The Next Great Dayne? LaMichael James and the Top 10 Career Rushing Leaders
In just two seasons, Oregon running back LaMichael James has etched his name into the Oregon record books.
The redshirt sophomore from Texarkana, Texas has a great chance to do even more if he chooses to stick around.
James is currently considered a second-round NFL prospect. Most high-profile productive collegiate backs tend to jump ship before completing their four years of eligibility.
Here is a look at the 10 highest individual NCAA career rushing marks and what James needs to challenge Ron Dayne's remarkable record.
LaMichael James, Oregon (3,228 Yards)
In two seasons with the Ducks, James has rushed for 3,228 yards and 35 touchdowns. Simply projecting the next two years based on the last two, he will finish his career with 6,456 yards and 70 touchdowns.
James will also benefit from extra games. He has one very large game remaining this season, and the new Pac-12 will now play a conference championship game every year.
He still needs nearly 2,000 yards to break into the top 10 for career rushing yards, but he certainly has built a strong foundation for his pursuit of Ron Dayne's record.
Archie Griffin, Ohio State (5,177 Yards)
The former Buckeye great is the only player in college history to win two Heisman Trophies. Griffin spent four years in Columbus, leading his squad to four Big Ten titles and four appearances in the prestigious Rose Bowl.
Griffin finished his collegiate career with 5,177 rushing yards and set an NCAA record with 31 consecutive 100-yard games.
Herschel Walker, Georgia (5,259 Yards)
Considered one of the best collegiate running backs of all time, Walker set the Georgia career rushing record in only three years in Athens.
He topped over 1,600 yards and 15 touchdowns in each season from 1980 until 1982. Walker finished his collegiate career with 5,259 rushing yards and 49 touchdowns on the ground and was awarded the 1982 Heisman Trophy.
LaDainian Tomlinson, TCU (5,263 Yards)
A future NFL Hall of Fame selection, Tomlinson's collegiate work went largely unnoticed until he broke through to the pro ranks. The greatest player in Horned Frog history, he rushed for 5,263 yards from 1997 until 2000.
Even more remarkable, the Texas native rushed for over 4,000 yards during his junior and senior seasons.
In 2000 he was named a finalist for the Heisman Trophy and took home the Doak Walker Award, given to the nation's top running back.
Cedric Benson, Texas (5,540 Yards)
A four-year starter in Austin, Benson did his best to challenge the tremendous career of Ricky Williams. From 2001 until 2004, he rushed for 5,540 yards for the Longhorns.
The 5'11", 220-pound Texas native won the 2004 Doak Walker Award and currently plays running back for the Cincinnati Bengals.
Travis Prentice, Miami of Ohio (5,596 Yards)
Playing away from the national spotlight, Prentice ran through the Mid-American Conference record books during his time with the RedHawks.
From 1996 until 1999, he amassed 5,596 yards and 73 touchdowns on the ground. Possibly most impressive is the fact he touched the football 862 consecutive times with fumbling.
Charles White, USC (5,598 Yards)
Blessed with great speed, White is the statistical career rushing leader in Pac-10 and Trojan history. Given the prestigious running back tradition at USC, the collegiate marks of White go largely unnoticed.
As a senior in 1979 he was awarded the Heisman Trophy and Doak Walker, Walter Camp and Maxwell awards.
DeAngelo Williams, Memphis (6,026 Yards)
Much like Tomlinson and Prentice, the collegiate skills of Williams were never seen by much of the nation. Selected by Carolina late in the first round of the 2006 NFL draft, he is now considered one of the best pro running backs in the game today.
Playing away from the national spotlight, he ran for 6,026 yards during his four-year stay in Memphis. He holds the NCAA career records for most all-purpose yards at 7,573 and 100-yard games with 34.
Tony Dorsett, Pittsburgh (6,082 Yards)
Entertaining college fans from 1973 until 1976, Dorsett won the 1976 Heisman Trophy after rushing for 1,948 yards his senior season.
A four-year starter for the Panthers, he led his team to a national title in 1976 and was named a first team All-American three times. After amassing 6,082 yards in college, he went on to a NFL Hall of Fame career with the Dallas Cowboys.
Ricky Williams, Texas (6,279 Yards)
The greatest running back in Longhorn history, Williams held the NCAA career rushing mark for one year.
His 6,279 career rushing yards and 72 touchdowns made national headlines during the 1998 season. The former Texas star broke the 22-year-old NCAA record once held by Pittsburgh great Tony Dorsett.
Currently playing for the Miami Dolphins, Williams' pro career has been a mix of productive running and off the field controversy.
Ron Dayne, Wisconsin (6,397 Yards)
Punishing the Big Ten for four years, the "Great Dayne" of Wisconsin set the current NCAA career rushing mark in 1999. A four-year starter for the Badgers, the 5'10", 250-pound bruising back gained over 200 yards in a game 12 times.
Dayne won the 1999 Heisman Trophy and set the the record against Iowa in the final game of his senior season. He played in the NFL for seven years after being selected by the New York Giants with the 11th pick of the 2000 NFL draft.
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