Pac-12 Football: 10 Fastest RBs in the Conference

Alex SimsCorrespondent IIIFebruary 13, 2014

Pac-12 Football: 10 Fastest RBs in the Conference

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    Ted S. Warren/Associated Press

    The Pac-12 Conference is home to some of the fastest offenses in all of the land and some of the speediest running backs.

    Oregon is known for running its offense at an incredible pace and that is possible because it boasts as much backfield speed as any team in the league.

    However, the Ducks aren't the only ones with talent at the position.

    We'll breakdown the 10 fastest running backs in the Pac-12, just ahead.

    Note: Rankings based on 40-yard dash times, compiled from various sources.

10. D.J. Morgan, USC

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    Harry How/Getty Images

    40-yard dash time: 4.42

    D.J. Morgan missed all of the 2013 season after undergoing knee surgery, which was a harmful blow to the USC offense.

    His Rivals profile credited him with a 4.42-second 40-yard dash coming out of high school, and he is also an elite hurdler.

    He competes on the USC track team and placed fifth in the 110-meter high hurdles during the 2012 Pac-12 Championships with a time of 14.21 seconds.

    The Trojans will welcome him back to the backfield in 2014.

9. Jordon James, UCLA

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    Harry How/Getty Images

    40-yard dash time: 4.4

    Jordon James had a great start to the 2013 season and the UCLA offense was on fire.

    Then the injury bug hit, forcing him to miss time and in turn crippled the Bruins' attack. It's no mystery why the Bruins slowed offensively without James.

    Chris Foster of the Los Angeles Times reported that James was clocked at a 4.4 40-yard dash coming out of high school.

    He has blossomed into a great back in Westwood and UCLA will be in the thick of the Pac-12 title race this season if he can stay healthy.

8. Khalfani Muhammad, Cal

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    Jeff Chiu/Associated Press

    40-yard dash time: 4.4

    After a solid freshman season, California's Khalfani Muhammad looks poised to have a great career in the Pac-12.

    He was a star sprinter in high school and became the third person ever to win back-to-back individual California state titles in the 100 and 200 meters, as his official Cal bio details.

    He took that speed and translated it to 445 rushing yards and four touchdowns on 74 carries in his freshman campaign.

    Cal struggled last season, but with young talented players like Muhammad, the offense looks strong going forward.

7. Terron Ward, Oregon State

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    Eugene Tanner/Associated Press

    40-yard dash time: 4.4

    The Oregon State offense revolves around the passing game, but that doesn't mean the Beavers have forgotten about the speedster in their backfield.

    Terron Ward, out of high school football powerhouse De La Salle, runs a 4.4-second 40-yard dash, according to Cliff Kirkpatrick of the Gazette-Times

    Ward was fourth on the team with 857 all-purpose yards last season: 521 rushing, 280 receiving and 56 returning. He also was third on the team with eight total touchdowns: three receiving and five rushing.

    With the departure of star receiver Brandin Cooks, Ward could be moving up as an even more important playmaker as a senior.

6. Byron Marshall, Oregon

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    Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

    40-yard dash time: 4.38

    Oregon never seems to be at a loss for speed in its backfield.

    And although De'Anthony Thomas is on his way out, the Ducks will still have plenty of speed to burn.

    Byron Marshall spent much of last season as the premier back while Thomas was hampered by injury. He led the team with 1,038 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns.

    He is poised for another excellent season with quarterback Marcus Mariota returning to run Oregon's zone read attack in 2014.

5. Marcus Mason, Washington State

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    Dean Hare/Associated Press

    40-yard dash time: 4.38

    Passing is always priority No. 1 in a Mike Leach offense, but Washington State has plenty of talent at the running back position as well.

    Mason led the Cougars with 429 rushing yards last season and reached the end zone twice.

    He wasn't a highly sought-after recruit, but his Scout profile details his great speed. He ran a hand-timed 4.28 40 and an electronically timed 4.38. 

    Electronic times are usually regarded as official, but either way, Mason is one of the Pac-12's fastest backs.

4. Kalen Ballage, Arizona State

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    Credit: 247Sports

    40-yard dash time: 4.37

    Kalen Ballage hasn't played a down in the Pac-12, but next season he will be one of its fastest running backs.

    He signed with the Sun Devils for the 2014 class as a 4-star and the No. 29 athlete in the nation, according to 247Sports.

    Schools from all over the country were into Ballage's 4.37 40 dash speed, including Washington, Nebraska, Michigan and Oklahoma.

    He decided on ASU, where he could be set to contribute immediately.

3. Theron West, Washington State

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    Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

    40-yard dash time: 4.34

    Washington State has an undersized but very speedy gem hidden in its backfield.

    Theron West runs a 4.34 40, per his 247Sports profile. He was the No. 2 all-purpose back and No. 60 overall junior college prospect in the 2012 class.

    He spent the 2012 season as a redshirt and hardly played during the 2013 regular season. However, he showed that he might be in for a breakout year during Wazzu's New Mexico Bowl loss to Colorado State.

    He carried three times for 17 yards and caught three passes for 50 yards and a touchdown.

2. Barry Sanders Jr., Stanford

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    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

    40-yard dash time: 4.31

    Of course the son of one of the most notoriously speedy running backs in NFL history is going to have plenty of speed of his own. 

    Stanford's Barry Sanders Jr. hasn't had a major role in the Cardinal offense yet but his speed won't be contained for long.

    He took five carries for 42 yards and a touchdown, while also catching four passes for 31 yards last season.

    With Tyler Gaffney and Anthony Wilkerson both departing, Sanders could be taking on a much larger role next year.

1. Thomas Tyner, Oregon

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    Steve Dykes/Getty Images

    40-yard dash time: 4.28

    Thomas Tyner joined the Oregon Ducks as a track star and has already shown off his speed in Eugene.

    The Aloha, Ore., native set the state record in the 100-meter dash with a time of 10.43 seconds and Matt Singledecker of the Portland Tribune credits him with a 4.28 40.

    He turned that speed into 711 rushing yards and nine touchdowns, despite Byron Marshall and De'Anthony Thomas holding spots ahead of him on the depth chart.

    Tyner, one of the fastest players in college football, will be a star for at least the next two years for the Ducks.