Year after Year, we witness exceptional seasons from star running backs. Looking forward to the crop of talent in 2011, we will again talk about and expect to see a special season from the nation’s top talent which will include the likes of LaMichael James, Trent Richardson, Marcus Lattimore, and so on and so forth. These backs will compose sexy and flashy highlight reels, as well as play integral roles for their teams’ hunt for a meaningful BCS game, hopefully the National Championship. There are however, some tailbacks that who have jaw dropping talent who don’t get included in these conversations. You’ll want to remember these names because you’re going to start hearing them on Saturdays.
Edwin Baker, Michigan State
Can Mark Dantonio’s Spartans continue their surprising success last season into 2011? That is a big question whose answer may lay in the hands (literally) of Edwin Baker. He averaged 6 YPC and found the end zone 13 times last year. He’s got a chip on his shoulder going into 2011 after a paltry performance against Alabama in the Capital One Bowl to end last season.
Eddie Lacy, Alabama
Speaking of SEC and the Capital One Bowl, Eddie Lacy did the exact opposite of Baker in that contest. He found the end zone twice on only 5 carries, totaling 86 yds from scrimmage. Mark Ingram is gone and Lacy has something to prove. I know what you’re thinking. He’ll be playing second fiddle again, this time to Heisman candidate Trent Richardson, but don’t forget that in college football there’s plenty of room for two backs to shine at the same time (Exhibit A: Reggie Bush and Lendale White) and you will be hearing the name “Lacy” a lot.
Montel Harris, Boston College
I’m not playing favorites with my alma mater here. Harris was a true workhorse last season for the Eagles and expect nothing less in his senior season. He’s still got a considerable amount to prove to NFL scouts so expect even more success in 2011. He has publicly stated he will be the Eagles all-time leading rusher, ahead of my personal friend, Derrick Knight. He’ll more than likely surpass that mark by more than 1,000 yds.
Silas Redd, Penn State
I expressed my undying love for Mr. Redd last week, click here to read more.
Brandon Bolden, Mississippi
Talk about a guy who will be on a mission- Bolden has incredible talent that will be showcased in 2011. He too needs to raise his NFL draft stock. He has yet to have a 1,000 yard season (came close in 2010 with 976 on 163 attempts), but he’s proven he is a red zone beast with 14 scores last year. He will be the focal point of an Ole Miss offense that will return all of its offensive lineman. Look for Bolden to put up monster numbers in 2011.