This was as apparent as Nick Chubb walked off the field for what was possibly his last game Between the Hedges. With millions of dollars likely awaiting him in the NFL, Chubb leaves the Bulldog nation wondering if he will ever don the red and black again.
A heartbreaking 28-27 loss to in-state rival Georgia Tech in UGA’s final home game might seem like a driving force to draw Chubb back for another season, but he seemed to take this loss like any other.
“Yeah it hurts, but it’s the game of football,” said Chubb, who was constantly looking at the floor. “You win some, you lose some. But having lost two to [Georgia Tech] in my career, it sucks.”
Like most underclassmen considering a jump to the NFL, Chubb was uncommitted to either staying or leaving. Any question asked about his future plans got the predictable, “I’m not even thinking about that yet,” or, “I’m not sure what I’m going to do next.” But even with an unsure future, Chubb had advice after a game like this for younger players who will take over his role, whether that’s next season or the one after.
“You just got to bottle it up. You can’t hang onto those emotions,” Chubb said. “They’ll get another chance to play these guys. They just have to wait a whole ‘nother year to play them.”
Chubb isn’t the only other player, much less running back, on the team that is considering bolting for the NFL draft. Sony Michel, the Dawgs’ leading rusher from 2015, is also flirting with the idea of joining the professional ranks. But like Chubb, Michel is trying to keep his eyes focused on Georgia’s future.
“My next step is to focus on the next game,” Michel said. “ We gotta see which bowl game we’re in, and then get the guys prepared and ready to play that game.”
Another thing to look at is if Chubb declares for the NFL draft, he would help form one of the strongest runningback classes the NFL has ever seen. He would likely join players like LSU’s Leonard Fournette, Florida State’s Dalvin Cook and Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey, all who are projected first to second-round picks. According to most mock-drafts, Chubb is behind all of those players, lowering his draft stock, something Chubb has to consider before making his choice.
Although we are still weeks away from a decision, Georgia fans are eagerly waiting to hear what Chubb decides to do. If both him and Michel decide to leave, the Dawgs could have a real issue on their hands in the running game for the 2017 season.