Todd Gurley - Biography

Todd Jerome Gurley II is a free agent running back in the National Football League. He attended Georgia University and won All-SEC accolades in 2012 and 2013. Gurley was selected tenth overall in the 2015 NFL Draft by the St. Louis Rams. Gurley ran for 1,106 yards and was named AP NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year despite missing three games due to a ruptured ACL suffered during his last year at Georgia.

Following the 2017 season, he was awarded AP NFL Offensive Player of the Year after scoring 19 offensive touchdowns.

Gurley's time with the Rams was plagued by leg injuries in the latter half of his career, despite three Pro Bowl appearances and a Super Bowl participation.

Despite appearing in the majority of Los Angeles' games, his workload and output declined, and he was dismissed following the 2019 season, just two years after signing a two-year, $60 million contract deal.

Childhood

Todd Jerome Gurley II was born in the city of Baltimore in the state of Maryland. He was a three-sport standout at Tarboro High School in Tarboro, North Carolina, where he excelled in football, basketball, and track. During his junior season, he played running back and defensive back for the Vikings, accumulating 1,472 rushing yards and 26 touchdowns while also recording 79 tackles, an interception, and a forced fumble.

For the 2010 season, he was voted the Rocky Mount Telegram All-Area Offensive Player of the Year. He was named the North Carolina Associated Press Player of the Year in 2011 after rushing for 2,600 yards and 38 touchdowns as a senior. Gurley helped the Vikings football team win the 2A North Carolina state championship as a senior, running for 242 yards and four scores against Lincolnton High School in the championship game.

Gurley also competed for the school's track and field team as a world-class hurdler and sprinter. At the 2011 World Youth Championships in Athletics, he raced for Team USA in the 110-meter hurdles, finishing third in the prelims with a career-best time of 13.66 seconds, but 15th overall in the semifinals.

He was also a strong contender in the 100-meter dash, finishing second in the prelims of the 2011 NCHSAA 2A State Track Meet with a personal-best time of 10.70 seconds. Rivals.com rated Gurley as the fifth best running back in his class, giving him a four-star rating. He committed to play collegiate football at the University of Georgia under then-head coach Mark Richt.

Todd Jerome Gurley II with his family
Season 2012

Gurley started the season as a backup to redshirt sophomore Ken Malcome. He rushed for 100 yards on eight carries and two running touchdowns in his debut game against the Buffalo Bulls. In the 45–23 win at home, he also had a 100-yard kickoff return for a score. Gurley took over as the starter against SEC East opponent Missouri in the second game of the season, rushing for 65 yards on 10 carries in a 41–20 victory.

In the 56–20 win against FAU the next week, he had 10 carries for 111 running yards and one rushing score. In a 48–3 win over Vanderbilt the next week, he had 16 carries for 130 yards and two running touchdowns.

In the 51–44 victory over Tennessee the next week, he had 24 carries for 130 running yards and three rushing touchdowns. In the World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party on October 27, he had 27 carries for 118 running yards and one rushing score in a 17–9 victory against Florida.

Gurley playing a match in 2012 season
Season 2013

Gurley set a career record with 154 running yards on 12 attempts and two rushing touchdowns in Georgia's season opener against Clemson's Memorial Stadium on August 31. In a 41–34 victory over Georgia Tech on November 30, he had 20 carries for 122 yards and three running touchdowns, as well as four catches for 36 yards and one receiving touchdown.

In the 24–19 loss to Nebraska in the 2014 Gator Bowl, he had 86 running yards, 97 receiving yards, and a receiving score. He ran for 989 yards on 165 rushes with 10 running touchdowns in ten games, and he also had 37 catches for 441 yards and six receiving scores. Gurley was awarded Second-Team All-SEC by the Associated Press after the season.

Gurley joined the Georgia Bulldogs indoor track team in the spring of 2013. He participated in the 60-meter hurdles and finished sixth in the VT Elite Meet in 8.12 seconds, the seventh-fastest mark in school history.

Gurley running with the ball
Season 2014

Gurley ran for 198 yards and three touchdowns on 15 runs and a 100-yard kickoff return score in the 45–21 win over Clemson in the season opener on August 30. In a 35–32 victory over Tennessee on September 27, he had 28 carries for 208 yards and two running touchdowns.

His 208 rushing yards were the highest by a Georgia running back in a single game since Garrison Hearst rushed for 246 yards against Vanderbilt in 1992. The University of Georgia banned Gurley indefinitely on October 9 for allegedly violating NCAA rules.

Gurley had received $3,000 in autographed autographs and artefacts over the course of two years, according to a two-day inquiry. Gurley was suspended for four games by the NCAA after he missed the games against Missouri and Arkansas. Gurley sat out two more games until he was able to participate in the annual rivalry game versus Auburn. Gurley tore his ACL against Auburn in his first game back from suspension on November 15, ending his junior season and career at Georgia.

He has 123 carries for 911 yards and nine running touchdowns in six games during the 2014 season. Gurley forewent his final year and joined the 2015 NFL Draft instead. At the time of his departure from Georgia, his 3,285 running yards and 36 rushing touchdowns were tied for second in school history.

Gurley while chasing the ball
2015 season

The St. Louis Rams picked Gurley in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft with the 10th overall choice. He was the first running back taken in the draught that year. Since Tim Worley was chosen seventh overall in 1989, he was the highest drafted running back out of Georgia. Gurley's recovery was ahead of plan, as he practised sans pads during the team's preseason while not playing. Gurley was cleared for full contact by St. Louis team physicians shortly after.

In the Rams' 21–18 overtime defeat to the Minnesota Vikings in Week 9, Gurley was limited to 89 yards on 24 runs. In a 37–13 defeat to the Chicago Bears in Week 10, he was held to 45 running yards on 12 carries. In a 16–13 loss to the Baltimore Ravens in Week 11, Gurley ran for 66 yards on 25 touches and scored a touchdown. In a 31–7 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 12, Gurley was held to 19 yards on nine runs.

The next week, he was limited to 41 running yards on nine runs in a 27–3 home defeat to the Arizona Cardinals in the second divisional meeting. Gurley ran for 140 yards in the Rams' 24–14 win over the Lions in Week 14. In a 31–23 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 15, Gurley ran for 48 yards, scored a touchdown, and became the third rookie in Rams history to run for 1,000 yards in a season (Jerome Bettis and Eric Dickerson).

Gurley carried for 85 yards on 19 runs in a 23–17 win over the Seattle Seahawks in Week 16, becoming the second Rams rookie to dash for 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns, the first being Dickerson in 1983. In 2015, he was selected to the NFL's All-Rookie Team.

Gurley, along with Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Marcus Peters, Seattle Seahawks wide receiver/kick returner Tyler Lockett, Oakland Raiders wide receiver Amari Cooper, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston, was one of five rookies named to the Pro Bowl. Gurley won the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year award by a landslide, with 27 votes to Winston's 17. On the NFL Top 100 Players of 2016, he was voted 22nd by his teammates.

Gurley with ball
2016 season

Gurley struggled in his second professional season in the Rams' first season back in Los Angeles. Gurley was held to 98 rushing yards on 36 carries in the first two weeks of the 2016 season against the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks. Gurley, on the other hand, had 28 carries for 85 yards and two touchdowns in a 37–32 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 3. His outing against the Buccaneers would be his finest of the season.

In the Rams' 17–13 victory over the Arizona Cardinals in Week 4, Gurley caught a season-long 33-yard pass from quarterback Case Keenum. Gurley's best performance for the remainder of the 2016 season was 20 carries for 76 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown against the Miami Dolphins in Week 11. The Rams had a 4–12 record at the end of the season. Gurley finished with 885 rushing yards, good for 17th in the NFL, 55.3 rushing yards per game, a significant drop from last season, and six touchdowns.

Gurley running with the ball
2017 Season

Following the firing of Jeff Fisher and the subsequent hiring of Sean McVay as head coach, Gurley looked to rebound from a disappointing year with the Rams, which prompted him to compare the team's previous playbook to that of a 'middle school offence.' Gurley had a strong start to the 2017 season against the Indianapolis Colts. In the 46–9 victory, he had 19 carries for 40 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown, as well as five receptions for 56 receiving yards.

In an impressive but losing effort against Philadelphia in Week 14, he had 96 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns on just 13 carries, along with three receptions for 39 receiving yards. In a dominant 42–7 win over Seattle in Week 15, Gurley had a career-high four touchdowns (three rushing, including a 57-yarder on 3rd and 20 with 30 seconds left in the first half) on 180 yards from scrimmage. He became the first Ram since Steven Jackson in 2006 to score four touchdowns in a single game.

He finished the game with a total of 24 points, the most by any player in the 2017 season in a single game. He was named NFC Offensive Player of the Week for his performance in Week 15. Gurley was named to his second Pro Bowl as a starter on December 19. Gurley was named NFC Offensive Player of the Week for the second week in a row after catching 10 passes for 158 yards and two touchdowns to go along with 118 rushing yards.

For the second time that season, Gurley was named NFC Offensive Player of the Month. Gurley was benched for the final game of the season against the San Francisco 49ers, allowing Kareem Hunt to win the rushing yards title, but he still led the NFL with 13 rushing touchdowns, 19 total touchdowns, and 2,093 yards from scrimmage and all-purpose yards. With 114 points, he finished the season as the league's leading non-kick scorer.

He became the 16th player in NFL history to have a 750/750 rushing/receiving yard season and the eighth to have a 1,300/750 rushing/receiving yard season. On January 6, 2018, Gurley made his postseason debut against the Atlanta Falcons in the Wild Card Round. In a 26–13 home loss, he had 14 carries for 101 rushing yards while playing from behind for the majority of the game. Gurley was named NFL Offensive Player of the Year after a fantastic 2017. On the NFL Top 100 Players of 2018, he was ranked sixth by his teammates.

Gurley chasing the ball in season 2017
2018 Season

Gurley's fifth-year option was exercised by the Rams on April 24, 2018. Gurley signed a four-year, $60 million contract extension with the Rams on July 24, 2018, with $45 million guaranteed, making him the NFL's highest-paid running back. Gurley scored the Rams' first touchdown of the season in Week 1 against the Oakland Raiders on Monday Night Football, taking a short pass from quarterback Jared Goff and running 19 yards to the end zone.

Gurley's touchdown was part of a 147-yard scrimmage yard performance in the 33–13 win. Gurley scored three rushing touchdowns for the second time in his professional career in Week 2's 34–0 win over the Arizona Cardinals. Gurley had 23 carries for 105 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown in a 35–23 win over the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 3. He also had five receptions for 51 receiving yards. Gurley rushed for 77 yards and three touchdowns in a 33–31 win over the Seattle Seahawks in Week 5.

Gurley was also selected to his third Pro Bowl in his four-year career. He was also named to the All-Pro first team. Gurley rushed 23 times for 115 yards and a touchdown in the Rams' 30–22 win over the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC Divisional Playoff. Gurley struggled in the NFC Championship Game against the New Orleans Saints, rushing four times for 10 yards and a touchdown and catching one pass for three yards in a 26–23 overtime victory that advanced the team to Super Bowl LIII against the New England Patriots.

Gurley's injury status was heavily discussed leading up to the Super Bowl, with reports claiming he was healthy and others claiming his knee was significantly more injured than thought. Gurley rushed for 35 yards on ten carries in the Super Bowl, a 13–3 loss to the Patriots. Gurley was diagnosed with arthritis in his left knee on March 2, 2019.

Gurley while playing a match in 2018 season
2019 Season

Gurley rushed 16 times for 63 yards and his first touchdown of the season in the Rams' 27–9 win over the New Orleans Saints in Week 2. Gurley rushed five times for 16 yards and two touchdowns and caught seven passes for 54 yards in a 55–40 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 4. Gurley rushed 15 times for 51 yards and two touchdowns in a 30–29 loss to the Seattle Seahawks in Week 5.

Gurley was tied for 29th in the NFL in rushing yards at the halfway point of the season (through eight games), compared to first in 2018 and fourth in 2017. Gurley rushed 25 times for 97 yards and a touchdown and caught three passes for 36 yards in a 17–7 win over the Chicago Bears on Sunday Night Football. Gurley rushed for 857 yards and 12 touchdowns this season, while also catching 31 passes for 207 yards and two touchdowns. Gurley was released on March 19, 2020.

Gurley while playing a match in 2018 season
2020 season Atlanta Falcons

On April 6, 2020, Gurley signed a one-year, US$5.5 million contract with the Atlanta Falcons. The deal included a $2 million signing bonus, as well as $500,000 in incentives if he has 13 touchdowns or 1,000 rushing yards. Gurley made his debut with the Falcons in Week 1 against the Seattle Seahawks. During the game, Gurley rushed 14 times for 56 yards and his first rushing touchdown of the season in the 38–25 loss.

In Week 4 against the Green Bay Packers on Monday Night Football, he had 16 carries for 57 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns in the 30–16 loss.

In Week 5 against the Carolina Panthers, Gurley recorded 150 yards from scrimmage and a rushing touchdown during the 23–16 loss. In Week 7 against the Detroit Lions, he had 23 carries for 63 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns in the 23–22 loss. His second rushing touchdown was particularly notable. The Falcons were trailing 16–14 late in the fourth quarter while driving.

The Falcons were able to get into a position to run out most of the clock and kick a potential game-winning field goal. However, Gurley was given the ball and tried to stop crossing the goal line. However, he scored a touchdown with 1:04 remaining to give the Lions a chance to get the football back and win the game, which they did.

Overall, Gurley finished the 2020 season with 195 carries for 678 rushing yards and nine rushing touchdowns to go along with 25 receptions for 164 receiving yards. Throughout the season, Gurley shared backfield carries with Brian Hill and Ito Smith.

Gurley playing a match for Atlanta Falcons