When Ken Malcome decided to transfer back in January to Southern Illinois, incoming freshman A.J. Turman knew an opportunity was about to come his way.
Now, the Florida native knows it's up to him to take advantage.
"There were a lot of rumors going around that he (Malcome) was going to transfer," Turman said recently. "I think now that I'll get more playing time, but I've still got to work hard and push myself to reach my full potential on the field."
Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall are entrenched as the top two backs for the Bulldogs, but there is pecking order behind them that will have to be decided between Turman, Brendan Douglas, J.J. Green/db], along with returnees Brandon Harton[/db] and Kyle Karempelis.
Turman has been working hard to ready.
Since January, he has been working daily with personal trainer Thomas Sapp, who has put the 6-foot, 200-pounder through a regiment of lifting and running he feels will have him ready.
He said he's actually been ready to get to Athens for a while. He doesn't have to wait much longer.
Turman will arrive with the rest of Georgia's freshman on June 3 to enroll and start preparing for summer workouts with the rest of their new teammates.
"Really, last year I went to Georgia and I fell in love with it. I decided to check other schools out and everything, though," said Turman. "Plus my position coach, Coach (Bryan) McClendon. He's a great guy and I love him to death. I'm glad I got to meet him."
Even if Malcome had stayed, Turman said his approach to getting ready for the fall would be the same.
The former Rivals250 standout visited Athens when the Bulldogs took on Ole Miss, and decided shortly after that visit that he was ready to announce where he would attend college.
Watching what the Bulldogs were able to do on offense opened his eyes as well.
"That is the best offense I've ever seen," he said. "I can't wait to be a part of it."
Turman is confident he'll be ready, noting that playing his high school football in the state of Florida has prepared him for the challenge that awaits.
"I think there is no better place to play football," said Turman. "I believe if you can play football in Florida, you can play anywhere. I think it prepared me and I'm ready to work hard to get to that level and play SEC football."