Georgia tasked with rebuilding backfield as Zamir White, James Cook depart for 2022 NFL Draft

Georgia will enter next season in the follow-up effort to its national championship run without its top two running backs from 2021. Redshirt junior Zamir White announced Friday that he has declared for the 2022 NFL Draft, joining his teammate James Cook, who declared earlier in the week.  

“This season was an absolute thrill from start to finish and bringing a national championship to Athens was the ultimate reward,” wrote White on his Instagram page. “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. It’s what prepared me for this next step and I proudly announce my intention to declare for the 2022 NFL Draft.” 

White rushed for a team-best 856 yards and 11 touchdowns on 8.3 yards per carry this past season, while Cook, a senior, added 728 yards rushing and seven scores. White posted 84 yards and a touchdown in the Bulldogs’ 33-18 win over Alabama to bring the first national championship to Athens since the 1980 season. 

The Laurinburg, North Carolina, native finishes his collegiate career with 2,043 yards rushing and 25 touchdowns. With White and Cook heading to the NFL, Georgia has a large hole to fill in its backfield this offseason. 

Rebuilding a backfield

White and Cook were the primary forces in Georgia’s run-based offensive system. The duo combined for nearly 1,600 yards rushing and 18 touchdowns on 5.8 yards per carry in 2021. In fact, White and Cook alone had more rushing attempts (273) than Georgia had pass completions (264).

While the former top-50 recruits are off to the NFL, Georgia has plenty of talented options from which to choose. Kenny McIntosh, Kendall Milton and Daijun Edwards are blue-chip talents, each of whom had at least 49…

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