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Janie Harris | | August 9, 2016

5 feared running backs of the 2016 college football season

  LSU running back Leonard Fournette is said to be a Heisman favorite for the 2016 season.

As the 2016 football season approaches, speculation about who will come out victorious in various aspects of the game continues to arise. With all the hype surrounding certain players, it is difficult to determine which players will truly be superior. However, there are five running backs whose names keep coming up in these conversations. These five look to be the most feared competitors this fall. 

Dalvin Cook | FSU

This running back has an explosive breakaway speed that surprises most people watching him. So far, his name and the 2016 Heisman are already being used in the same sentence consistently. And with 229 carries resulting in 19 touchdowns and 1,691 rushing yards last year, why wouldn’t he be a 2016 Heisman candidate? The real question this year is: is he durable enough? He has had issues with his health in the past seasons, especially involving his shoulder. However, if he can stay in one piece, he looks to be a real game-changer for FSU.

Samaje Perine | Oklahoma

While Perine splits his time with Joe Mixon, he is not a player to ignore. Last year, he ran 1,349 yards, creating an average of six yards per carry. As for his career yards, he is only 1,056 yards away from becoming OU’s all-time leading rusher, and many believe that he can achieve that this year. He is a key component of the Oklahoma air raid offense, and if Baker Mayfield can hand Perine the ball a few more times, Oklahoma may find themselves moving to be ranked first throughout the season.

Nick Chubb | UGA

As long as his knee is healed, we can expect to see great things from Chubb. He was out for a good part of last year, but he was still able to impress football fans everywhere, averaging 8.1 yards per carry in 2015 and having five consecutive 100-plus-yard games. With a rebuilding UGA team, Chubb could be a game-changer for the offense. With his quick feet and low center of gravity, he won’t be an easy take down for any defender. So, as long as his knee holds up, fans should be looking to see a lot from this Georgia running back.

Christian McCaffrey | Stanford

He rushed for 2,019 yards last year, making him a huge threat at running back alone. However, he currently holds the NCAA single-season all-purpose yards record with 3,864 yards. This chain-mover is the only player to lead a team in both rushing and receiving yards. McCaffrey leads as a running back but is multi-talented, which makes him a huge intimidator to any team Stanford faces. He is a truly dynamic player, and while he came in second for the Heisman last year, it looks as if he is going to have a pretty good run at it again in 2016.

Leonard Fournette | LSU

How can you talk about 2016 running backs and not mention Fournette? This junior from Louisiana is already said to be a Heisman favorite. Last year, he was just shy of 2,000 yards, averaging 6.5 yards per carry, even though he played fewer games than most. In just two years at LSU, he is already listed with the fourth-most rushing yards in LSU history. With fast feet for a running back of his size, Fournette is proving to be a major workhorse for LSU’s offense. Will he live up to all his hype this year? We will find out soon enough.  

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