ATHENS, Ga. — The Georgia Bulldogs’ heralded freshman running back with the nickname of Zeus was injured Saturday during the second scrimmage of preseason camp. According to numerous people who were attending the closed scrimmage as invited guests, Zamir White hurt is left knee. The severity of the injury was not immediately known.
“I’m sick for the kid but we don’t know the severity of the injury,” coach Kirby Smart said during his post-scrimmage briefing at Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall.
White suffered a torn ACL of his right knee during the North Carolina state playoffs in November. He underwent surgery in December and has been practicing without limitations while wearing metal brace since preseason camp opened Aug. 2.
Smart confirmed that the injury occurred while White was working on a punt-coverage unit. He said it was a non-contact injury.
Smart took issue with a reporter who asked if it was unusual for a running back to be on punt coverage.
“Sony Michel was on punt coverage, and he was a first-round draft pick,” Smart said. “D’Andre Swift is on punt coverage. ... That’s not a fair question.”
About 1,000 or so donors were attending the otherwise closed scrimmage, along with players’ parents. News of White’s injury circulated via social media and chat rooms of fan sites before Smart met with the media.
White, a 6-foot, 210-pound freshman from Laurinburg, was one of the more anticipated members of Georgia’s 2018 recruiting class, which was ranked No. 1 in the nation. He was rated the No. 1 running in America, according to the 247Sports Composite. He rushed for 3,086 yards and 34 touchdowns in 11 games before he sustained a right knee injury in the second round of the playoffs.
White’s absence leaves the Bulldogs with four running backs who realistically could contribute this season. Sophomore D’Andre Swift is the leading returner rusher on the team. Juniors Elijah Holyfield and Brian Herrien played as backups the last two seasons. Freshman James Cook was ranked No. 3 in the nation among all-purpose backs and has been impressive in camp.
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