Georgia will be without each of its leading rushers when it tries to defend its national championship in 2022.
Junior Zamir White, the team’s leading this past season, announced on Friday that he’s entering the NFL draft. Senior James Cook announced earlier this week that he is also leaving with one season of eligibility remaining.
White, who overcame two knee injuries and myriad health problems as a child, ran for 856 yards with 11 touchdowns this past season. White, from Laurinburg, North Carolina, ranks 15th in school history with 2,043 rushing yards and led the Bulldogs in rushing in each of the past two seasons.
White ran for 84 yards with one score in Georgia’s 33-18 victory against Alabama in Monday night’s College Football Playoff National Championship Presented by AT&T, which ended the Bulldogs’ 41-year drought without a national title.
“This season was an absolute thrill from start to finish and bringing a national championship to Athens was the ultimate reward,” White wrote on his Instagram account. “I am so proud and feel so blessed to be a part of this team. … These are memories I will never forget and will surely last a lifetime.”
Cook, the younger brother of Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook, was one of Georgia’s most versatile playmakers this past season. He ran for 728 yards with seven touchdowns and had 27 catches for 284 yards with four scores. ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. ranks Cook as the No. 9 running back available for the draft.
Georgia will bring back three running backs in 2022 that ran for at least 200 yards: Kenny McIntosh, Kendall Milton and Daijun Edwards. Milton, the No. 12 running back in the 2020 ESPN 300, missed much of this season with a knee injury. In December, the Bulldogs signed tailback Branson Robinson, from Madison, Miss., who is ranked the No. 2 running back in the ESPN 300.
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