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Monday, June 10, 2024

Ohio State, Georgia headline 5 finest faculty soccer RB rooms getting into the 2024 season

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“Operating backs do not matter.”

It is a phrase that is grow to be prevalent in soccer over the past decade as analytics and superior statistics have grow to be extra vital at each stage of the game. The argument is that whereas the place issues, no working again is that significantly better than every other. Whereas the concept has confirmed to be correct on the NFL stage, I guarantee you that working backs nonetheless matter very a lot on the faculty stage.

An important working again generally is a important difference-maker for a university group. All you need to do is take a look at how vital Blake Corum and Donovan Edwards had been for the Michigan Wolverines final season. Yearly, the School Soccer Playoff is crammed with groups who’ve studs on the place, and that is not prone to change a lot in 2024 even with an expanded CFP area.

The truth is, the place might grow to be much more vital within the expanded CFP period. Operating backs additionally take a number of hits, which is why it is simply as vital to have a wealth of expertise on the place. With extra video games to play to win a nationwide title, recent legs may very well be extra vital than ever earlier than.

Which groups have the deepest working again rooms within the nation? Magnificence is within the eye of the beholder, however for my cash, these are the highest 5 on the market.

The Buckeyes by no means have a scarcity of working backs out there to them, and 2024 will not be any totally different. TreVeyon Henderson shocked some folks by returning for his senior season (NIL > NFL for working backs) after dashing for 926 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2023. Henderson shouldered a lot of the load at working again for the Buckeyes, however he’ll have extra assist this fall.

The Buckeyes landed former Ole Miss working again Quinshon Judkins from the switch portal. All Judkins did for the Rebels over the past two years was rush for two,723 yards and 31 touchdowns. These touchdowns may very well be his best attraction to an Ohio State group that struggled within the crimson zone final season. Behind these two, the Buckeyes even have incoming freshman James Peoples, the No. 7 RB from the 2024 highschool recruiting class.

From 2018 to 2022, Georgia noticed Sony Michel, Nick Chubb, D’Andre Swift, James Prepare dinner and Zamir White all go within the NFL Draft. In 2015, Todd Gurley was the tenth general decide. Neither of final season’s two main rushers, Daijun Edwards and Kendall Milton, are again, however the Bulldogs made an enormous transfer within the portal this offseason by touchdown Trevor Etienne.

The youthful brother of former Clemson RB and present Jacksonville Jaguar Travis Etienne left the Dawgs’ arch-rival Florida, the place he rushed for 753 yards and eight touchdowns whereas catching 21 balls for 172 yards. Behind Etienne might be Branson Robinson, who was the No. 2 again within the 2022 class however missed final season with a ruptured patellar tendon. Then there’s Roderick Robinson, who was a top-10 again within the 2023 class and can tackle an even bigger position this season.

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Ought to any of them go down, Georgia added three extra four-star working backs (Nathaniel Frazier, Chauncey Bowens, Dwight Phillips) of their newest recruiting class. I do not know if you happen to’ve heard, however Georgia recruits fairly nicely.

I do not know if I am going to ever get used to considering of Kansas as one of many nation’s most proficient faculty soccer groups, but it surely’s a actuality in 2024, notably on the working again place. Devin Neal was top-of-the-line backs within the nation final season, even when he isn’t a family identify. He is been one of the vital productive backs within the nation over the past two seasons, dashing for two,373 yards and 25 touchdowns. Neal can be a precious weapon within the passing sport with 53 profession receptions for 457 yards and three touchdowns.

Daniel Hishaw was a strong No. 2 behind Neal final season, dashing for 626 yards and eight touchdowns. He is again in 2024, too. Each are terrors within the open area; their mixture of measurement and agility make them a severe pain-in-the-you-know-what to sort out.

4. Texas

Jonathan Brooks led the Longhorns in dashing final season with 1,139 yards, however he is moved onto the NFL. Texas needn’t fear because it strikes to the SEC, as a result of pretty much as good as Brooks was, there’s extra expertise able to step up. C.J. Baxter served as Brooks’ main backup final season, and the No. 22 participant within the 2023 recruiting class (No. 1 RB) bought off to a sluggish begin in his freshman season. Nonetheless, as soon as November rolled round, Baxter had 90 yards on 10 carries in opposition to Kansas State, and had his first 100-yard dashing effort at Iowa State. Baxter completed the season by averaging greater than 7 yards per carry in opposition to Washington within the Sugar Bowl with a landing.

Jaydon Blue was one of many prime working backs within the 2022 class and can step into a bigger position this 12 months as nicely. Blue rushed for 398 yards final season whereas averaging 6.12 yards per carry. Blue was extra explosive as a pass-catcher than Baxter too. He caught 14 passes for 135 yards, averaging over 3 yards per reception greater than Baxter. It is a well-rounded unit that enhances one another, and has the No. 3 RB within the 2024 class, Jerrick Gibson, behind each.

Final season, UCF’s Rocky Harvey completed sixth within the nation with 1,416 yards dashing. That was 16 yards greater than Toledo’s Peny Boone, who rushed for 1,400 yards and completed eighth nationally. In 2024, they will be in the identical backfield. Boone, final 12 months’s MAC Offensive Participant of the 12 months, transferred to UCF in Could to present the Knights the best backfield within the nation. And whereas he isn’t a working again, the Knights added QB KJ Jefferson from the portal, and he is fairly actually a tank pretending to be a human quarterback. I haven’t got the bodily proof of this, however I belief my eyes.

There’s additionally Johnny Richardson, who completed second in dashing behind Harvey for the Knights final season, averaging 6.59 yards per carry. These three backs mixed with Jefferson in a Gus Malzahn offense? Girls and gents, signal me up for that.

Honorable point out

  • Miami (Damien Martinez, Mark Fletcher, Ajay Allen)
  • Penn State (Nicholas Singleton, Kaytron Allen)
  • Kansas State (D.J. Giddens, Dylan Edwards)
  • Ole Miss (Ulysses Bentley, Henry Parrish Jr., Jacorey Croskey-Merritt)
  • Oregon (Jordan James, Noah Whittington)

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