College football enters the 2018 season minus a few exceptionally talented running backs — the most productive running back duo in history, a 2,000-yard rusher, one of the most celebrated running backs to come out of college this decade … and a host of others. Who’s going to step up and take their mantle?
It’s a question directly linked to success in the college game — consider that seven of the last eight College Football Playoff teams have landed at least one running back on this list, including every team from last season: Alabama’s Damien Harris, Oklahoma’s Rodney Harrison, Georgia’s D’Andre Swift and Clemson’s Travis Etienne.
You’ll see some familiar names like Justice Hill, Cam Akers and Myles Gaskin. You’ll also see an advent of new faces, with 19 players making their debut on this list.
So who’s No. 1? Sporting News ranked the top 25 running backs heading into college football’s 2018 season.