BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Georgia tailback Knowshon Moreno made quite a name for himself last season with his blend of speed, power and toughness.
Only three SEC freshmen — Herschel Walker, Emmitt Smith and Jamal Lewis — have ever rushed for more yards in a season.
“You knew pretty early he was going to be something special,” Georgia senior receiver Mohamed Massaquoi said.
But it wasn’t necessarily Moreno’s athletic gifts that sold Massaquoi.
“He’s a competitor, a high energy guy,” Massaquoi said. “He’s going to be out there competing and trying to be the best out there even if it’s a cheerleading contest. That’s what he brings to the table. He’s always willing to do anything to get better.”
Moreno rushed for 1,334 yards and 14 touchdowns last season, giving the Bulldogs the kind of offensive boost that carried them to an 11-2 finish and No. 2 national ranking in the final Associated Press poll.
This season, with both Moreno and junior quarterback Matthew Stafford being a year older, it’s the kind of tandem that should open up all sorts of possibilities for the Georgia offense.
Georgia coach Mark Richt isn’t sure it’s fair to compare them to the Charlie Ward-Warrick Dunn tandem when he was at Florida State as an assistant, but Georgia fans might want to look for a few new wrinkles.
“When you look at the production of Charlie Ward and Warrick together, it’s pretty outstanding, pretty spectacular,” Richt said. “Will (Moreno and Stafford) be as productive as those two? I don’t know.
“As far as being creative with those guys, Knowshon is versatile enough to do something besides just be an I-back, no question. Matthew can certainly play under center. His whole high school career, he was in the gun. He’s got much more running ability than I think people give him credit for. We have incorporated quarterback run with Matthew because he’s a legitimate runner.”