...MarQueis Gray of Minnesota.
This is particularly remarkable when you consider the probable starting quarterbacks of next season's Big Ten.
There is Nathan Sheelhaase of Illinois (859 yards rushing last season), Denard Robinson of Michigan (1,702 yards), Dan Persa of Northwestern (519 yards), Terrelle Pryor of Ohio State (754 yards), Rob Henry of Purdue (547 yards) and Taylor Martinez of Nebraska (965 yards).
As regards the above quarterbacks, it goes without saying I think Robinson would easily outgain Gray if he were still in Rich Rodriguez's offense. But he's not, and while I think Brady Hoke will tweak his O to take advantage of Robinson's talents, there is no way he will allow his quarterback to rush anywhere near 25-30 times per game.
Sheelhaase will be keyed upon, as previously mentioned. Pryor will miss five games. The greatest strength of Persa's game lies more with his arm than his feet. As for Henry, it remains to be seen if he will even be starting next season.
That leaves Martinez. He will get his yards, but the Nebraska offensive line will be doing quite a bit of reshuffling this year. Moreover, the Huskers don't have any receivers that opponents will be forced to respect. This will allow teams to load up the box against Martinez and running back Rex Burkhead.
Finally, Martinez picked up 758 of last season's yards in his first six games. His opponents in those games were: Western Kentucky, Idaho, Washington, South Dakota State (FCS), Kansas State and Texas.
He won't have a schedule that soft this season.
On the other hand, Gray is a very good rusher. He also will have one of the best receivers in the conference in Da'Jon McKnight to keep the opposing D's honest.
On top of that, at 230 pounds, he has the build to take the pounding of a rushing quarterback considerably more than most of the aforementioned signal callers.
Outside of an early date against Southern Cal, Minnesota won't face any of top defenses until late October. That will allow time for growth and cohesion (and inflated stats).
Finally, new Minnesota head coach Jerry Kill's offense is tailor-made for a fleet-footed quarterback. Last season with Northern Illinois, his quarterback Chandler Harnish rushed for 836 yards on 137 carries.
Of course, Harnish also completed almost 65 percent of his passes, and this is an area that Gray has had trouble with. However, he will have all of spring and summer to figure that out. If he becomes even an adequate passer, look for him to pick up plenty of yardage on the ground.