1. Derrick Henry – Alabama: The Yulee, Florida product is the all time leading rusher in high school football history. Taller and bigger than most Running Backs at 6-3, 240, Henry may not test all that well at the NFL combine but he has what you call football speed. Nobody runs him down when the breaks into the open field. Henry was never mentioned in any Heisman conversation until Sugarland Express
Alabama thumped LSU and Leonard Fournette a couple of weeks ago. Now, it appears he is the front runner with several 200 plus yard rushing games. He is a supreme power runner with speed enough to pull away from most any defenders. I blogged about Henry last year here:
2. Leonard Fournette – LSU: Fournette was all the college football rage a few weeks ago and the Heisman was practically his. Then, Alabama happened and down went Leonard Fournette. But, he is still the same back he was when he was running for over 200 yards per game, he just ran up against a better team and a great run defense. Even though he was shut down by Alabama, Fournette could still run for close to 2,000 yards on the season. LSU and Fournette lost their opening game because of storms, and Fournette still leads the nation in rushing.
3. Dalvin Cook – Florida State: I wouldn’t have a problem at all with Cook being at the top of this list. As Cook goes, so goes Florida State. He is as explosive of a runner as the college football world has seen. He’s got a burst after he hits the hole that is unbelievable. Cook is smaller than the top guys on this list at 5-11, 200, but he is the quickest and the shiftiest. Cook missed one game and sat out
much of several others and still has some of the best yardage totals in the nation. He topped the 200 yards in a single game barrier twice and almost ran for 200 against top ranked Clemson. He may be the most electrifying back in the country.
4. Ezekiel Elliott – Ohio State: I know what SEC fans are going to say, but I still can’t get Elliott running off and leaving Alabama defenders in last year’s playoff game out of my head. He ran for over 200 yards against one of the best run defenses in the country year in and year out. Elliott is another big back with great speed at 6-0, 225. The junior from St Louis will declare for the NFL after this year and surely will be a high draft pick.
5. Christian McCaffrey – Stanford: McCaffrey showed the world a lot of potential as a true freshman and left a lot of fans wanting the ball in his hands more often. That has happened this season as McCaffrey became the Stanford featured back. After a slow start, McCaffrey just ran wild and had two over 200 yard games and crushed the 1,000 yard barrier. With probably 4 games remaining including a Pac 12 Championship game, McCaffrey is poised to run for possibly around 1,800 yards on the season. McCaffrey is fast and smooth and gets to a top speed extremely quickly. He also returns punts and kicks.
Right up there:
Elijah Hood – North Carolina: one of the resurgent Tar Hell leaders.
Jordan Howard – Indiana: Transfer from UAB and outstanding
Royce Freeman – Oregon: Star as true freshman who was lost in the SEC hoopla of Nick Chubb and Fournette.
Devontae Booker – Utah: JC transfer is having another great season.
Alex Collins – Arkansas: One of the best backs in the nation.
Paul Perkins – UCLA: Speedy guy and nephew of former Dallas Cowboy great Don Perkins.
Wayne Gallman – Clemson: One of top team’s best players.
Samaje Perine – Oklahoma: After abandoning the run early on, the Sooners returned to this elite power back of late and he has responded.
Ralph Webb – Vanderbilt: Commodores are bad, but Webb is outstanding.
C.J. Prosise – Notre Dame: Former Wide Receiver is a natural at Running Back.
Qadree Ollison – Pittsburgh: Like Prosise, Ollison was forced into duty by injury. Big, strong power runner in typical Pittsburgh fashion.