Ka’Deem Carey- Arizona
Some people might dispute me as to whether it’s potential vs. proven ability. Carey was the NCAA’s leading rusher in the nation last season with 1929 yards and 23 touchdowns. Carey’s season was highlighted by a 366 yard day against Colorado. The one thing that he doesn’t have going for him is that he plays in a lesser conference in comparison to the highly touted SEC.
Ka’Deem Carey isn’t an overly large running back at 200 pounds and that gives him the lateral movement to switch side to side with his amazing quickness. This is back that can be physical, but speed is the name of his game and look for it to continue this season as he’ll see some competition as the best back in the nation.
T.J. Yeldon- Alabama
Alabama has been dominant as a football team and part of their success is the running game. First was Trent Richardson, then Eddy Lacy, and now T.J. Yeldon.
A lot of people think that Yeldon is the best running back in the nation. He already has the reputation for being a better back than Lacy, who is NFL- bound.
In his freshman year, Yeldon rushed for 1108 yards on 175 carries and 12 touchdowns. Yeldon had to sacrifice a lot of carries to Lacy. This is a back that can catch out of the backfield and will have great opportunity with a consistent and reliable quarterback in A.J. McCarron. On a team like this, the Heisman Trophy is not out of the question for this super sophomore.
Although Aaron Murray is one of the best quarterbacks in the country and the passing game will be huge, Todd Gurley will still see a great amount of touches.
Last season, Gurley ran for 1385 yards with 17 touchdowns on 6.2 yards per carry. Gurley isn’t a receiving back, but in this offense, he doesn’t need to be. Gurley will splitting time with Keith Marshall and this could represent one of the best 1-2 punches in college football. Look for Gurley to be a possible Heisman Trophy contender.
Venric Mark- Northwestern
Maybe I’m giving Mark a bit too much credit after a 56 yard performance in a Gator Bowl win against Mississippi, but he plays in a tough conference and produces. Mark is coming off of a 1366 yard season with 12 touchdowns for the Wildcats and as a senior, experience comes into play.
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Dri Archer- Kent State
Archer is #1 on your programs and played like a number 1 player last season. People could question difficulty of opponent, but the numbers don’t lie.
On the season, Archer rushed for 1429 and 16 touchdowns and caught 39 passes for 561 yards and 4 touchdowns. This is a lot of work. When 222 of his rushing yards are against a team like Army, he can’t be near the top of the list, unfortunately for him.
I almost wasn’t going to put Abdullah on this list as he had a horrific last 3 games to the season, but he did finish with over 1000 yards rushing with 8 touchdowns. A Big-Ten back like this needs some recognition.
Lache Seastrunk- Baylor
You can actually move Seastrunk a few spots higher on this list as he closed out the season like an outright beast. In his last 4 games alone, Seastrunk didn’t rush for less than 136 yards and these were against good teams. He also averaged at least 7.2 yards in each of those last 4 games. Seastrunk can have a monster 2013 season if he continues to play like this.
Stay tuned for more updates and college football picks regarding the NCAA 2013 season as the season draws closer.