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Todd Gurley Still Believes He Can 'Be That Guy' In NFL

Check out these photos of Todd Gurley, a powerful running back out of the University of Georgia.

Despite seeing his college career come to an end after a torn ACL last November, Georgia running back Todd Gurley is confident he can make a difference in the NFL.

In its purest form, the NFL Scouting Combine is the most intense job interview that a pro football hopeful can go through.

Over a five-day period, players will chat with the media, have one-on-one meetings with teams and, most importantly, put their athletic ability on display in a series of tests and drills. Every single aspect of the player will be analyzed, dissected and broken down. 

When in any job interview, your main goal is to sell yourself to the employer. Any and every attribute you have that you believe will make you stand out, you showcase it. But what happens when you can't fully display your talents?

That's the problem that Georgia running back Todd Gurley was faced with at the 2015 NFL Combine in Indianapolis. 

"The timetable is six to nine months," Gurley said at the combine in February. "I got hurt in November, so I'm not really giving no timetable. I'm just trying to get back safe, but as quick as possible."

Late in the fourth quarter of the Bulldogs' 34-7 victory over the Auburn Tigers on Nov. 15th, Gurley suffered a torn ACL that ended his season. Due to a four-game suspension earlier in the year, Gurley's season came to an end after just six games, 123 carries, 911 yards and nine touchdowns.

After beginning the season as one of the nation's leading Heisman Trophy candidates, he finished the year beaten, battered and bruised, and with his NFL future in question.

While other players prepared their bodies for all the tests and drills that the combine has to offer, Gurley said he spent his time rehabbing his body and training his mind. 

"Just going in there, meeting with them, doing the interviews, having that first impression and just showing them my football intelligence off the field," Gurley said when asked about his approach to the combine. "Right now it's just letting them know me as a person and just showing them what I can do on the field with my brain."

When on the field, Gurley has fisplayed the explosiveness and toughness that teams undoubtedly crave in a workhorse running back. In 20 career games for the Bulldogs over three seasons, the 6-foot-1, 236-pound back rushed for 3,285 yards on 510 carries (6.4 yards per carry) with 36 touchdowns. 

On his and ESPN draft profiles, Gurley's durability is listed as his biggest question mark. After also missing three games in 2013 with an ankle injury, there are "questions about whether he'll return back to his play speed," writes.

Gurley, however, remains confident that he can return healthy enough to become any team's feature back. 

"I feel like I can come in and help a team," he said. "That might sound ridiculous, but that's the confidence I have in myself. I'm going to work as hard as possible to get back and be that guy when I come back."

If history is any indication, there is still hope that Gurley can return to his dominant form.

In the 2003 Fiesta Bowl, then-Miami Hurricanes star Willis McGahee tore his ACL, PCL and MCL. Just a few months later, he was drafted by the Buffalo Bills 23rd overall and went on to become a two-time Pro Bowler with 65 touchdowns and more than 8,000 yards by the end of his career.

Most recently, Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson tore his ACL and MCL in December of 2011, but returned in 2012 to rush for a career-best 2,097 yards on 348 carries with 12 touchdowns en route to the Associated Press' Offensive Player of the Year and MVP awards. 

While the past makes his future look bright, Gurley says he's staying focused on the present.

"That definitely motivates you, but I'm definitely not Adrian Peterson," he said. "I mean, that guy is a freak of nature. But my goal is to be a freak of nature as well and try to get back as fast as possible. But I'm not going to rush anything."



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