a crease, it's hard to stop him and even harder to catch up with him.