Behind the scenes with Todd Gurley

Four-star running back Todd Gurley is set to announce his decision from his high school on Friday afternoon at 2 o'clock. CUTigers has the latest.

RB Todd Gurley Profile

The No. 14 running back in the class of 2012 won't speak to the media until that decision is made public. But late Tuesday night, CUTigers caught up with Tarboro High School coach Jeff Craddock.

"I could sit here and talk about what everybody sees on film. Of course, what he does on the field speaks for itself," Craddock said. "I always try to get out there for people to understand about Todd, that young man works extremely hard. He's been blessed, of course, being 6-1, 6-2, and being that big, then, of course, being that fast."

Craddock added, "He's worked awful hard in that weight room and speed training, everything for four years. He's absolutely earned all the plays that he makes. He just works and works behind the scenes, whether it be football, whether it be basketball, which he's not playing this year; track, the kid just out works people.

"He's blessed with the natural ability of being a great athlete, but then his work ethic, his attitude of being humble and knowing that he wants to be the best…he brings all that to the table. I've seen it year after year after year."

College recruiters have taken notice. Now, Gurley is faced with a decision that is down to four schools. He rushed for over 2,400 yards and scored 34 touchdowns as a senior and 139 carries for 1,472 yards and 26 touchdowns and returned six kickoffs for 290 yards and two touchdowns as a junior.

Clemson, Georgia, N.C. State and North Carolina were the final four vying for his signature.

"We've had a lot of talks behind the scenes. We've had telephone calls. We're close. Behind the scenes, he knows that he can trust me. I have no hidden agenda on where he goes to school," Craddock said.


Four-star RB Todd Gurley has been in constant contact with Clemson DL coach Marion Hobby in recent weeks. (Scout.com)
Just where his blue chip running back ends up is anybody's guess.

"I purposely told Todd I don't want to know…we talked about pros and cons. We've talked a lot about a lot of schools," Craddock said. "I have a feeling. It's based on nothing, but just listening, being observant and everything. At the end of the day, I'm really not sure.

"I guarantee, if I called him up right now and said, ‘Todd, are you 100 percent sure that you know what school you're going to?' I think, even right now, he would say, no."

Craddock spoke about the job Clemson's done with Gurley.

"They've done a great job of recruiting Todd, no question. That's a great staff at Clemson," Craddock said. "I don't know Dabo Swinney personally. I've gotten to meet him a couple of times and talk to him. I know he's a high energy guy. Coach [Marion] Hobby, I knew it Duke, so I've got a closer relationship with coach Hobby.

"They're professional all the way. They always call and check with me. I know they don't have to do those things. I understand I'm just a high school football coach that happens to be blessed with a great football player that a lot of people want. They treat me with just as much respect as you could imagine."

One school has faded, though. Because Gurley never visited North Carolina officially, and since he's yet to make it to Chapel Hill since Larry Fedora was hired, Craddock believes the Tar Heels aren't seriously in the running.

"I feel bad for Carolina. Coach Fedora wanted to recruit him really, really bad. He didn't really get that opportunity. It just kind of fell by the wayside…I'd be shocked if he said Carolina on Friday," Craddock said.

The Tarboro head coach, who's led Tarboro to three-straight North Carolina 2-A state titles, noted that Gurley turned 17 in August, so he's year younger than most seniors.

"When you get somebody that big, that fast and that strong, I've said many times I'm glad he's wearing purple and gold. I'm glad he was on my team," Craddock said.

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