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NCAAF: Corey Carmona’s Top 5 College Football RBs

College football is almost here, I can practically hear the roar of the crowds echoing in my ears as we gear up for another exciting season of NCCA football. I’ve already released my preseason Heisman favorites, link at the bottom of this article, now I’ve decided to break down the various positions & formulate a top 5 for you guys. I’ve already done my top five signal callers now it’s time for the running backs. With a ton of backs gone to the NFL, it leaves the field wide open for a lot of unproven yet talented backs which made it difficult to formulate a top 5 but here goes nothing.

5. De ‘Anthony Thomas - Junior - Oregon

De’ Anthony Thomas, or the “Black Mamba”, is just an amazing athlete with elite sprinter speed but he’s also a talented football player. I struggled with this 5th spot and almost put Miami’s Duke Johnson here but I felt Thomas has a slight edge over the young Johnson. While Thomas has never been Oregon’s feature back he’s put up solid numbers & his versatility has allowed the Ducks to do multiple things with him such as split him out, put him in motion for sweeps & use him in the screen game.

Looking at Thomas’s numbers on paper they don’t jump out at you until you consider he wasn’t Oregon’s lead back in 2012. Thomas only carried the ball 92 times totaling 701 yards & 11 touchdowns, averaging a whopping 7.6 yards per carry. What Thomas did do for the Ducks is offer them versatility; he caught 45 balls for 445 yards & 5 touchdowns. It also, must be noted he returned 13 punts for 222 yards with a score as well as 16 kicks for 389 yards & a score there too. I expect Thomas to carry the ball much more in 2013 as he attempts to lead his Ducks to a national title.

4. Lache Seastrunk - Junior - Baylor

Lache Seastrunk is a name you’re probably not familiar with, well I’m here to tell you it’s time to get familiar in a hurry because this kid is the real deal. Seastrunk busted on the scene in a major way in 2012 for the Bears recording 843 yards in the final 6 games, he finished the year with 1,012 yards on just 131 carries averaging 7.7 yards a touch. Lache is a perfect combination of power, speed & agility & is dangerous in the open field; he produced 10 runs over 25 yards in 2012 for Baylor.

Watching him on tape you notice his quickness and ability to make the first defender miss in the hole as well as at the second level & he finishes runs with his pads. Although he only caught 9 passes in 2012, Lache looked smooth when catching the ball I expect him to be a big target out of the backfield for Baylor going forward. Like I stated earlier if you haven’t heard of this kid it’s time to get familiar he’s without a doubt one of the most talented runners in college football & is poise for a huge year in 2013.

3. T.J Yeldon - Sophomore - Alabama

The only thing that separated Yeldon & my number 2 back on this list was experience, I struggled putting Yeldon here but I believe the experience factor has to way in when ranking out players. While backing up senior running back Eddie Lacy in 2012, T.J Yeldon posted 1,108 yards with 12 touchdowns on just 175 carries, which is an average of 6.3 yards per carry. It also needed to be noted that Yeldon caught 11 passes in 2012 for 131 yards & a touchdown. Yeldon truly is a special talent he has the ability to run through, around & by defenders & he makes it looks easy.

I’ve gone on the record saying he’s the best running back of the Nick Saban era & that’s saying a lot. This year is Yeldon’s year as he will receive the bulk of the carries out of the backfield for the Crimson Tide & I fully expect him to have the same level of success as his predecessors. What may separate Yeldon is his ability to be a legit receiver out of the backfield; he has very good hands for a running back & makes defenders look downright silly in open space. His speed on the open field cannot go overlooked I fully expect him to provide us without countless highlights this year on his way to New York City as a Heisman finalist.

2. Ka’Deem Carey - Junior- Arizona

Like I previously stated, the only thing that separated Carey & Yeldon was the experience factor you cannot argue with Carey’s body of work. This kid was a complete work horse for Arizona in 2012 carrying the ball 303 times for 1,929 yards & 23 touchdowns. I personally find it extremely impressive for a back to carry the ball over 300 times & still average 6.4 yards per touch, not to mention he caught 36 passes for 303 yards & a score as well.

Carey is without a doubt one of the nation’s top runners, he is what you would call a complete running back with the ability to pass protect, run it inside & out as well as catch the ball out of the backfield. I’m not sure if Carey can muster up enough attention to be on Heisman ballets at the end of the season but if he tops his previous season he will without a doubt be in the conversation.

1. Todd Gurley - Sophomore - Georgia

Todd Gurley is a grown man period the end. This dude might be the most NFL ready back we have in college football & he’s only a sophomore. Gurley is the perfect combination of speed & power giving the Bulldogs an elite weapon on the ground. Standing at 6’1 232 pounds, Todd Gurley has that NFL size you look for when scouting backs & he runs behind his pads & finishes runs better than any back in the nation. The question is can Gurley really get any better?

I’m not sure, there are things he can improve on like his general quickness & open field moves but even if he doesn’t he’s a unique talent & a hell of a running back. In his true freshman season, Todd Gurley posted 1,385 yards & 17 touchdowns on 222 carries averaging 6.2 yards a touch. I would love to say he can improve on those numbers but he also shares the backfield so who windows. I will say cases like Gurley makes you want to throw away the three years removed from high-school rule because this kid looks ready for the big league.

Director of Content for NCAA Football/Broadcaster

Follow Corey Carmona on Twitter @SportsJunkyy


Twitter: @FullScaleSport

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