Greatest College Running Backs

July 4, 2015 - Don't agree with the list? Vote for an existing item you think should be ranked higher or if you are a logged in, add a new item for others to vote on or create your own version of this list.

The Top Ten

1
Herschel Walker
Just look at his aggregrate Heisman trophy votes during his entire career. He came in third his firts year, second his second year and won it his third year. Over three years I'm not sure you can say that about the other leaders. Barry Sanders had one great year and was a backup his Fresh and Soph years. Marcus DuPree had talent no doubt, but to put him over Herschel.. Come on man.. This is not a vote on potential but actual accomplishments. Bo gets compared to Hershel all the time because they both played similar, wore #34 and in the SEC. The truth is Bo may have been the overall better athlete with consideration to his baseball accomplishments.. But those shouldn't weigh in on the RB arguement. "oh you Herschel Walker! "
Herschel walker not only had the skills to run people over but he had the speed power acceleration and explosiveness and those five skill define a great running back in college football he might have not had the best stats but had the best class skills and most importantly confidence
It's easy. No one has or will ever be able to top the one and only Herschel walker. He was just to good of a running back. And if all you haters out ther think there is someone better than quit talking. He is just simply the best. End of story.
[Newest]The man was a machine, best to ever play the game.

2Barry Sanders
Remember him backing up Thurman Thomas as a freshman and soph and playing Nebraska... Thurman was a spectacular back but was completely shut down against the Cornhuskers (had almost as many carries as he had amassed yards) then they would put that back-up in and he tore the huskers up. When Thomas graduated and Sanders had center stage to himself his junior year he had what has to be the best season in the history of ncaa football. He was a home run hitter extradonaire if you thot the best way of achieving a big play was throwing deep you may have a better chance flipping the ball to #21 who could take it the distance at any given time. I know there are others with better bodies of work... Walker was a phenomenal athlete with integrity and heart but besides his frosh season was never a take it the distance back even with all that speed and ability (go figure? ) and is fortunate to have a heisman on his mantel... Dickerson was arguably more impressive and would've been unlikely to beat Rozier if he returned his senior season. Bo was a better back than Walker but not the overall body of work as Hersh. Archie Griffin deserves more consideration... He was the "it" factor during his day and Dorsett and Billy Sims are Top 10. Dupree was all about potential and also bad attitude and poor conditioning. Had Sanders big play ability but felt he played very soft if could not find daylight and was lazy. Loaded with ability and potential which was wasted unfortunately. Ricky Williams was a beast definitely top 10 I've seen at the collegiate level. R Bush also top shelf.
By far the best college back! He broke records in all categories and never complained about playing time or boast about his accomplishments. He ran better than any other back, but his composure and patience are what put him over the top!
Dude... Really, broke all those records in 88... And most of them still stand...25 years after! Most 200 yard games in a season, most 300 yard games in a season, most tds in a season, only really played one year of college... That was just a preview of the greatest running back in the nfl... That whole 88 season was nothing but a highlight reel!
[Newest]He was good at detroit

3Marcus DuPree
The greatest combo of strength, size, speed, awareness ever.. He didn't play as long as these others, but what he did when he played at full health was the best ever. Bo, Barry, Ron, Herschel had better stories, careers, etc. , but this boy topped them all and doing it behind a weak offense, He is all they had that freshman year of 1982. And of course a still standing for decades fiesta bowl record for rushing. And he played in only half the game. Go see the highlights on the net. He was only at 50 percent with that hamstring problem. These other running backs below couldn't do half that with Marcus's injuries. These other RBs had good QBs and WRs. OU didn't. So boo yah to all the haters with this argument. Cased closed. Smoke em if you got em.
I saw Herschel. I saw Barry. I saw Bo. All GREAT RBs. But when I saw Marcus in 1982, I must say I never saw another like him. He had Strength and Speed that both Bo and Herschel had. The difference is he had running ability, not quite Barry's instincts and moves but this dude could cut, make you miss and frankly he was "The Total Package. " NO ONE else has ever done it as well.
even out of shape and slow he set a record at the fiesta bowl which still stands today. and in only one half playing... these others below go 20 plus pounds overweight and no good line like marcus did, they will suck... I know.. cause I've watched all your top ten backs when they played...
[Newest]No doubt the best college running back of all time he put up video game numbers and was unstoppable

4Bo Jackson
Bo n Mr. Dupree, man among men, neither really trained, just god given mixes of size, strength, speed and smarts... Bo ran a 4.1 40 yard dash at a NFL combine, still a record to this day. Bo's entrance into the NFL was a "hobby" to keep him from getting bored in the MLB off-season... Not enough can be said about him in his college days, his stories are bunyonesque...
Bo should be #1 and here is why: the defenses he played against were infinitely better than the ones Barry or DuPree played. and he ran a 4.12 not a 4.31 for those of you who hate Bo's swag.
Saw AU play UGA when Bo was a freshman and Herschel a Junior. What a heavyweight fight! No doubt the best two to ever be on the field together.
[Newest]Bo is a complete animal

5Reggie Bush
Every time he touched the ball he made at least one guy miss... He was never tackled by the first guy... And if he gets into the open field it's an automatic 6
Reggie bush best player in college history never seen a player more feared
Was great to see on T.V. always electrifying

6O.J. Simpson
Too bad everyone gets to vote on these things. You should have to take an IQ Test or something. This is horrible. I think O.J. was the best COLLEGE back of all-time, but even if he wasn't the best, there is no way he should be this low.

ryguys9

2 yrs at SC... Everyone at the game, the defense, those watching on T.V. knew who was going to get the ball...30-40 carries a game averaging 4 yds per carry... The best ever
He should be number 1 what he did in 2yr it take most 4 yr
[Newest]Should be higher on this list.


7Archie Griffin
Dude he won the Heisman 2 times he should be #1 or 2 at least
I think he is the best player who ever played the Game.
Two heismans. Need I say more?
[Newest]You can't tackle him he's a beast

8Earl Campbell
"No question one of the greatest running backs of all time... He was big and fast, WOW... That's all you can say about this guy.
Enjoyed watching this big running back - one of a kind.

9LaDanian Tomlinson
It's no dout he is the best. Reggie Bush is nothing like this guy.

10Emmitt Smith
Hello has any one ever watched football
No one caught him 22

The Contenders

11Darren McFadden
Pure power when he runs, he hits the hole as he was being timed in the 40 dash.
Power, strength, agile. The hardest hole hitter ever.
Strong, fast, throws the ball well also

12Jim Brown
College or pro, Brown is the best. I am a "Long Time" Browns fan (1950) Saw Brown play last pro game!
Bill Menz williamemenz6@aol.com
Top 3 -- minimum,

13Eric Dickerson
Playing half the snaps his senior over 1600 yards enough said
This man has speed he is strong he should be crown #1

14Tony Dorsett
The most underrated GREAT running back in history. You NEVER hear his name mentioned in the discussions of the best all time runners and that is a crime. People dismiss the fact that he was the all time leading rusher when he left college and 2nd all time leading rusher when he left the NFL. They also overlook the fact that he had incredible toughness and durability for a 180 lbs running back - kickers are bigger than that these days.
Agree with everything said about Tony "D". My favorite RB of all time by far. Watching the 1976 season was really my first infatuation with football whereas TD broke a long run every game. Sitting and waiting to see it to happen was just as much of a thrill as it was watching it happen!
He held the NCAA rushing record for 20 years. First guy to win a national title, heisman and be super bowl champion. Is in the college and NFL hall of fames. Great speed and burst and his ability to cut at full speed was 2nd to none.

15Red Grange
Should be number 1

16Ricky Williams
Should be top 3 at least, maybe best ever (modern era).
Broke everyone's records above him on the list
Yes he's a trouble but look at the guys talent!

17Marshall Faulk
He compiled one of the greatest freshman seasons in NCAA history, gaining 1,429 yards rushing, with 23 total touchdowns (21 rushing), and 140 points scored. In one game he rushed for 386 yards and 7 TD's

18Adrian Peterson
His freshman year, 2004, was greatest any freshman has produced. His power, speed, and phenomenal vision were as good as the game's ever seen! Peterson has been great at every level since he first picked up a football.
Why is he so low he was great in college numbers don't lie
If he wasn't injured he'd be top 5

19Marcus Allen
Marcus was the business! 200 yard games, 300 yard games, and mostly played as a back up his first two years.

20Mike Rozier
One of the best running backs ever!
Take his Heisman season and put it against ANY of these running backs. Rozier was the best!

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This list was created 7 years, 295 days ago and has been voted on over 1,000 times. This top ten list has been remixed 7 times and has been blogged about 1 times.

Updated Friday, July 03, 2015


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