College Football 2018 Preview: Power Ranking Top 25 Running Backs
Top 25 Running Backs in 2018 College Football
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The 2018 college football season is right around the corner, and if you’re not doing research now, you’re shortchanging yourself and your bankroll. You should be doing your homework now to be as prepared as possible to give you the best chance to have a winning season. Here we’re looking at the top-25 running backs in the country.
Here are the top 25 running backs in college football.
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1. Bryce Love, Stanford - Bryce Love could have bolted for the NFL but decided to return for his senior season. Love is the heartbeat of the Stanford offense and was one of two players last year to top 2,000 rushing yards. Keep in mind he finished the latter part of the season banged up.
2. Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin - Jonathan Taylor was just 23 yards short of being the third player last season to crack the 2,000 rushing yard mark, and he was just a freshman. With possibly even a larger workload on his plate this year, Taylor makes the Wisconsin Badgers a legit playoff threat yet again.
3. Myles Gaskin, Washington - Myles Gaskin has topped 1,000 rushing yards in each of the last three seasons and finished tied for third last year with 21 rushing touchdowns. In three years, Gaskin has moved the chains 182 times on the ground.
4. Devin Singletary, FAU - Devin Singletary may be the most underrated running back in the country because he plays for a small school in Boca Raton. Well, Singletary did lead college football with 32 rushing touchdowns, which was at least nine more than any other back. FAU has a star on its hands, and it’s not Lane Kiffin.
5. J.K. Dobbins, Ohio State - J.K. Dobbins was 18th in the country last season with 1,403 rushing yards and only had 194 rushing attempts. With a year under his belt and the loss of some depth in the backfield, Dobbins is poised for an even bigger sophomore season.
6. AJ Dillon, Boston College - AJ Dillon had no less than 149 rushing yards in each of his last five games, and that doesn’t include the 272 yards he had against Louisville. An old school workhorse, Dillion puts Boston College on his back, as he moved the chains 66 times last season.
7. Justice Hill, Oklahoma State - While the passing attack gets the love in OK State, Justice Hill finished 13th in the country with 1,467 rushing yards while adding on 15 touchdowns. It’s about time Hill gets some of the shine for the Cowboys success.
8. David Montgomery, Iowa State - David Montgomery was third in the Big 12 with 1,146 rushing yards and is one of the best backs in space due to his elusiveness. Montgomery will make sure Iowa State has another surprise season that shakes things up in this conference.
9. Cam Akers, Florida State - Cam Akers topped 1,000 yards and had seven touchdowns, but you get the feeling the kid is just scratching the surface of his ability. Under coach Willie Taggart, you can expect Akers to really shine and show why he was one of the most raved about recruits.
10. Rodney Anderson, Oklahoma - Rodney Anderson is clearly the next great Oklahoma running back, as nobody thought about Joe Mixon when he had 1,161 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns. Anderson also caught 17 passes and five of those receptions produced touchdowns. Anderson will now shoulder even more of the workload with Baker Mayfield gone.
11. Mike Weber, Ohio State - Mike Weber had double-digit touchdowns and showed flashes of his 2016 season despite battling injuries. When healthy, Weber is deadly in the open field and has 17 rushes of 20-plus yards. Weber is key to getting the Buckeyes back in the national title picture this season.
12. Damien Harris, Alabama - You can’t talk running backs without including Alabama, and Damien Harris is a two-time 1,000-yard rusher who also had 11 touchdowns last season. Keep in mind Harris has had 19 or less carries in all 34 games he’s played in his Alabama career.
13. Benny Snell, Kentucky - In two seasons at Kentucky, Benny Snell has 2,424 rushing yards and 32 touchdowns. With Kentucky starting to find some consistent success with 14 wins in those two seasons, you can expect Snell to become more of a household name his junior season.
14. Travis Etienne, Clemson - Travis Etienne had 766 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns despite touching the ball just 107 times. Etienne will have to split carries with the talented Tavien Feaster, but you’re going to get a 1,000-yard season out of him easily.
15. Zack Moss, Utah - In his first season as a starter, Zack Moss racked up 1,173 yards and 10 touchdowns, and he got stronger as the season went on, lighting up West Virginia and Colorado for a combined 346 yards and three touchdowns.
16. Darrell Henderson, Memphis - Memphis lost its star quarterback and wide receiver, but the Tigers still have Darrell Henderson in the backfield. Henderson averaged 8.8 yards per carry last year, which was good for third in the country. As for running backs, only Abdul Adams had a higher average.
17. D'Andre Swift, Georgia - D'Andre Swift had 618 rushing yards, averaging over seven yards per carry. With no Nick Chubb or Sony Michel around to steal his carries, I’m scared to see what this kid can do. Swift is the one running back to know before the season starts.
18. Aeris Williams, Mississippi State - Aeris Williams has improved each of the three years he’s been with Mississippi State, and he’s coming off a year in which he had 1,107 rushing yards and six touchdowns. Top that season, and the Bulldogs are a dark horse in the SEC West.
19. Jalin Moore, Appalachian State - Jalin Moore topped 1,000 rushing yards and double-digit touchdowns for the second year in a row despite missing a pair of games. Moore is easily one of the most underrated players in the country, regardless of position.
20. Spencer Brown, UAB - Spencer Brown was a bright spot for a UAB program that’s trying to come back from the dead, as he produced 1,329 yards and 10 touchdowns. Brown is a difference maker in a conference that lacks true star power.
21. Jonathan Ward, Central Michigan - Jonathan Ward topped 1,000 rushing yards last season and had 13 total touchdowns. One of the better receiving running backs in the country, Ward will carry the Chippewas this season as far as they’re going to go.
22. Travis Homer, Miami - Travis Homer stepped up big when Mark Walton went down with an injury, finishing with 966 rushing yards and averaging almost six yards per touch. Homer has big play ability and should see a more consistent workload this time around.
23. Patrick Laird, California - Patrick Laird had 130 or more rushing yards in four of his last five games and caught 45 passes on the season. Laird had a combined 11 rushing attempts his first two seasons. Cal has an exciting player on its hands.
24. Trayveon Williams, Texas A&M - Trayveon Williams topped 1,000 rushing yards as a freshman and had almost 800 yards last year with just 173 carries. Under coach Jimbo Fisher, Williams should see an increased workload and possibly his best season yet.
25. LJ Scott, Michigan State - LJ Scott seems to be an afterthought with the season Michigan State just had, but this is a guy who averaged 5.4 yards per carry in 2016 and had 160 yards against Ohio State. Scott is a quality player and should be ready for a bounce back season.