Georgia Bulldogs leading rushers Zamir White, James Cook and top tackle Lewis Cine declare NFL draft

Georgia will be without its leading tackler and its two leading rushers as it seeks to defend its 2022 national championship.

Junior Zamir White, the team’s leading rusher this past season, announced Friday that he’s entering the NFL concept. Senior James Cook announced earlier this week that he is leaving with one season of qualifying left.

Meanwhile, Lewis Cine, who announced the No.

White, who as a child overcame two knee injuries and many health problems, ran for 856 yards with 11 touchdowns this past season. White, from Laurinburg, North Carolina, ranks 15th in the school’s history with 2,043 rushing yards, leading the Bulldogs in the rush in each of the past two seasons.

White ran for 84 yards with one score in Georgia’s 33-18 victory over Alabama in Monday night’s College Football Playoff National Championship hosted by AT&T, which ended the Bulldogs’ 41-year drought without a national title.

“This season was an absolute thrill from start to finish and bringing a national championship to Athens was the ultimate reward,” White wrote on his Instagram account. “I’m so proud and feel so blessed to be part of this team … These are memories I will never forget and will surely last a lifetime.”

Cook, the younger brother of Dalvin Cook of the Minnesota Vikings, was one of Georgia’s most versatile players this past season. He ran for 728 yards with seven touchdowns and had 27 catches for 284 yards with four scores. ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. ranks Cook as the number 9 available for the design.

Georgia will return three running backs in at least 200 yards in 2022: Kenny McIntosh, Kendall Milton and Daijun Edwards. Milton, the No. 12 back in the 2020 ESPN 300, missed much of this season with a knee injury. In December, Bulldogs tailback Branson Robinson, from Madison, Mississippi, signed the No. 2 spot on the ESPN 300.

Cine, a junior from Cedar Hill, Texas, had 73 tackles and a team-high nine-pass breakups this season. He was named defensive MVP of the CFP Championship game against Alabama with seven tackles and one pass breakup.

“I will forever cherish the friendship and brotherhood I built with my teammates, through the highs and lows,” Cine wrote on Twitter. “We have achieved something special, and it will never be taken from us. Our bloodline is UGA and we are Dawgs forever.”

The Bulldogs will bring back starting safety Christopher Smith who announced he will return next year.


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