Editor's note: Welcome to the first installment of Bleacher Report's new series, the CFB 250. We're using a signature scoring system to rank the best of today's college football players at every position, starting with running back.
The CFB 250, like B/R's popular NFL 1,000, sets out particular criteria by which to judge players at each position. Using those criteria, National College Football Lead Writer Michael Felder scores and ranks the players based on careful scouting of their play this season (and not based on NFL potential).
The series (you can read more about it here) will continue with 14 more positions over the course of December, before finishing with an overall ranking of 250 players. Now, let's get to the running backs:
Running back is one of the positions in the college football world that is overflowing with diverse talents. It is populated by all types of runners, and different styles of play yield different results. A running back who is active catching the football is used differently than a back who is asked to be a between-the-tackles runner.
For Bleacher Report's CFB 250, we’ve put together five criteria by which to judge the running back position, and then we watched, re-watched, evaluated, scored and ranked them all. This ranking is based on each player’s tape and is obviously subjective, not simply a look at statistics or forecasting for the next level.
Using power, speed, ball security, vision and hands as criteria, we took a look at players from across the nation who played in at least six games. Those elements create the most successful backs, and those five traits are what helped generate the list. If there were any ties, the edge went to the player we would rather have.
Keep in mind, these running backs are being rated on their performance in college, not NFL potential. But to see where they may go in the NFL draft (whether they are eligible in 2014 or later), check out Bleacher Report draft expert Matt Miller's projections at the end of each slide.