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Georgia running back Brian Herrien (35) sprints forward with the ball. The game finishes with Georgia topping Notre Dame by a score of 23-17. (Photo/ Gabriella Audi https://gabbyaudi10.wixsite.com/mysite-1)

It’s test week for Brian Herrien. 

On Oct. 7, Herrien was on campus at 6 a.m. It wasn’t for an early workout or to watch film. Instead, he was studying at the Rankin M. Smith, Sr. Student-Athlete Academic Center. The senior communications major has two tests this week. 

“I’ve really been taking [school] a lot more seriously,” he said. “I know in high school I started off slow and had to pick it up quick in the end. I just wanted to start off fast once I got to college so I didn’t have to pick it up later.” 

He was going to major in psychology but decided to pursue it as a minor instead. Herrien said he could see himself as a psychology teacher or a counselor if football doesn’t work out. So far, though, football is working out pretty well for him. 

Herrien is Georgia’s second leading rusher with 252 yards on 40 carries. Last week, he broke four tackles during his season-best 40-yard run in the win over Tennessee.  

The running backs have a special name for that kind of run – ‘dog yards.’

“The dog yards come from you,” Herrien said. “You get contact and you still break the tackle ... We go for the runs like that. We want the runs like that instead of the open hole.” 

Herrien’s time at Georgia has been similar to his style of running — patient. He worked up the depth chart over his first three years and is now second in line to D’Andre Swift. For coach Kirby Smart, Herrien is the same guy he has always seen. 

Herrien didn’t get playing time sooner because of now-NFL backs Nick Chubb and Sony Michel. In practice, Smart said Herrien is always the first in line for drills, and that’s where it all stems from. 

“He doesn’t treat practice different than a game,” Smart said. “I think those practice habits have allowed him to be successful in games. It’s just you guys are getting able to see it now.”

Herrien is showing his value for the Bulldogs. He has been ready, per Smart, anytime his number has been called. Herrien knows it could still just be the beginning. 

“You can make a lot of money with this game, a lot of friends, a lot of connections,” Herrien said. “You want to be able to pay your family back. That’s your motivation.”

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