2 Big Ten backfields ranked among the nation's best
The Big 10 has a prestigious history when it comes to running backs, and 2018 will feature another crop of impressive rushers.
Steven Lassan at Athlon Sports recently ranked the Top 50 Running Back Units for 2018 and two Big 10 schools landed in the top five. While Alabama did take the top spot with guys like Damien Harris and Najee Harris in the backfield, Wisconsin was not far behind the Crimson Tide as the No. 2 ranked backfield in all of college football.
It is not hard to understand that high ranking. Jonathan Taylor is back for his sophomore campaign after rushing for more than 1,900 yards as a freshman. Lassan believes Taylor, combined with an impressive offensive line, will make the Badgers quite a handful in the running game:
With Wisconsin’s run-first approach and the nation’s No. 1 offensive line clearing the way, Taylor’s sophomore campaign could be even better than his prolific debut. Bradrick Shaw (recovering from an ACL injury) returns after rushing for 365 yards last year, with Chris James and Taiwan Deal also in the mix as key reserves.
Ohio State was the other Big 10 team to appear in the top five of the list. The Buckeyes are returning J.K. Dobbins who rushed for more than 1,400 yards as a freshman. Mike Weber will also see a good bit of playing time, and he has a 1,000 yard rushing season on his record from 2016.
Stanford at No. 3 and Florida State at No. 5 rounded out the rest of the top five. Which running back are you most excited to see this season?