| NEWS Ranking the SEC's 10 best RBs post-spring - 247 Sports


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In a line of scrimmage league, there's nothing like the luxury of an enforcer in the backfield intended to deal out punishment in the running game.

It's been awhile since college football's most competitive conference has boasted several top-end ballcarriers, but the SEC appears to have several players capable of making national noise this upcoming season.

Exiting spring practice, 10 players jump off the page as potential all-conference candidates at running back, some from a versatility sense and others as between-the-tackle bruisers.Not limited to the league's elite teams, here's a glance at the SEC's best ballcarriers entering the 2019 season, not including a few five-star summer arrivals and guys returning from injury who could be just as impactful:


Why he's on the list: Arguably Tennessee's best player on offense, Chandler showed off a new sculpted body this spring and should be one of several pass-catching ballcarriers out of the backfield first-year OC Jim Chaney utilizes in the screen game this season. Chandler rushed for 630 yards and four touchdowns, caught 19 passes for 183 yards and three touchdowns and recorded at least 80 yards from scrimmage in seven games as a sophomore. He is excited to be the team's versatile option under Chaney's tutelage this season.


Why he's on the list: For the first time since 2008 last season, the Tigers did not have a 1,000-yard rusher. That led to season-long struggles offensively and a rushing attack that finished 10th in the SEC at 167.5 yards per game. That's not going to cut it in Gus Malzahn's scheme and the Tigers are hoping Whitlow (or Kam Martin) is the guy who gets them back over the plateau. Auburn running backs coach and former All-American Cadillac Williams likes the talent he has in the backfield.


Why he's on the list: Mississippi State's new alpha in the offensive huddle with Nick Fitzgerald gone, Hill should have his best collegiate season as a junior workhorse for the Bulldogs. Hill managed two 100-yard games and a 200-yard outburst last season and seemed to be at his best when Mississippi State fed him the football. He's the kind of ballcarrier who gets stronger when he's lathered up with double-digit carries and able to wear down defenses in the second half of contests.


Why he's on the list: Here's a player who will potentially be inside the Top 3 of this list by the end of the season if he emerges as the productive back Alabama's coaching staff and other insiders expect. Robinson had a terrific spring for the Crimson Tide, catching the eye of Nick Saban alongside projected RB1 Najee Harris. Per BamaOnline, "Robinson was Alabama’s fourth back, usually used in the fourth quarter, and saw some snaps as a fullback and H-back near the goal line or in short-yardage situations. He accumulated 232 yards and a pair of touchdowns on the ground on 63 touches to finish fourth on the 2018 team."


Why he's on the list: Drew Lock and Mizzou's passing game last season was all the rage but Rountree was actually the offense's best player from an individual standpoint. He rushed for 1,216 yards and 11 scores while splitting time with two others. He might be the SEC's most reliable back in terms of ball security without a single lose fumble over his first two seasons (337 carries). Expect another banner campaign, this time in an offense better-suited for a run-pass mix with Kelly Bryant at quarterback.


Why he's on the list: I'm probably higher on Boyd than most and that's not due to my viewer allegiance to Last Chance U. On a better team, Boyd would be a player we're talking about nationally as one of college football's best all-around running backs. The former elite prospect out of Texas averaged six yards per carry last season and did a great job considering teams were stacking the box against the Razorbacks and daring Arkansas to throw.


Why he's on the list: Poised for a monster season in Gainesville, this senior playmaker has the best vision of any ballcarrier in Florida's running back and will see an increase in production almost by default this fall with Jordan Scarlett no longer in the mix. And as Swamp247 analyst Thomas Goldkamp points out, "his pass-catching ability adds a real wrinkle to the offense."


Why he's on the list: Vanderbilt coach Derek Mason has promised more carries as a senior for Vaughn, who managed 1,244 yards in his first season with the Commodores following a transfer from Illinois. During his team's 45-38 bowl loss to Baylor, Vaughn turned heads with touchdown runs of 69 and 68 yards, showcasing a second gear. Vaughn is all muscle at 5-10, 215 pounds and delivers more hits than he takes.


Why he's on the list: No longer fighting for carries with Josh Jacobs and Damien Harris in Tuscaloosa, Harris steps into the solidified RB1 role and could hit the 200-carry mark as a junior. As a physical, hard-nosed runner with quick-twitch ability going to the outside, Harris averages 6.5 yards per carry during his career, which puts him at 1,300 yards this fall should that mark stand with the carry threshold. New Alabama OC Steve Sarkisian has a wealth of talent to utilize this season in Tuscaloosa.


Why he's on the list: A former 5-star rated No. 4 overall at his position in the 2017 cycle, Swift's carry total this fall should surpass 200, which could equate to 1,300-plus yards if he stays healthy. New Georgia OC James Coley has a penchant for targeting tailbacks in the passing game and that is one of Swift's strengths as well. More than half of his 1,037 yards rushing and 12 total touchdowns last fall came during the second half of the season when the Bulldogs began to rely on him as a primary weapon.
I sold all my stock in #22. The guy continues to attempt to juke every player on the field instead of hitting the hole and taking what he can get. He looks the part for sure. I believe Ford is going to give the The King positive plays in 2019. He has a similar build to Cory Grant but I am not sure he has the same speed.
I sold all my stock in #22. The guy continues to attempt to juke every player on the field instead of hitting the hole and taking what he can get. He looks the part for sure. I believe Ford is going to give the The King positive plays in 2019. He has a similar build to Cory Grant but I am not sure he has the same speed.

They way you always have put him down I don't think you ever bought his stock. He hasn't had the chance to get all that high school style out of his system. He isn't leaping guys anymore, so I think he will soon realize hard nose running like Derrick Henry is where his bread and butter will be. Glad you sold your stock, because I'm bullish on Harris and what he will do for us at the end of the game when we will need him and Robinson.
He has a similar build to Cory Grant but I am not sure he has the same speed.

Corey Grant had speed but no timing. Comes to Bama as a freshman in 2010, the same time the barners win the NC. Transfers to the barners in 2011, the same time Bama is winning the NC. Makes his running debut down on the plains in 2012, the same year Bama is winning yet another NC. He's fast but somehow was the only player who missed out on 3 NCs in 3 straight years with Bama/the barn.
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