Every day here at Your Best 11, we are counting down to the start of the regular season with our top 150 players for the 2012 season.
No. 92: Eddie Lacy, No. 42, Alabama, Running Back
The numbers on the rising Alabama junior speak for themselves: 151 carries for 1,080 yards as a backup and 7.15 yards per carry average as a secondary rushing threat for the Crimson Tide. Lacy is the big, physical type of back that Nick Saban has built his success around in Tuscaloosa.
Glen Coffee begat Mark Ingram begat Trent Richardson and now, Eddie Lacy looks to be the next physical bruiser for the Tide. Lacy gets tough yards, runs through arm tackles and has enough of a burst to go with his big body to get away from defenders and get downfield. He is just what the doctor ordered when it comes to an ideal Nick Saban running back.
Honestly, the only true weakness is that Lacy is not Mark Ingram or Trent Richardson.
The junior is a quality back—one of the best handful of ball carriers to line up this season—but he has some big shoes to fill. In Mark Ingram the Tide know a true pro at the running back position, a guy who just showed up and got the job done. In Trent Richardson Alabama got a truly freakish monster toting the football.
Lacy has some big shoes to fill and eyes will be on him to see how he lives up to expectations. Throw in the fact that Lacy is coming off an offseason surgery, and it could be tough sledding for the junior.
Expect the big years at the running back position to continue in Tuscaloosa; the offensive line for the Tide is so good that Lacy is going to see big holes, free runs to the second level and tired defenses grabbing instead of tackling.
That said, with Knile Davis and Marcus Lattimore looking to put their name in lights, it will be tough for Lacy to crack that All-SEC first team. However, the second team is very doable by Lacy—he'll have to beat out someone from LSU's stable of backs and Georgia's Isaiah Crowell is gunning for a spot as well.
Look for Lacy to cross that 1,000-yard mark, but how close he comes to 1,500 will be dependent upon the toe and how often Alabama takes the "running back by committee" approach.