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Georgia coach Mark Richt: Running back Todd Gurley has informed him he's entering NFL draft

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CHARLOTTE, North Carolina — Georgia running back Todd Gurley has informed coach Mark Richt that he plans to enter the NFL draft.

Richt said after practice Friday for the Belk Bowl that Gurley won't return for his senior season. The 13th-ranked Bulldogs face No. 20 Louisville on Tuesday.

The news doesn't come as a huge surprise.

Gurley was a preseason Heisman Trophy candidate and got off to a strong start, but a four-game suspension and a knee injury derailed a promising season.

Richt said Gurley's rehabilitation is going well and his spirits are high.

He predicted Gurley "will be a very high draft pick."

PHOTO: FILE - In this Nov. 23, 2013, file photo, Georgia running back Todd Gurley (3) dives into the end zone for a touchdown as Kentucky cornerback Jaleel Hytchye, left, defends in the first half of an NCAA college football game in Athens, Ga. Georgia coach Mark Richt says junior running back Gurley has informed him that he plans to enter the NFL draft. Richt made the announcement after practice Friday, Dec. 26, 2014, for the Belk Bowl. (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
FILE - In this Nov. 23, 2013, file photo, Georgia running back Todd Gurley (3) dives into the end zone for a touchdown as Kentucky cornerback Jaleel Hytchye, left, defends in the first half of an NCAA college football game in Athens, Ga. Georgia coach Mark Richt says junior running back Gurley has informed him that he plans to enter the NFL draft. Richt made the announcement after practice Friday, Dec. 26, 2014, for the Belk Bowl. (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)

"I wouldn't be shocked to see him doing a lot of things for the scouts before the draft," Richt said.

Gurley attended practice with his teammates Friday but was not made unavailable for interviews.

The 6-foot-1, 236-pound Gurley ran for 911 yards and nine touchdowns in six games this season, averaging 7.4 yards per carry.

Gurley was suspended four games in October by the NCAA for taking $3,000 for autographed memorabilia and other items over two years.

In Gurley's first game back against Auburn, he tore his anterior cruciate ligament, ending his season.

In his first two seasons at Georgia, Gurley ran for 2,374 yards and 27 touchdowns.

The Georgia running game hasn't missed a beat since Gurley left, with freshman Nick Chubb handling the load. Chubb rattled off four straight games of at least 143 yards rushing with Gurley out. He has 1,057 yards and 10 touchdowns in the last seven.

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