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Cal's Jaydn Ott Ranked Among Nation's Top 10 Running Backs

ESPN and Pro Football Focus both place the Golden Bears star among the nation's elite runners for 2024
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Even though Cal had a losing record in 2023, two influential sites place Bears running back Jadyn Ott among the top college running backs returning for the 2024 season.

Last week, released its ranking of the top 10 running backs in the country for next season, and Ott came in at No. 9 based on a point system of college football experts who were polled.  ESPN offered this commentary about Ott:

9. Jaydn Ott, Cal

2023 stats: 1,305 yards rushing, 5.3 yards per rush, 12 rushing TDs, 26 receptions, 196 receiving yards, 2 receiving TDs

Points: 26

Perhaps it's because he played for a team that went 6-7, but Ott was one of the most underrated running backs in the country last season. After a strong freshman year (897 yards, 8 touchdowns), Ott broke out in his second season at Cal. Ott averaged more than 18 carries per game and totaled 1,305 yards and 12 touchdowns.

Ott was undoubtedly the Golden Bears' best player; in fact, four of Cal's wins came when Ott had more than 150 rushing yards -- a feat he accomplished five times during the 2023 season. Ott's decision to come back to Berkeley for one more year is a boon for the Bears, who should improve on their 2023 campaign. Improvement isn't always linear in college football, but after a productive sophomore season, the sky is the limit for Ott in his third season. -- Uggetti

Pro Football Focus ranked Ott among the top 10 running backs in the nation, although it did not rank those 10.

Ott led the Pac-12 in rushing in 2023 by averaging 108.5 yards per game, but he will be going against Atlantic Coast Conference defenses next fall, which provides some interesting matchups.   How will Ott fare against the strong defenses of Florida State and Miami, the Bears' first two ACC opponents next season?

Cal begins spring football workouts on March 18, although Ott is unlikely to be involved in much hitting in those practices.

Most of the focus will be on quarterbacks Fernando Mendoza and Chandler Rogers, who will begin their competition to determine the Bears' 2024 starting quarterback.

Cover photo of Jaydn Ott by Henrietta Wildsmith, The Times, USA TODAY NETWORK

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