SEC position rankings: Running backs
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — It pretty much goes without saying that Alabama is going to have great running backs, especially since 2005 it’s the only school in college football to have players at the position win the Heisman Trophy.
That being said, there’s another SEC team with a more proven ground attack heading into 2019.
D’Andre Swift will be the primary ball carrier for Georgia after tallying 155 carries for 1,037 yards and 10 rushing touchdowns, plus he also m
had 27 receptions last season. He could be more involved in the passing game this season, especially with the Bulldogs having some extreme turnover at wide receiver.
Senior Brian Herrien is a 1,000-yard rusher as well, plus sophomore James Cook figures to also contribute a lot, especially in the passing game. Georgia will rely a lot on its backfield, in part due to necessity.
Alabama had two running backs selected in the 2019 NFL Draft, but is still loaded as well. Former 5-star prospect Najee Harris is the top challenger for top honors in the league. An enormous talent, he had 117 carries for 783 yard and four touchdowns as the Crimson Tide’s third running back last season.
The stat to notice with Harris is that he averaged 6.5 yards per carry, and Alabama’s offensive line should be better in the running game this fall.
Among returning players, Vanderbilt’s Ke'Shawn Vaughn had the most rushing yards last season, with 1,244 on just 157 carries, just ahead of Missouri’s Larry Rountree III with 1,215. However, Vaughn averaged 7.9 yards per carry and 103.7 per game, with Rountree at 5.4 and 93.5, respectively.
Lamical Perine was Florida’s leading rusher with 826 yards and seven touchdowns while splitting carries. Rakeem Boyd, a transfer from Independence Community College (“Last Chance U”) had some big games for Arkansas last season and don’t forget about Kylin Hill at Mississippi State.
Teams to watch: Arkansas, LSU, Mississippi State
This is the seventh story in a summer Friday series, ranking the top SEC teams position by position.