ACC Running Back Rankings

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ACC Running Back Rankings

Today we continue running backs week with our rankings of the corps of ACC running backs.

1. Virginia

This may surprise some but this is the best group of backs in the ACC party because it is the deepest group. Perry Jones had 915 yards and five touchdowns on the ground last year. He also caught 48 passes for 507 yards and three touchdowns. Kevin Parks is a great looking physical specimen who had 709 yards and nine touchdowns. He is the future star. Virginia also has Clifton Richardson who added 366 yards on the ground a year ago for a team that averaged 162 yards a game.

2. Florida State

Florida State couldn't run the ball last year because the offensive line was bad but I still love this group of backs. DeVonta Freeman had 579 yards rushing and eight touchdowns a season ago. He runs hard and plays with an edge. Freeman had the only two 100-yard rushing games for FSU last season. James Wilder can't stay out of jail but when he did he rushed for 160 yards and a touchdown. This is a great talent but obviously has issues. Chris Thompson had 83 yards rushing and a touchdown but could get more time this season now that Jermaine Thomas is gone.

3. Georgia Tech

This ranking is based upon the system. David Sims rushed for 697 yards and seven touchdowns last year. He is good but is not the talent of the previous two B backs at Tech. Orwin Smith had 615 yards and 11 scores. He is the breakaway threat and might be the best big play threat of all of the backs in the league. Tech's system led to a season where they rushed for 316 yards per game a year ago.

4. North Carolina

Giovani Bernard had a fantastic freshman season last year. He rushed for 1,253 yards and 13 touchdowns. I think he is the second best back in the league and I believe he will have a huge year behind a great offensive line. A.J. Blue had 138 yards and one touchdown and is the new backup but depth is still a concern. The Tar Heels averaged 139 yards a game on the ground.

5. Clemson

If the depth was better this ranking would be higher. Andre EllingtonAndre Ellington
RS Sr. Running Back
#23 5-10, 190
Moncks Corner, SC

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is the best back in the ACC. Last year he rushed for 1,178 yards and 11 touchdowns. He is a perfect fit for this dynamic offense but injuries are always a concern and there is little experience in his reserves. D.J. HowardD.J. Howard
RS So. Running Back
#22 5-11, 195
Lincoln, AL

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230 yards and one touchdown including one huge game against Auburn. Clemson averaged 159 yards a game on the ground

6. NC State

Like James Wilder at FSU, Mustfa Greene can't stay out of trouble. James Washington had 897 yards and seven touchdowns on the ground and Tony Creecy had 382 yards and one touchdown as a freshman. State must improve on its 105 yards per game on the ground it averaged a season ago.

7. Miami

The Canes will miss Lamar Miller and his 1,272 yards and nine touchdowns. Mike James inherits the starting job as a senior. Last year he rushed for 275 yards and seven touchdowns. Miami has recruited well here though. Duke Johnson and Dallas Crawford were two highly recruited freshman that could crack the lineup. The Canes averaged 146 yards a game on the ground.

8. Boston College

Montel Harris is gone but the two-back system was a big part of the offense in Chestnut Hill a season ago. Rolandan Fitch rushed for 705 yards and three scores while Andre Williams added 517 yards and four touchdowns on the ground. BC averaged 131 yards a game on the ground with two physical backs rotating.

9. Virginia Tech

Outside of Georgia Tech, no one runs the ball in this league like Virginia Tech. Unfortunately David Wilson and his 1,709 yards and seven touchdowns are gone to the NFL. Daniel Dyer is the leading returning rusher as a back with only 30 yards last year. Michael Holmes is expected to be the starter after a red-shirt season He red-shirted a season ago. Tech averaged 187 yards a game rushing last year but this is a completely new group in 2012.

10. Maryland

Maryland rushed for 169 yards a game last season with 896 yards coming from Davin Meggett who graduated. Justus Pickett is the leading returning rusher with 274 yards and one touchdown but he will have to fend off Wes Brown who is a highly recruited freshman. Brandon Ross redshirted a season ago and Albert Reid is another freshman who could help this young group of backs.

11. Duke

Duke just has a difficult time running the football. Last season the Blue Devils averaged only 94 yards per game on the ground. Juwan Thompson rushed for 457 yards and seven touchdowns in 2011. Desmond Scott had 367 yards and two scores.

12. Wake Forest

The Deacs will miss Brandon Pendergrass who totaled 823 rushing yards and nine touchdowns as a senior last season for a team that only averaged 115 yards per game. Josh Harris is the leading returning rusher with 432 yards and three touchdowns. Orville Reynolds had 109 yards as the third team back a season ago.

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Thomasville, GA

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, Alvin Sammons, Georgine McAlhaney, Glen Davis, Mike Price, Clay Childers, Aaron Knight, Danielle Johnston and family, Nicholas Abrams, Lana Kuykendall, Gary, Billy McLeroy, Gary G., William Huggins, Jim Bennett, Chantz Fowler.

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