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60 Best Running Backs in College Football

College Football's Top 60 Running Backs for 2019

College Football's Top 60 Running Backs for 2019

The 2019 college football season returns a deep group of running backs, including Wisconsin's Jonathan Taylor and Clemson's Travis Etienne. Taylor and Etienne take the top spot in running back rankings for the upcoming year, with Arizona State's Eno Benjamin and Boston College's AJ Dillon next in line. Alabama's Najee Harris is primed for a breakout year and ranks just outside of the top five going into the season.

Athlon Sports is taking an early look at the running back position by ranking the top 60 players for 2019. This article is not a ranking of running backs only based on accomplishments so far or pro potential. This list could look a lot different by August, especially once some of the battles for carries are settled. Our rankings are compiled by using many factors including career stats so far, 2018 statistics, having a clear hold on the No. 1 position, pro potential, changes in scheme or coaching, projection for 2019, production, value to the team, recruiting background and just overall talent. Think of this list as an early power ranking for 2019, with tweaks expected at the end of spring and prior to Week 1.

College Football's Top 60 Running Backs for 2019

60. Maurice Washington, Nebraska

Washington's status for 2019 is unsettled due to a pending court case in California. If he plays for the Cornhuskers this fall, there's a good chance he finishes much higher on this list. As a freshman last season, Washington ran for 455 yards and three touchdowns on just 77 carries and added 24 receptions for 221 yards. Junior college recruit (and former Georgia Tech running back) Dedrick Mills is another name to watch in Lincoln.

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59. Deon Jackson, Duke

In his first opportunity for extended action, Jackson emerged as one of the ACC’s top all-purpose players last season. He rushed for 847 yards and seven touchdowns (5.3 ypc), caught 26 passes for 253 yards and accumulated 502 yards over 23 kickoff returns.

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58. Jafar Armstrong, Notre Dame

Dexter Williams’ early-season suspension opened the door for Armstrong – a converted receiver – to handle the bulk of the carries for coach Brian Kelly. Armstrong collected 245 yards over the first four games and missed the next three contests due to injury. He finished 2018 with 383 yards and seven touchdowns and caught 14 passes for 159 yards. Can Armstrong handle the full-time role? If so, he needs to be much higher on this list.

College Football Top 25 Rankings: Notre Dame

57. Ronnie Rivers, Fresno State

Rivers was sidelined for the first three games of 2018 due to injury but still managed to record 743 yards and 10 rushing scores. He also added 26 receptions for 311 yards and closed the year by posting 212 yards versus Arizona State in the Las Vegas Bowl.

College Football Rankings: Fresno State

56. Cade Carney, Wake Forest

By recording 1,005 yards over 188 attempts last season, Carney became the first Wake Forest running back since 2004 to reach the 1,000-yard mark. The North Carolina native came up big against Duke (223 yards) and also collected 116 against Boston College.

Wake Forest: college football picks against the spread

55. Andrew Clair, Bowling Green

Bowling Green enters 2019 with uncertainty at quarterback, so first-year coach Scot Loeffler should find plenty of ways to get the ball in the hands of Clair. The Missouri native has rushed for just over 700 yards (725 in 2017 and 702 in ’18) in back-to-back seasons and has reached the end zone 13 overall times.

College Football Rankings: Bowling Green

54. Marcel Murray, Arkansas State

Murray had a strong debut in Jonesboro last season, as he led the Red Wolves’ ground game with 860 yards and eight touchdowns on just 154 attempts. With Warren Wand out of eligibility, Murray is likely to see an increased role in 2019.

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53. DeAndre Torrey, North Texas

Loren Easly’s injury early in the 2018 campaign opened the door for Torrey to receive more snaps as the year progressed. The former junior college prospect finished the season by recording at least 130 yards in four out of his final five games. Overall, Torrey collected 977 yards and 15 touchdowns over 175 attempts and recorded 25 receptions for 205 yards and two scores.

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52. Isaiah Bowser, Northwestern

Northwestern’s ground game suffered a significant setback once Jeremy Larkin was forced to retire in September. However, Bowser stepped up in a big way for coach Pat Fitzgerald’s team. As a true freshman last fall, Bowser collected four 100-yard efforts en route to a season total of 866 yards. Bowser averaged 4.4 yards per rush but showcased his durability by handling at least 23 carries in six out of the Wildcats’ last eight contests.

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51. Bryant Koback/Shakif Seymour, Toledo

Standout play from the running back position is usually an annual strength at Toledo. The Rockets have two capable options in place this fall, as Koback (917 yards and 14 touchdowns) should team with Seymour (565 yards) to form one of the MAC’s top backfields.

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50. Kennedy McKoy/Martell Pettaway, West Virginia

Running back is the unquestioned strength for new coach Neal Brown’s offense in 2019. McKoy and Pettaway combined for 1,425 yards and 14 rushing scores last season and could be pushed by Alec Sinkfield or Leddie Brown for carries this fall. 

College Football Top 25 Rankings: WVU

49. Jaret Patterson/Kevin Marks, Buffalo

Replacing standout quarterback Tyree Jackson and receiver Anthony Johnson won’t be easy, but Buffalo can lean on a talented one-two punch at running back and the MAC’s top offensive line to lead the way in 2019. Patterson paced the Bulls with 1,013 yards and 14 scores last fall, with Marks (845 and 13 TDs) just a small step behind on the stat sheet.

College Football Rankings: Buffalo

48. Rakeem Boyd, Arkansas

Boyd was a key pickup for Chad Morris’ first recruiting class in Fayetteville and made an instant impact for the Razorbacks last fall. The junior college prospect led the Arkansas offense with 734 yards and two touchdowns and added 23 receptions for 165 yards. Boyd posted 102 versus Alabama, 109 against Ole Miss and 113 against Vanderbilt.

College football rankings: Arkansas

47. Darius Bradwell, Tulane

Bradwell gets the nod in this column, but the Green Wave also have two other capable running backs in Corey Dauphine (785 yards) and Stephon Huderson (281). Bradwell started his career in New Orleans as a quarterback but has developed into one of the AAC’s top running backs over the last two years. The Florida native posted 1,134 yards and 11 touchdowns over 201 attempts last fall and finished 2018 by recording 150 yards on a career-best 35 carries against Louisiana in the Cure Bowl.

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46. Jordan Cronkrite, USF

Cronkrite started his career at USF on a high note. He recorded at least 103 yards in five out of his first six appearances, including a 302-yard effort against UMass. However, Cronkrite did not reach the 100-yard mark the rest of the season and recorded less than 40 yards in four out of the Bulls’ final five games. Despite that setback, Cronkrite still finished with 1,121 yards and nine touchdowns.

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45. B.J. Smith, Troy

After receiving just 56 carries in his first two years in Troy, Smith emerged as the No. 1 running back in 2018. He led the Trojans with 1,186 yards and 13 touchdowns and caught nine passes for 105 yards. Smith posted five 100-yard efforts, including 170 versus South Alabama.

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44. Clyde Edwards-Helaire, LSU

Edwards-Helaire gets the nod on the list as LSU’s No. 1 running back, but the junior will have a tough time holding off freshman John Emery for carries. The Louisiana native finished second on the team with 658 yards and seven rushing scores last season. Edwards-Helaire came up big (145 yards) in the win over Georgia and also rushed for 136 against Louisiana Tech.

LSU Football Schedule

43. Ty Chandler, Tennessee

If Tennessee’s offensive line can clear a few more holes for Chandler, a run at All-SEC honors isn’t out of the question. The Nashville native has flashed potential over his first two years on campus and finished 2018 with 630 yards and four scores on just 115 attempts. Chandler also has 29 receptions and a kickoff return in his career on Rocky Top.

Tennessee Football Schedule

42. Jashaun Corbin, Texas A&M

If you are looking for a breakout running back to watch in 2019, it’s safe to assume College Station might be a good place to direct your attention. Trayveon Williams left for the NFL after he led the SEC by averaging 156.8 yards a game from scrimmage last season. Corbin showcased his potential by recording 346 yards and a touchdown on just 61 attempts as the backup to Williams last fall.

College Football Top 25 Rankings: Texas A&M

41. LeVante Bellamy, Western Michigan

After working as a backup from 2015-17, Bellamy took over as Western Michigan’s No. 1 back in 2018. The Indiana native posted 1,228 yards and six scores over 205 carries and caught 30 passes for 185 yards and a touchdown. Bellamy earned first-team All-MAC honors in 2018 and is the conference’s returning leader rusher for ’19.

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40. JaTarvious Whitlow, Auburn

Whitlow inherited big shoes to fill in replacing Kerryon Johnson last season. However, the Alabama native recorded two 100-yard games over his first three contests and finished the year with 787 yards and six scores. Whitlow posted 170 yards against Ole Miss on Oct. 20 but did not record a 100-yard effort the rest of the way. The sophomore could be a name that rises on this list in 2019.

College Football Top 25 Rankings: Auburn

39. Max Borghi, Washington State

With James Williams off to the NFL, Borghi is set to have a breakout year as Washington State’s No. 1 running back. As a true freshman last season, Borghi rushed for 366 yards and eight touchdowns and caught 53 passes for 374 yards and four scores.

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38. Salvon Ahmed, Washington

Myles Gaskin will be missed, but Washington still has a deep collection of options to lean on. Ahmed collected 104 carries in relief of Gaskin last fall and ran for 608 yards and seven touchdowns. Assuming he gets a full workload, Ahmed should have a breakout year in 2019.

College Football Top 25 Rankings: Washington

37. Scottie Phillips, Ole Miss

Phillips was a key addition out of the junior college ranks for the Ole Miss offense last fall. He finished 2018 with 928 yards and 12 touchdowns on the ground and caught 10 passes for 105 yards and two scores. Phillips easily would’ve hit 1,000 yards had it not been for an ankle injury suffered in November.

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Related: SEC Predictions for 2019

36. Kylin Hill, Mississippi State

Hill flashed potential as the No. 1 running back for coach Joe Moorhead last season, rushing for 734 yards and four touchdowns on just 117 carries. He gashed Kansas State for 211 yards and posted 108 against rival Ole Miss in the Egg Bowl. After averaging 6.3 yards per carry, more opportunities in 2019 should equal a 1,000-yard season in 2019.

College Football Top 25 Rankings: Mississippi State

35. Tavien Feaster, TBD

With one year of eligibility and Travis Etienne entrenched as Clemson’s No. 1 running back, Feaster left Death Valley after spring practice as a graduate transfer. Virginia Tech, South Carolina and Texas have popped up in the rumor mill as potential destinations. Feaster – a former top-50 recruit – ran for 1,363 yards and 15 touchdowns and caught 23 passes over the last three years. It's likely Feaster will move up this list when he decides on a team for 2019.

34. Stevie Scott, Indiana

Scott emerged as Indiana’s No. 1 running back as a true freshman last season. The New York native set program freshman records with 1,137 yards and 10 touchdowns and added 4.99 yards per carry. Scott recorded four 100-yard efforts over the final five games.

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33. Keaontay Ingram, Texas

Ingram is set to move into the No. 1 role with Tre Watson out of eligibility. The former four-star prospect ran for 708 yards and three scores in his debut with the Longhorns last fall. Ingram also provided a nice outlet for quarterback Sam Ehlinger in the passing game by catching 27 passes for 170 yards.

College Football Top 25 Rankings: Texas

32. Benny LeMay, Charlotte

LeMay has led Charlotte in rushing in each of the last two seasons and carried an offense that struggled to get consistent production out of its passing game in 2018. After recording 732 yards over 137 attempts in ’17, LeMay ran for 1,243 yards and 11 scores last fall. He finished the year with back-to-back 100-yard efforts versus FIU and FAU.

College Football Rankings: Charlotte

Related: Ranking All 130 College Football Coaches for 2019

31. Ricky Slade, Penn State

Miles Sanders picked up where Saquon Barkley left off and now the Nittany Lions hope for another seamless transition to Slade and the rest of the running backs in Happy Valley. Slade – a former five-star prospect – recorded 257 yards and six touchdowns as Sanders’ backup last fall. Penn State is deep at running back, so there could be more of a committee approach employed in 2019. Even if he doesn’t record 220-240 carries, Slade’s talent is enough to place him on this list.

College Football Top 25 Rankings: Penn State

30. Trey Ragas/Elijah Mitchell, Louisiana

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The Ragin’ Cajuns enter 2019 with one of the deepest running back corps in the nation. Ragas and Mitchell combined for 2,158 yards and 21 rushing scores last fall. This duo also combined for 45 receptions, while Mitchell ranked second among Sun Belt rushers with six runs of 40 or more yards.

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29. Rodney Smith/Mohamed Ibrahim, Minnesota

Let’s cheat a bit and list both Minnesota running backs here. In addition to Smith and Ibrahim, coach P.J. Fleck returns Shannon Brooks and Bryce Williams to form one of the Big Ten’s deepest backfields. Smith ran for 670 yards as a freshman in 2015 and followed that up with a 1,000-yard campaign (1,158) in ’16. After rushing for 977 yards in 2017, Smith only played in two games due to a knee injury in ’18. Ibrahim picked up the slack and led the Minnesota offense with 1,160 yards and nine touchdowns.

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28. Darrynton Evans, Appalachian State

Appalachian State’s ground game suffered a significant setback when Jalin Moore was lost for the year due to a season-ending injury on Oct. 9. However, Evans ensured the Mountaineers didn’t miss a beat on the ground. He ran for 1,187 yards and seven touchdowns (6.6 ypc) over 179 attempts. Additionally, Evans eclipsed 100 or more yards in five out of the last six contests.

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Related: Ranking All 130 College Football QBs for 2019

27. Lamical Perine, Florida

With Perine, Dameon Pierce and Malik Davis in place, coach Dan Mullen won’t have to rely on one back to tote 250 carries this season. However, Perine should be the lead back for this offense after recording 826 yards and seven scores on just 134 attempts in 2018. He posted three 100-yard efforts – against Vanderbilt, South Carolina and Florida State – and finished last season by averaging 12.7 yards a pop against Michigan.

College Football Top 25 Rankings: Florida

26. Larry Rountree, Missouri

With Damarea Crockett off to the NFL, Rountree should see even more touches after recording 1,216 yards and 11 touchdowns last fall. The North Carolina native finished 2018 on a high note by posting 204 yards and a touchdown against Oklahoma State in the Liberty Bowl. He also recorded three consecutive efforts of 100 or more yards to close out the 2018 campaign.

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25. Juwan Washington, San Diego State

San Diego State’s streak of eight consecutive years with a 1,000-yard rusher ended last season. Washington was poised for a breakout year in 2018 but suffered a clavicle injury and was limited to nine games. He finished the season with 999 yards on 199 attempts and scored 10 times on the ground. If Washington can stay healthy, he should easily eclipse 1,000 yards in 2019.

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24. Patrick Taylor, Memphis

Darrell Henderson will be missed, but coach Mike Norvell’s ground game should be fine with Taylor leading the way. As Henderson’s backup last fall, Taylor rushed for 1,122 yards and 16 scores. The 6-foot-3 senior has rushed for 2,534 yards and 31 touchdowns and caught 47 passes for 382 yards over the last three years.

College Football Rankings: Memphis Football

Related: American Athletic Conference Predictions for 2019

23. CJ Verdell, Oregon

Coach Mario Cristobal and coordinator Marcus Arroyo have a deep stable of backs in place to take some of the pressure off of quarterback Justin Herbert. Verdell is the lead option for the Ducks, as he returns to Eugene after rushing for 1,018 yards and 10 touchdowns as a freshman last fall.

College Football Top 25 Rankings: Oregon

22. Pooka Williams, Kansas

An off-field incident has clouded Williams’ status with the team for 2019. Assuming he returns, the Louisiana native is poised to rank among the Big 12’s top running backs. Williams rushed for 125 yards versus Central Michigan in his first game with the Jayhawks and finished the year with strong efforts against Oklahoma (252 yards) and Texas (103). In addition to his 1,125 yards and seven rushing scores, Williams caught 33 passes for 289 yards and two touchdowns and averaged 22.4 yards on kickoff returns.

College Football Rankings: Kansas

21. Spencer Brown, UAB

Brown has been instrumental in leading UAB to a 19-8 record and a Conference USA title over the last two seasons. The Alabama native had a strong debut as a true freshman in 2017, rushing for 1,329 yards and 10 scores. Brown was just as effective last fall, recording 1,227 yards (including 156 against Middle Tennessee in the C-USA title game) and 16 touchdowns over 272 attempts.

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20. Chuba Hubbard, Oklahoma State

Justice Hill’s absence over the final three games of 2018 allowed Hubbard to showcase his talent. The Canada native eclipsed the 100-yard mark in three out of Oklahoma State’s last four contests, including a 145-yard effort versus Missouri in the Liberty Bowl. Hubbard ended 2018 with 740 yards and seven touchdowns and is primed for a breakout year in ’19.

College Football Top 25: Oklahoma State

Related: Big 12 Predictions for 2019

19. Anthony McFarland, Maryland

Finding ways to maximize McFarland’s talent has to be one of the top priorities for new coach Mike Locksley this season. The Maryland native showed no rust after missing his senior year in high school due to injury and a redshirt season on campus in 2017. McFarland had only 10 carries over the first two games in ’18 but posted back-to-back 100-yard efforts versus Temple and Minnesota in September. He didn’t eclipse 100 yards again until a 210-yard performance against Indiana and gashed Ohio State for 298 and two scores one week later. McFarland finished a strong redshirt freshman campaign with 1,034 yards and four touchdowns.

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18. Reggie Corbin, Illinois

Big plays fueled Corbin’s run to All-Big Ten honors in 2018. The Maryland native recorded 1,085 yards and nine touchdowns over just 128 carries and chipped in 16 catches for 176 yards. Corbin led all Big Ten running backs by averaging 8.5 yards per carry, finished second nationally with seven runs of 50-plus yards and first with four carries of 70 or more yards.

College Football Rankings: Illinois

17. Greg McRae, UCF

With quarterback McKenzie Milton sidelined for 2019 due to injury, coach Josh Heupel could lean a little more on his ground game to carry UCF’s high-powered offense. McRae would benefit from such a move, as he posted a hefty 8.9 yards per rush on just 133 carries for 1,182 yards and 10 touchdowns last fall. The former walk-on rushed for 100 or more yards in four out of UCF’s last six games in 2018.

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Related: Ranking All 130 College Football Teams for 2019

16. Michael Warren, Cincinnati

Warren stepped up as Cincinnati’s No. 1 running back with Gerrid Doaks sidelined due to injury last fall. The Toledo native powered his way for 1,329 yards and 19 touchdowns (5.5 per carry) and caught 25 passes for 232 yards and a score. Warren posted seven games of 100 yards or more over his 12 appearances, including a 166-yard effort against Virginia Tech in the Military Bowl.

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15. Joshua Kelley, UCLA

Kelley’s rise from preseason unknown to a place among the Pac-12’s top running backs was one of the conference’s best storylines from 2018. The California native spent the first two years of his career at UC Davis, an FCS program, and rushed for over 1,000 yards in that span. He sat out the 2018 season due to transfer rules and had only 11 carries through the first three contests. However, Kelley emerged as a centerpiece of Chip Kelly’s offense the rest of the year. After recording 124 yards against Colorado on Sept. 28, Kelley posted at least 20 carries in six of UCLA’s final eight games. He also posted five performances of 100 yards or more during that stretch, including a 289-effort versus USC and 157 against California. Kelley finished the season with 1,243 yards and 12 touchdowns and is primed for an even better campaign this fall.

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Related: Pac-12 Predictions for 2019

14. Jermar Jefferson, Oregon State

Former Oregon State quarterback Jonathan Smith inherited a rebuilding project at his alma mater, but the second-year coach already has a rising star at running back. Jefferson posted 1,380 yards and 12 touchdowns and recorded two games (Southern Utah and Arizona State) of more than 200 rushing yards. The 1,380 yards were the most by a freshman in program history and also ranked No. 1 among freshman running backs last season.

College football rankings: Oregon State

13. J.J. Taylor, Arizona

Taylor’s all-around ability, combined with a healthy Khalil Tate at quarterback, should make for a dynamic offense in coach Kevin Sumlin’s second year at Arizona. The California native ranked second on the team with 847 yards as a freshman in 2017 and paced the offense with 1,434 yards and six scores last fall. Taylor also stuffed the stat sheet with 16 catches and 22 kickoff returns for 540 yards (and a score). The 5-foot-6 back had two 200-yard games (Oregon State and Oregon) and posted 144 versus rival Arizona State in 2018.

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12. Cam Akers, Florida State

Akers ranked as a five-star prospect in the 2017 signing class and led Florida State with 1,025 yards as a freshman that season. The Seminoles struggled mightily along the offensive line in Akers’ sophomore campaign, as he was limited to just 706 yards and six scores. With better play up front in 2019, Akers should push for 1,000 yards and rank among the ACC’s top running backs.

College Football Top 25 Rankings: FSU

Related: ACC Football Predictions for 2019

11. Zack Moss, Utah

Moss was on pace for a career season in 2018 but a knee injury forced him to the sidelines for the final five contests. Despite the setback, Moss still recorded 1,000 yards (1,096) for the second consecutive year. The Florida native also has 21 touchdowns over the last two seasons.

NCAAF Top 25 Rankings: Utah

9/10. Kennedy Brooks/Trey Sermon, Oklahoma

Kyler Murray was the star of Oklahoma’s offense last season, but coach Lincoln Riley’s high-powered attack nearly produced two 1,000-yard running backs. Brooks finished with 1,056 yards and 12 scores, while Sermon posted 947 yards and 13 touchdowns. Brooks posted 8.87 yards per rush, and Sermon tied for the most rushing scores (13) among Big 12 running backs last fall. And don’t forget: The emergence of Brooks and Sermon came after Rodney Anderson – a preseason All-American – was lost due to injury.

College Football Top 25 Rankings: Oklahoma

8. J.K. Dobbins, Ohio State

In addition to breaking in new quarterback Justin Fields, first-year coach Ryan Day has to get Ohio State’s ground game back on track after this unit averaged only 4.2 yards per rush in 2018. With Mike Weber off to the NFL, Dobbins will handle the bulk of the carries for the Buckeyes. After rushing for 1,403 yards and seven touchdowns in 2017, Dobbins ran for 1,053 yards and 10 scores last fall. The Texas native also has 48 catches for 420 yards and three touchdowns over the last two years.

College Football Top 25 Rankings: Ohio State

Related: Ranking All 130 College Football QBs for 2019

7. Ke’Shawn Vaughn, Vanderbilt

Going into the 2019 season, Vaughn might be the nation’s most underrated running back. After accumulating 1,024 rushing yards from 2015-16 at Illinois, Vaughn decided to transfer and returned to his hometown of Nashville to play for the Commodores. Vaughn’s big-play ability was on display last season. He posted 1,244 yards and 12 rushing scores on just 157 attempts and added 13 receptions for 170 yards and two touchdowns. Vaughn shredded Baylor for 243 yards and two scores in the Texas Bowl, posted 182 versus Missouri, and 172 against Arkansas. He also led all Power 5 running backs with six rushes of 60-plus yards in 2018.

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6. Najee Harris, Alabama

Alabama seems to have an endless supply of talented running backs, and Harris is the next star for coach Nick Saban. He’s worked behind Damien Harris, Josh Jacobs, and Bo Scarbrough over the last two years and flashed potential in limited action. After recording 370 yards and three scores as a freshman in 2017, Harris ran for 783 yards and four touchdowns last season. The former five-star prospect is poised for a breakout year.

College Football Top 25 Rankings: Alabama

5. D’Andre Swift, Georgia

Swift was a key piece of Georgia’s run to the national championship game in 2017 and moved into the No. 1 role last fall following the departure of Nick Chubb and Sony Michel to the NFL. Swift was limited with a groin injury early in the year and did not reach 100 yards until late October against Florida. However, Swift found his form over the second half of 2018 and finished with 1,049 yards and 10 rushing touchdowns. With Zamir White, James Cook and Brian Herrien providing depth, Swift won’t have to tote 300 carries in Georgia’s backfield. However, that depth should keep Swift fresh late in the year, helping the junior to match his career per-carry average (6.8) when it matters.

College Football Top 25 Rankings: Georgia

Related: Ranking All 130 College Football Head Coaches for 2019

4. AJ Dillon, Boston College

An ankle injury slowed Dillon in 2018, but the Connecticut native still managed to record 1,108 yards and 10 touchdowns on 227 attempts. Dillon enters 2019 with 2,697 career rushing yards and a chance to earn three consecutive 1,000-yard seasons. Even though Dillon is running behind a reworked line, expect another monster year and a run at All-America honors.

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3. Eno Benjamin, Arizona State

With Manny Wilkins and N’Keal Harry departing Tempe, Arizona State is going to lean on Benjamin to carry the team in 2019. That’s not a problem for the Texas native, as he set a new school record with 1,642 rushing yards in his first season as the No. 1 running back. Benjamin reached paydirt 16 times on the ground, caught 35 passes for 263 yards and two touchdowns and reached 100 yards in eight out of Arizona State’s last 10 contests. Additionally, Benjamin led all Pac-12 running backs with four runs of 40 or more yards. He was also just one of three players to record at least 300 carries last fall.

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2. Travis Etienne, Clemson

While most of the attention on Clemson’s national title run focused on a standout defensive line and quarterback Trevor Lawrence, Etienne compiled a prolific 2018 season. He played in all 15 games for the Tigers and rushed for 1,658 yards and 24 touchdowns on just 204 attempts. Additionally, Etienne averaged 8.1 yards per carry and tied for fourth nationally with seven rushes of 40 yards or more last season.

College Football Top 25 Rankings: Clemson

Related: Ranking All 130 College Football Teams for 2019

1. Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin

Taylor will be running behind a revamped offensive line in 2019, but don’t expect that to slow down the talented junior after leading the nation with 2,194 rushing yards last season. Taylor also led all running backs with 307 carries but still averaged 7.2 yards per rush. The New Jersey native posted six runs of 40 yards or more and eclipsed 100 or more yards in 12 out of Wisconsin’s 13 games last fall. Taylor collected 321 yards in a win at Purdue and posted 205 in the Pinstripe Bowl victory against Miami.

College Football Top 25 Rankings: Wisconsin

Others to Watch: DeeJay Dallas, Miami; Darius Anderson/Sewo Olonilua, TCU; Michael Carter, North Carolina; Ricky Person, NC State; Moe Neal, Syracuse; Shamari Brooks, Tulsa; Adrian Killins, UCF; Stephen Carr, USC; Toa Taua, Nevada; Gerold Bright, Utah State; Jason Huntley, New Mexico State; Kell Walker/Connor Slomoka, Army; Raheem Blackshear, Rutgers; Tra Minter, South Alabama, Tre Harbison, Northern Illinois; Charles Williams, UNLV; Frankie Hickson, Liberty; Tyler King/Brenden Knox, Marshall; Kevin Mensah, UConn; Caleb Huntley, Ball State; Mekhi Sargent, Iowa