Hill vs. Gurley: Who is the SEC’s best back?

Jeremy Hill is a hoss, a 235-pound wrecking ball of a running back who pummels defenses.

Don’t believe me?

Just ask a bunch of Auburn players. Hill repeatedly bludgeoned them in LSU’s win on Saturday.

He was the best player on the field that day, but is he the best back in the SEC?

Is he better than Georgia’s Todd Gurley?

Or Alabama’s T.J. Yeldon?

Some folks – including Chuck Oliver of 680 The Fan’s popular “Chuck & Chernoff” show – think Hill, character issues aside – is at the top of the heap.

Oliver caused a stir when he tweeted this during the game on Saturday.

He defended his position in an email to me yesterday.

“Georgia fans lost their minds when I said that. Suggesting that a guy averaging 8.5 yards per carry with six TDs in his first three games is the best back in the league — that’s outrageous and shocking and over-the-top? And look at Hill last season. He didn’t puff up his stats against the worst defenses on LSU’s schedule. Against North Texas, Washington, Auburn and Idaho, he combined for 1 carry for 2 yards. It was against South Carolina and Alabama and Texas A&M that he exploded. Those are the teams you break out against? Guy’s a stud.

Jeremy Hill is the best back in the conference. Plenty of speed, good hands, and more power than any other SEC guy I’ve watched. He’s just the toughest runner in the league, and can pound on defenses to the point where guys don’t want to tackle him as the game goes on.”

Hill is outstanding, and I was impressed with him against Auburn, but I’ll take Gurley over him and Yeldon.

Gurley is about the same size as Hill. He runs with passion, hammers defenses and has proven to be a reliable blocker and receiver. Gurley’s presence — along with fellow RB Keith Marshall — is the key to Georgia’s offense.

Going into the season, I thought Gurley and Yeldon were the SEC’s best backs, but now it’s Gurley and Hill.

Or Hill and Gurley, as Oliver said.

No matter what, Gurley, Hill and Yeldon are the best RBs in a conference loaded with excellent backs, including Ben Malena (Texas A&M), Jeff Scott (Ole Miss), Alex Collins (Arkansas), Mike Davis (South Carolina), Tre Mason (Auburn) and Marshall.

“There’s a list of really good (backs) in the conference, … but ‘great” is only Hill, Yeldon and Gurley, and Hill is at the top,” Oliver wrote. “It might be by 1 percent, it might be by the slightest of margins, but three guys can’t be EXACTLY the same talent-wise. If I’m picking one, it’s Hill.”

Hill and Gurley will be on the same field Saturday. Perhaps you can decide for yourself.

You can follow me on Twitter here: @AJ_Writes

66 comments Add your comment


September 27th, 2013
12:25 pm

Todd Gurley is the man!


September 26th, 2013
3:07 am

Hill is great . Yeldon is great . Gurley is great. All three will be drafted high and get a chance at the next level but to try and argue who is the best this early is immature , childish, and show’s the person trying to make a case’s age, or at least you hope the person arguing at this early date is less than early twenties.
No poll’s should be out until after the 6TH game and very little ranking’s of player’s at position’s mean anything until starting around the 7TH game. Then, each school would have played a few team’s in their Conference and consistent stat’s will be available. But noting really matter’s until the end of the season so chill out and just hope nobody get’s hurt, especially Gurley.


September 25th, 2013
8:45 pm

Gurley—best back in the sEC—much better than hill or yeldon. Gurley will light it up big against lsu–150+ yards and a couple of TDs—book it.


September 25th, 2013
5:31 pm


September 25th, 2013
9:22 am

We’ll see if the O-line does their job against this quick LSU defense…then we find out how talented Gurley and gang really are! Kudos to Q. Hicks..we finally have a good fullback again! (btw- what happened to Merritt Hall?) Go Dawgs!


September 25th, 2013
8:37 am

Meh. Any defense would look good when paired up with that Gator offense.