Last year’s running back class was headlined by Chris Wells of Ohio State and Knowshon Moreno of Georgia. With them now playing in the NFL there are shoes to fill in the College Football landscape. Who will step up and become the nation’s top rusher? There is a lot of speed this year at the position and not as much size. So watch out for more of the electrifying runs. Here are the ten running backs to watch this year:
1. Javid Best, Jr., Cal – He is one of fastest players in the game and wows fans with his lightning quick feet. He ran for 1,580 yards and 15 touchdowns. His yards per carry average was 8.1 which was one of the tops in college football. He is a Heisman candidate and is looking for a big year.
2. Kendall Hunter, Jr., Oklahoma St. – The best secret in college football last year returns and expect him to eventually become a house hold name. In the shadows of Zac Robinson and Dez Bryant he racked up 1,555 yards and 16 touchdowns at a 6.5 yards per carry clip. He should once again post huge numbers with a lot of experience helping him out.
3. Jonathan Dwyer, Jr., Georgia Tech – Another guy that is not well known but proved he can carry the load. He posted big numbers in the triple option system at GT, running for 1,395 yards and 12 touchdowns. His yards per carry average was 7.0 and he hopes to improve upon that this year.
4. Noel Devine, Jr., West Virginia – He is a home run threat every time he touches the ball and is very slithery. Last year as the featured back he ran for 1,289 yards but only 4 touchdowns. Look for a lot more big plays this year and more production in the touchdown department.
5. Evan Royster, Jr., Penn State – Last year he stepped in and had a great season running for 1,236 yards and 12 touchdowns. He ran at a 6.5 yards per carry clip and possesses a good blend of power and speed. Watch for him to carry the offense early while quarterback Daryll Clark breaks in his new receivers.
6. Jacquizz Rodgers, Soph., Oregon State – Last season, he had his breakout game on primetime when the Beavers upset USC, having his best game of the year. He racked up a total of 1,253 yards and 11 touchdowns. He is a smaller guy and got dinged up at the end of the year, and will try to get a complete season in this year.
7. MiQuale Lewis, Sr., Ball State – A much unknown, very productive running back who had a breakout season in the MAC conference last year. He ran for 1,736 yards at a 5.4 yards per carry average and 22 touchdowns. He doesn’t get much recognition but if he puts up another season like that he will.
8. Chris Brown, Sr., Oklahoma -He is a well balanced running back who possess breakaway speed. Last year he ran for 1,220 yards and 20 touchdowns. He fought for carries with fellow running back DeMarco Murray, but they split it down the middle. Both backs are returning so he won’t post as big of numbers in the crowded backfield.
9. Charles Scott, Sr., LSU – He became the single go to back last year for LSU and performed very well. He ran for 1,174 yards at 5.4 yards per carry while running for 18 touchdowns. He is one of the bigger backs in college football and has the ability to carry the load. Look for him to see even more carries and even bigger numbers.
10. Darren Evens, Soph., Va Tech – Last year as a true freshman he got the majority of the carries and seemed to bet better as the season went on. He ran for 1,265 yards and 11 touchdowns, including a game for 253 yards. He possesses a ton of talent and expect him to explode during his sophomore year.
Others to watch for: Joe McKnight (USC), James Davis and CJ Spiller from Clemson, Jeremiah Johnson (Oregon), John Clay (Wisconsin), and Graig Cooper (Miami).