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RBs Chubb, Michel, 2 others returning to Georgia

RBs Chubb, Michel, 2 others returning to Georgia

1:07 AM ET

  • Mark SchlabachESPN Senior Writer

    • Senior college football writer
    • Author of seven books on college football
    • Graduate of the University of Georgia

Georgia running backs Nick Chubb and Sony Michel announced on Thursday that they plan to return for their senior seasons in 2017, instead of entering this spring’s NFL draft.

Both Georgia running backs have recovered from recent injuries. Chubb, from Cedartown, Georgia, ran for 988 yards with seven touchdowns on 207 carries this past season; he missed the final seven games of 2015 because of a devastating knee injury. He ran for 1,547 yards with 14 touchdowns as a freshman in 2014.

Michel, from Plantation, Florida, missed the 2015 opener against North Carolina and was limited in the next two games after breaking his arm in an ATV accident on July 4. He finished this past season with 753 yards and three touchdowns on 137 carries.

“I’m excited about the future of the Georgia Bulldog program. This means a lot to me and for our program that they all made this decision,” Georgia first-year coach Kirby Smart told reporters Thursday.

According to published reports, Chubb and Michel were considered potential third-round picks — or maybe even later — if they declared for the NFL draft.

“I’m beyond excited about coming back; we want to build it up to where it should be,” Chubb said in a news release from the school.

Georgia junior linebackers Davin Bellamy and Lorenzo Carter also announced on Thursday that they plan to return to play for the Bulldogs in 2017. Bellamy, from Chamblee, Georgia, was the Bulldogs’ third-leading tackler with 49 tackles, eight tackles for loss and four sacks.

Carter, from Norcross, Georgia, finished with 37 tackles, five tackles for loss and four sacks.

The Bulldogs finished 7-5 this past season and play TCU in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl in Memphis, Tennessee, on Dec. 30.

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