College football is game that has been dominated by exceptional talent, bridging their way to the NFL. Over the years it seems like there’s always someone gunning to be considered in the conversation for greatest ever. To truly be considered the greatest ever one must build a legacy that can withstand the test of time. Today we will dip into the topic of best college football running backs of all time:
5. Bo Jackson (1982-1985)
To kick off this list ranking at number five meet Bo Jackson: Bo spent his college years at Auburn University. What makes Bo so special is not only was he a phenomenal runner, he was a menace on the baseball diamond, where he would be a stand out player in both sports for the Tigers. Jackson went on to rush for 4,303 yards on 650 carries, for an average of 6.6 yards per carry (a Southeastern Conference record), and scored 43 touchdowns. During his senior campaign the legend of Bo Jackson was just being built, as he brought home the Heisman Trophy, he is the one of two players in NCAA history to finish top three in votes, for three seasons.
4. Tony Dorsett (1973-1976)
In the number four spot stands Pittsburgh legend Tony Dorsett. During his tenure at Pitt, he shattered records including his own. As a freshman he set the NCAA record for rushing yards in a single game with 265, then as a sophomore broke his own record with a whopping 303 yards against Notre Dame. In his senior year he rushed for 2,150 yards while leading Pitt to a national championship and capturing some hardware of his own in the form of a Heisman Trophy.
3. Ricky Williams (1995-1998)
The man that brought Texas Football back, Ricky Williams was an answer to Longhorn Nations prayer. As a freshman the love affair was sparked when he rushed for 163 yards to snap Texas A&M’s 31 game home winning streak. This was just the beginning of a historic career in Austin, Williams ran for a school record 2,124 rushing as a senior while capturing two Doak Walker awards and a Heisman Trophy, which set him up to break the 22 year old record for career rushing yards set by Tony Dorsett.
2. Barry Sanders (1986-1988)
The sport of football as a whole might never see a player quite as electric as Barry Sanders was in 1988. In ‘88 Sanders rushed for 2,628 yards and 37 touchdowns, averaging 238.9 yard a game. All together at Oklahoma State he rushed for 3,556 yards and 49 touchdowns.and set 34 NCAA records, oh yeah and a Heisman Trophy.
- Herschel Walker
When you hear the name Herschel Walker you probably replay the trampling of Buck Ballew on Rocky Top in 1980. He went on to plow his way to set a freshman record for most yards in a single season with 1,616, which would stand until the mid-nineties. He went on to finish second for the Heisman as a freshman, and eventually bringing the hardware back to Athens in 1982. A three time SEC Player of the Year and All-American Herschel Walker was noticeably better than any other playing in the country. During his three year span in the Silver Britches #34 rushed for 5,259 yards and 55 touchdowns averaging 5.3 yards per carry, Herschel Walker takes home the crown for best running back in college football history. In the words of the late-great Larry Munsan, “Go you Hershal Walker!”