College Football 2017: Power Ranking Top 10 Running Backs
Top-10 Running Backs In College Football
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We’re inching closer and closer to the 2017 college football season, which means you’re running out of time to do your homework. If you hope to make a profit this season and crush the bookies, you should already have a good idea of what’s what before the season even starts. This article, I’m looking at the best running backs in the country, the quarterbacks best friend who can either make or break the offense.
An elite running back can improve a team so much and makes everybody around him on the offense better.
USA TODAY Sports
Here are the top 10 running backs heading into the 2017 college football season.
1. Derrius Guice, LSU Tigers - Derrius Guice was making his presence felt behind Leonard Fournette, rushing for nearly 1,400 yards and 15 touchdowns last season, which included two 200-plus yard performances on the road. Guice is an angry, explosive runner and it’s scary to see what he can do now that he’s not splitting carries as much.
2. Saquon Barkley, Penn State Nittany Lions - Saquon Barkley is a complete running back who had nearly 1,500 rushing yards, 400 receiving yards and 22 total touchdowns as a sophomore. Barkley makes the Penn State offense go, and he takes so much pressure off of quarterback Trace McSorley. If he can top last years efforts, Barkley should get a Heisman invitation.
3. Kamryn Pettway, Auburn Tigers - Kamryn Pettway had 1,200 rushing yards and seven touchdowns last season, and that’s with missing four games. Pettway has the power and quickness to prove he’s arguably the best running back in the SEC, a conference loaded with talented runners.
4. Nick Chubb, Georgia Bulldogs - Nick Chubb was arguably the best running back in college football in 2014, but he’s been dealing with injuries ever sense. Still, Chubb topped 1,100 rushing yards last season, and if he can recapture that magic from a couple years ago, watch out.
5. Bo Scarbrough, Alabama Crimson Tide - Injuries and workload are the only things stopping Bo Scarbrough, as he was constantly dinged up last season and had just 125 carries. However, you can ask the Washington Huskies and Clemson Tigers just how good Bo is when he’s actually on the field.
6. Justin Jackson, Northwestern Wildcats - Justin Jackson may be the most underrated back in the country because Big Ten defenses know he’s getting the ball, and he still produced 1,500 rushing yards, 35 receptions and 15 touchdowns. Jackson has topped 1,000 rushing yards three straight seasons and will be the go-to option for the Wildcats yet again.
7. Ronald Jones II, USC Trojans - Ronald Jones really came around in the second half of the season, scoring at least once in the final seven games and torching California with 223 rushing yards. Jones is an explosive runner who could be due for his best season yet as a junior now that he has an established quarterback to take attention away.
8. Ito Smith, Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles - The last two years at Southern Miss, Ito Smith has combined for 2,587 rushing yards, 974 receiving yards and 32 total touchdowns. Smith has gotten better each season and it’s about time the physical runner gets some national attention for his efforts.
9. Royce Freeman, Oregon Ducks - Royce Freeman was a monster his first two seasons, producing a combined 3,200 rushing yards and 35 rushing touchdowns, but he dealt with injuries last year and limped to 945 yards and nine touchdowns. When healthy, Freeman is a workhorse who those smaller Pac-12 defenders don’t want to see in the open field.
10. Myles Gaskin, Washington Huskies - While sometimes running hot or cold, Myles Gaskin still finished last year with almost 1,400 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns, which included a key stretch where he topped 100 yards in four straight Pac-12 games. I’d like to see just a little more consistency from Gaskin, who adds another dimension to this Huskies offense.