Updated: Oct 2, 2019
By: Kelechi Anozie
There is a theme slowly building when viewing the list of leading rushers, and it happens to involve running backs from the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Currently standing third is Boston College standout, AJ Dillion. Moving down to the sixth position, is Florida State's Cam Akers; further down on the list at the 21st spot is Clemson running back Travis Etienne Jr. Each player draft-eligible, each player from a team in the ACC.
Traditionally, we tend to associate running backs with the Southeastern Conference or the Big-12, as they generally produce the most NFL-ready talent at that position. In April's NFL Draft, the ACC saw only two players taken by NFL teams; Qadree Ollison out of Pittsburgh, and Travis Homer of the University of Miami.
With many of the draft-eligible ACC running backs producing big numbers, we could potentially see a high number of them taken in the upcoming NFL Draft. Another notable name is Miami's Deejay Dallas, who currently sits in the top 50 with 343 rushing yards and five touchdowns. Dallas is in his junior year, yet his ability to run the ball can potentially make him an attractive prospect for NFL teams.
Senior running back Moe Neal out of Syracuse is a name that is gaining attention, not only for his ability to run with the ball, but his ability to make receptions. Another notable senior is Reggie Corbin out of Illinois. Corbin broke out in 2018 with 1,085 rushing yards. This season, Corbin leads his team with 314 yards and is on pace to surpass his total from last season.
Though it is early in the season, this new trend of standout ACC running backs has shown no signs of fading. Even with the possibility of some regression during the course of the season, this wave of running backs is setting a new standard for future ones to come.