From Heisman Trophy winners to All-Americans, we rank the 30 best college running backs to ever play the game.
Some say 2015 is the Year of the Running Back. With superstars like Leonard Fournette, Nick Chubb, Ezekiel Elliott, Paul Perkins and Derrick Henry racking up big yardage through the first few weeks of the season, it very well could be. Some could even end rank among the best running backs of all-time like the players on this list.
Throughout college football history, most of the best teams of all-time had run-first philosophies. Some chose to emphasize the running game because it was safer than passing. Others were defensive-oriented and wanted to run the clock. Some had the luxury of handing the football to an elite running back who could overcome poor blocking and use his elite physical ability to break tackles and/or outrun 11 other players en route to the end zone.
This is a list of those players: The 30 best running backs in college football history.
We focused on the highest level: Division I, Division I-A (after the split) and FBS, and included only players that have exhausted their eligibility (so Fournette and Chubb aren’t eligible…yet). There are Heisman Trophy winners, All-Americans, and record holders, as well as a few players you may have overlooked. Before getting to the 30 best running backs of all-time, here’s the players who just missed the cut.
Next: Honorable Mention