November 13, 2012

Film study: A.J. Turman

Boone (Orlando, Fla.) running back A.J. Turman became the 28th commitment of Georgia's 2013 class on Tuesday, and the first running back for the Bulldogs.

Turman has rushed for over 4,000 yards in his career at Boone, and had close 1,400 yards in his senior campaign.

Here is full breakdown of the four-star running back and how he will fit in to Georgia's plans for the future.

Where he is great: Turman has excellent size. At 6-feet, 205 pounds, he is a muscular back with an excellent distribution of height between his legs and torso.

He is also a very strong and physical back with elite leg drive. His feet never stop moving when he makes contact, and he seems to enjoy delivering the blow on the defender.

Turman has the strength to move the pile when nothing is there, but he also has excellent vision and can see small creases and run to daylight.

While he enjoys being physical, he has the ability to cut quickly and break runs to the outside. Even when he is running east and west, he has the hips and feet to put his foot in the ground and up field quickly.

He is an upright runner, but does an excellent job getting his pad level down at the point of contact, and wins a lot of battles at that point as well.

Turman also runs with a great deal of energy, intensity, and attitude.

Where he is good: Turman doesn't have elite speed, but he does have good to very good speed. He has the burst to explode through a seam, but he can also turn on the burners and get to the edge as well.

The Sunshine State standout also has solid balance. He isn't impossible to knock off his feet when not wrapped up, but it is very tough. He does a great job of taking hits above the knees and staying on his feet to get the extra yardage, and he delivers a very effective glancing blown in traffic.

He has the ability to lower his shoulder and run over a defender, but he also does an excellent job of making one quick cut to daylight and bouncing off a defender for more yardages.

Turman isn't a flashy runner that is going to put too many moves on defenders, but he is the kind of back that can use his big body and physical running style to wear defenders down. If put given the chance, he has the ability to be a work horse type of running back.

Where he needs work: We haven't seen him catch the ball on film, so it is important for that part of his game to be present or developed.

He also needs to be more patient as a runner. On film, when he sees any sort of daylight, he tries to explode through it, but he could be a little more patient and rely on his speed and strength to get to holes that can be bigger if he lets his blocks develop.

One of Turman's weaknesses is a strength to an extreme. When he carries the ball between the tackles, he seeks out the defender too often at times. Instead of making one cut and getting in space, he will lock on to the defender and try to deliver the blow. While coaches love that physicality, it could result in more big plays if he is looking for space.

It isn't much of a concern at this point, but he does seem to have a little lower body tightness that he needs to work out. Turman is not considered stiff, but any flexibility he can gain in his hips and thighs will make him more explosive and give him better balance.

Overall: This is a great pick up for Georgia. It is a low risk/high reward scenario. The Bulldogs have two very good freshmen running backs on campus in Keith Marshall and Todd Gurley, and Turman is a different runner than those two. He is more of a one-cut, down hill runner who can take advantage of a tired defense or help wear the defense down. His physical style makes him, at worst, an effective short yardage back, and his speed gives him the ability to turn gaping holes into long touchdown runs. He needs to develop his pass catching ability, but from day one he provides depth, speed, and physicality to a position where Georgia is already very talented. Turman is a high-character young man with solid grades and an excellent work ethic according to those around him. Personality wise, he is much like Marshall and Gurley, and will likely fit in well with Georgia's current backfield and team. Also, because of his speed and energy on the field, don't be surprised to see him play a key role on special teams early on.

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