Keith Marshall, Todd Gurley are in running for starting Georgia tailback job August 26, 2012 

Georgia Football

Georgia running back Keith Marshall (4) runs the ball during NCAA college football practice, Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012, in Athens, Ga. (AP Photo/Daniel Shirey)


Former North Carolina high school football standouts Keith Marshall and Todd Gurley are in the mix for playing time at tailback for the University of Georgia.

Marshall graduated from Millbrook High last December and enrolled at Georgia in the spring. He participated in the Bulldogs’ spring drills.

Tarboro’s Todd Gurley has made a positive impression during practices this fall. In one scrimmage, he rushed for 145 yards and scored three touchdowns on 13 carries.

“Coach (Mark) Richt has been very emphatic that both will play this season. They won’t be red-shirted,” said Claude Felton, the Bulldogs’ sports information director.

Gurley and Marshall have outstanding speed and have good size. Marshall was ranked as the top running back prospect in the country in 2011 by, an online recruiting service.

They currently are behind sophomore Ken Malcome, who started some last year. Both Gurley and Marshall are expected to play in the opener against Buffalo on Sept. 1 and both are adjusting to college play.

“Since Coach Richt has been here, he has made it clear that pass protection by backs is very important,” Felton said. “He says we can’t get our quarterback killed and our backs have to pass block. Learning to pass protect is usually one of the more difficult things that young running backs have to learn.”

Bryan back with Ravens: Marcus Bryan, a 6-foot-7, 235 pound senior, has returned to Ravenscroft after attending The Miller School in Charlottesville, Va., during the summer.

Bryan is an outstanding rebounder in basketball and is playing football for Coach Ned Gonet this fall.

“He has been away from football for a few years, but I’m excited about watching his progression,” Gonet said. “When he learns more technique and learns to disengage from blockers, he can be a big impact player for us. I think there are a lot of colleges who will be interested in him as a football player.”

John Wall show: A YouTube video this week captured the Washington Wizards’ John Wall playing former Upper Room Academy forward Tyrek Coger in a one-on-one basketball game. Wall played at Raleigh Word of God before going to the University of Kentucky for a year.

Coger played at Upper Room last year, but has transferred to Quality Education Academy in Winston-Salem for his senior year.

The three minute clip has received more than 400,000 hits.

Catamounts commit: Panther Creek girls basketball senior center Allie Tuttle has committed to Northwestern University and senior forward teammate Mercedes Harris has committed to Long Island University.

The 6-foot-4 Tuttle averaged 15.1 points per game last year to lead the 16-9 Catamounts in scoring.

Harris moved to Rhode Island during the 2011-12 season, but has returned to Panther Creek, where she played her freshman and sophomore years. She averaged 7.8 points and a little more than 9 rebounds per game as a sophomore.

Baseball recruit: Leesville Road baseball senior middle infielder Michael Kelly has committed to UNC-Asheville.

Kelly was an all-conference selection as a sophomore and junior and was the Pride’s offensive most valuable player in 2011.

“Michael has worked very hard the last three years and has earned and the opportunity to play Division I college baseball,” said Leesville coach Chad Smothers. “UNC-Asheville is getting a great young player and even better young man.”

Freshmen with Pack: A couple of 2011 Cap Eight 4A standouts, Broughton High quarterback Will Cooper and Enloe wide receiver Charlie Twitty, are listed on the N.C. State roster.

Sophomore quarterback Garrett Leatham, who passed for 3,855 yards at Middle Creek in 2009, is moving up the Pack’s depth charts.

J. Mike Blake contributed to this story.

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