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Isaac Bennett is ready for a breakout year as a sophomore.
Heading into this season, Pitt has as many talented running backs as any team in the country. All-American candidate Ray Graham is coming back after blowing out a knee last year, but he's hardly the Panthers' only option. In fact, it was because of the injury to Graham that Pitt looks so strong.
True freshman Isaac Bennett ran for 237 yards and a pair of touchdowns on just 58 carries last year, and had 14 catches for 88 yards and another touchdown. Bennett followed that by being one of the stars of the spring. Bennett looked so good at times that he may be able to take some carries away from a healthy Graham.
Then the Panthers add in local star Rushel Shell, a top recruit who turned down Alabama and Ohio State following a record-setting high school career. Shell is the type of player capable of being a feature back. He has both power and speed.
This doesn't even factor in true sophomore Corey Davis, who was set to redshirt last year but ended up being forced into action by injuries, or talented redshirt freshman Malcolm Crockett. This group is quietly one of the best in the nation, but doesn't get a ton of attention.
Paul Chryst hasn't sat back in recruiting this season. In fact, he has landed a talented back from New Jersey in Corey Clement. As a bigger back who runs well between the tackles and can help in pass protection, Clement is a good fit for Chryst's offense.
Just remember the success that Chryst had at Wisconsin in 2010 when the offensive coordinator had three backs finish just short of 1,000 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns. That was followed this year by Montee Ball having such a strong year that he was picked by some as the guy who should have won the Heisman.