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Sport Top 5 Running Back Units in the Country

19:04  11 july  2018
19:04  11 july  2018 Source:   sbnation.com

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Share All sharing options for: Top 5 Running Back Units in the Country . The skinny: No team in the country is as creative as Ohio State is when it comes to running the football out of the spread. J.K. Dobbins is back after a sensational freshman season where he ran for 1400 yards and seven

Which ACC school boasts the best running back units heading into the 2019 season? Clemson returns a ton of production with both Travis Etienne and Lyn-J

a group of football players© Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Last week we took a look at the Top 5 QB rooms in the country. This week we break down the Top RB 5 rooms in the country for this upcoming 2018 season. You might notice some overlap... in the world of college football, it often seems that the rich get richer.

5. Ohio State Buckeyes

a group of baseball players playing a game of football: Illinois v Ohio State© Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images Illinois v Ohio State
J.K. Dobbins

Starter: J.K. Dobbins (sophomore)

Backups: Mike Weber (redshirt junior), Antonio Williams (junior), Demario McCall (redshirt sophomore), Master Teague (freshman)

The skinny: No team in the country is as creative as Ohio State is when it comes to running the football out of the spread. J.K. Dobbins is back after a sensational freshman season where he ran for 1400 yards and seven touchdowns, beating out the more experienced Mike Weber for a majority of the carries in the backfield in 2017.

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Top 3 RB Units : Which ACC schools have the strongest ground game heading into the 2017 college football season? Florida State, powered by Jacques Patrick

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Weber is back, and so too is Antonio Williams (three touchdowns on 290 yards) and the oft-injured Demario McCall. McCall missed most of last season and is the ultimate change-of-pace back and should see most of his time at receiver and kick/punt returner in 2018. True freshman and 4-star running back Master Teague showed a ton of potential in Ohio State’s Spring Game. It will be nearly impossible for Teague, an early enrollee, to see much of the field in 2018, but the Buckeyes are in great hands at the running back position — just how Urban Meyer likes it.

4. Stanford Cardinal

a football player wearing a helmet: California v Stanford© Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images California v Stanford
Bryce Love

Starter: Bryce Love (senior)

Backup: Cameron Scarlett (senior), Trevor Speights (junior), Dorian Maddox (junior)

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Top highschool highlights. Best running back 2017. Sorry about the audio guys. Youtube blocked from me using a few beats but still like and favorite! We got some very talented players around the nation that need to be seen and if you're one of them, hit my inbox!

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The skinny: A not-so-bold statement: Bryce Love is the best player in college football.

Love finished the 2017 season with 2118 yards on the ground, second most in the country behind San Diego State’s Rashaad Penny. Love scored 19 rushing touchdowns and was the focal point of Stanford’s offense for the entirety of the season. Even though Bryce Love was never completely healthy, Stanford continued to put the ball in his hands as the Cardinal finished the season 9-5 with a loss to TCU in the Alamo Bowl. To tout Bryce Love even more, Stanford was dealing with bad quarterback play all of last season — making Love’s job that much harder game in and game out.

Backing up Love is a trio of experienced, reliable backs. Cameron Scarlett had 91 carries for 389 yards and eight touchdowns in 2017. Scarlett has soft hands and is a really good receiver out of the backfield. Trevor Speights is also in the mix and was an important player in Stanford’s win over Oregon last season. Junior Dorian Maddox is a smaller back to keep an eye on in 2018.

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4. Wisconsin Running Backs If James White was still around, this would potentially be the top running back unit in the nation this season. However, even with White off to the NFL, this group is stacked with talent, led by All-Big Ten running back Melvin Gordon.

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3. Florida State Seminoles

a football player running on a field: Miami v Florida State© Photo by Butch Dill/Getty Images Miami v Florida State
Cam Akers

Starter: Cam Akers (sophomore)

Backups: Jacques Patrick (senior), Amir Rasul (junior)

The skinny: The duo and split carry situation of Cam Akers and Jacques Patrick could really be considered an RB1-A and RB1-B conundrum. Both players are big-time college running backs and both put up some pretty gaudy stats during Florida State’s largely disappointing 2017 season. Both players were consensus 5-star running backs out of high school.

Jacques Patrick is freakishly big and moves really well for someone his size. The senior is 6-foot-3 and weighs over 230 pounds. He scored seven touchdowns on 748 yards rushing last season. Cam Akers is more of an upright runner with a ton of power running the ball. He’s a freight train with breakaway speed down the sideline and he ran for seven touchdowns on 1,025 yards. Amir Rasul is a smaller back and will see more time if Patrick and/or Akers suffers an injury in 2018 — entirely possible considering both Patrick and Akers have had trouble staying healthy in the past.

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NFL Running Back Unit Rankings. Thanks to Le'Veon Bell and Ezekiel Elliott, no teams Even when you get outside of the top 10 of these rankings, it starts to become obvious how many flaws there Everything could still revolve around Murray and Henry, the best running back duo in the game today.

Montee Ball headlines one of the top running back units in college football. They’re the teams within the team — those cohesive little units bound together by their shared responsibilities within the larger team context. Whether it’s the offensive linemen firing off time after time into those familiar

2. Georgia Bulldogs

a group of football players playing a football game: Georgia v Notre Dame© Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images Georgia v Notre Dame
D’Andre Swift

Starter: D’Andre Swift (sophomore)

Backups:Brian Herrien (junior), Elijah Holyfield (junior), Zamir White (freshman), James Cook (freshman)

The Skinny: It’s crazy to think that Georgia could lose two, 1200-yard rushers in Nick Chubb and Sony Micheland still boast the second best running backfield in the nation a year later. Returnee De’Andre Swift had a significant role in Georgia’s College Football Playoff campaign in 2017, scoring three touchdowns on 618 yards rushing.

Backing up Swift is Brian Herrien who managed a touchdown and 265 yards rushing on 61 attempts. Elijah Holyfield put up nearly identical similar stats as Herrien a season ago and he’ll be in the mix once again.

Keep an eye on incoming freshmen James Cook — brother of former Florida State Heisman Trophy candidate Dalvin Cook — and Zamir White. Both Cook and White were 5-star running backs in Georgia’s No. 1 rated recruiting class. Zamir White tore his ACL back in January and even though most recruiting services had him as a top-15 player nationally, he could end up redshirting this upcoming season because of his injury and because of Georgia’s depth at the position.

1. Alabama Crimson Tide

a group of football players on the field: Alabama v Mississippi State© Photo by Butch Dill/Getty Images Alabama v Mississippi State
Damien Harris

Starter: Damien Harris (senior)

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The committee approach at running back has become more prevalent in college football over the last five years, so it’s no surprise most teams have two or True freshman Thomas Tyner is one of the top running backs in the 2013 signing class and will be difficult for new Oregon coach Mark Helfrich to

The nation’s best running back tandem resides in Norman, as Samaje Perine and Joe Mixon anchor the Oklahoma ground attack for 2016. If Nick Chubb and Sony Michel are healthy, Georgia has a strong case to be one of the top - five backfields in the nation. Chubb is on track in his recovery from

Backups: Najee Harris (sophomore), Josh Jacobs (junior), Brian Robinson (sophomore)

The skinny: Alabama remains the ultimate destination and recruiting spot for high school running backs. Why? Bama Offensive coordinators come and go, but the system more-or-less remains constant: Alabama will run the football first and try to control the game by pounding the rock. There’s nothing flashy about it, and for workhorse backs like Damien Harris and Najee Harris (and Mark Ingram, Eddie Lacy, Derrick Henry in the past), the system wins games and puts players in the NFL.

Damien Harris and the departed Bo Scarbrough split carries pretty evenly in 2017; 135 carries for Harris, 124 for Scarborough. Harris though ran for 400 more yards and three more touchdowns than Scarbrough on just those 11 more carries. Bottom line: Damien Harris is a much better running back than Scarbrough and should easily topple his personal-best 1,000-yard season from a year ago. Expect Damien Harris to be squarely in the Heisman Trophy race all season long.

Backup Najee Harris is a bit bigger than Damien Harris and is every bit as explosive between the tackles. Both Harris’ were 5-star backs coming out of high school. Brian Robinson is a local kid from Tuscaloosa and he’ll get his fair share of garbage-time carries. Junior Josh Jacobs is a reliable back too and can step up when called upon.

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