The SEC, year after year, features some of the top running backs in the country. And this year is no different.
With Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram back for his junior year at Alabama and back from a moderate knee injury, he may not even be the best back in the SEC.
From Alabama at the top of the hill to Vanderbilt trying to rise from the bottom, running backs are very talented and run very deep in the SEC.
Here are my top 10 picks at this position going into week 4:
Michael is a gifted 5’ 9” 215 lb freshman running back out of Arkansas who represents the future at Auburn. Much to the Tiger fans delight, they are getting a good glimpse of the future now as Dyer has had 39 carries already, just 3 games into the season. He has not disappointed with 212 yards at 5.4 a pop.
The Vols are struggling to right the ship under new coach Derrick Dooley, however Tauren Poole is most definitely doing his part as the 5’ 11” 213 lb junior has toted the ball 50 times for 295 yards in 3 games. He may now be slowed a bit with a thigh bruise but he vows to play this Saturday against UAB.
The Commodores have been playing pretty decent ball as of late, in fact very decent against Ole Miss last weekend, and much of it has to do with Warren Norman keeping defenses honest with his rushing abilities. This 5’ 10” 195 lb back from Georgia had a stellar day against the Rebels with 111 yards including taking one to the house on an 80 yard jaunt.
The Tigers are well stocked with talented rushers and Onterio McCalebb may lead the pack. Onterio is a 5’ 10” 171 lb sophomore tailback from Florida who leads the SEC with 7.3 yards per attempt. Now if he can just keep up with quarterback Cameron Newton who leads all Auburn rushers with 309 yards on the ground.
This 6’ 0” 223 lb junior running back from Mississippi really came on to the scene last fall in Tuscaloosa when Charles Scott was injured. He proceeded to rush for a touchdown that game and provided Tiger fans with hope for future production on the ground. He has not disappointed. His best day was at Vanderbilt where he rushed for 159 yards including a 65 yarder to pay dirt.
Jeffery, at 5’ 8” 190 lbs, is the prototypical Gator running back; a bit undersized but has speed to burn. If he gets past you its all taillights. This Florida native junior is on pace for a 1200+ yard season and just might exceed that. He also is a threat as a receiver out of the back field who just needs the ball and a little space.
Over in Columbia Steve Spurrier may just have the freshman of the year in his backfield in Marcus Lattimore. This 6’ 0” 218lb true freshman is the absolute real deal, providing a serious running game to go along with Stephen Garcia’s rejuvenated passing game. Lattimore is the talk of the town and has Gamecock fans thinking SEC championship.
Up in Bluegrass country where basketball is king, Derrick Locke has the Wildcat faithful focused on football as this 5’ 9” 190 lb senior leads all SEC running backs in rushing yards with 372 yards after 3 games. This may be one of the prime reasons that Kentucky is undefeated and approaching their SEC schedule with loads of confidence.
It is not every day that a running back wins the Heisman Trophy and comes back the next year and is considered by many as maybe not even be the best back on the team. As good and tough a runner as this junior is there is another who may even be more talented and better. And, of course that running back is…
…Trent Richardson. This guy has “franchise” written all over him. He is just a sophomore but this 5’ 11” 220 lb tailback runs with total abandon and demonstrates power that few have. It was just one rush, but his goal line touchdown against Penn State spoke volumes about what this back is capable of. Anything and Everything!