football Edit

Clemson heads best RB groups in nation

Travis Etienne
Travis Etienne (AP)

Fingers are crossed for a football season with the pandemic but we will continue to have hope and preview the season. This week I start a series ranking the best teams in college football by position. I continue with the running backs.

RELATED: Best QB groups

CLASS OF 2021 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Position | Team | State

CLASS OF 2022: Top 100

MORE: Rivals Transfer Tracker | Rivals Camp Series

1. CLEMSON

Travis Etienne is one of the best running backs in college football (if not the best) and his backup, Lyn-J Dixon is no slouch. Etienne rushed for more than 1,600 yards and Dixon had more than 600, so this is a tough duo to match.

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2. LOUISVILLE

Wait, another ACC team? Yep. You may not know them as household names but Javian Hawkins rushed for more than 1,500 yards last year and Hassan Hall could be a 1,000-yard rusher as well if he’s healthy.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS WITH LOUISVILLE FANS AT CARDINALSPORTS.COM

3. PENN STATE

I love the duo for Penn State with Journey Brown as the speed threat and Noah Cain as the grinder who has a great nose for the end zone. Neither had 1,000 yards rushing but they combined for 20 touchdowns.

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4. ALABAMA

Najee Harris is a great back and should have a monster season and his backup should be former five-star Trey Sanders, who could be the next great one at Alabama. Sanders missed all of last season with an injury but if he returns to his high school form, he’s going to be a beast.

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5. OKLAHOMA STATE

Chuba Hubbard is amazing and doesn’t need much help, but backup LD Brown doesn’t see much action and they rely more on QB Spencer Sanders as the second runner.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS WITH OKLAHOMA STATE FANS AT OSTATEILLUSTRATED.COM

News and Notes: Buffalo has a great combination at the Group of Five level with Jaret Patterson and Kevin Marks, both 1,000 yard rushers. ... CJ Verdell and Travis Dye are a nice combination at Oregon. ... Ohio State is a question mark depending on how Master Teague recovers from an Achilles injury, but he and Trey Sermon could be special. ... Michael Carter and Javonte Williams are a really nice combo at North Carolina who combined for nearly 2,000 yards. ... Texas has Keontay Ingram and Roschon Johnson as a very good combo and the second best in the Big 12. ... I like what Ole Miss has in Jerrion Ealy and Snoop Conner and I think Ealy has a chance to be a breakout star.