Do you realize the college football season is only a little over 2 months away? Now here at AllSportsDiscussion we are going to prepare for you for the ACC Football season with a look at the best players in the conference. We are going to start with the running backs and work through the offense, defense and special teams players.
Alright let’s get right to it… the best running backs in the ACC.
1) Giovani Bernard, North Carolina
What a freshman season it was for Giovani Bernard. He rushed for over 1,200 yards in 2011 for a 5.2 yd avg. He also had 13 TDs. Bernard is versatile too. He hauled in 45 receptions last year. Coming out of High School he had offers from everywhere. Bernard may not possess world class speed, but with several runs over 40 yards in 2011 he’s more than fast enough.
He’s got the total package, a tough runner with good speed and the ability to catch passes out the backfield. There are even whispers of a potential All-America type season.
2) Andre Ellington, Clemson
If you have Bernard at one All-ACC RB spot. You most likely have Clemson’s Andre Ellington at the other. The Tigers got some good news when Ellington decided to return for his senior season. Ellington had similar numbers to Bernard as he ran for 1,178 yards and 11 TDs, but is actually a little bit faster.
If there is a knock on Ellington it’s that in the last 2 years he’s suffered various injuries and we really haven’t seen him make through it a season 100%. When healthy he can certainly challenge Bernard for that top spot.
3) Perry Jones, Virginia
Perry Jones is one of those running backs that you kind of forget about, but by the end of game he has 80-100 yards rushing and 3 or 4 receptions for 30-40 yards. Last season he had 915 yards on the ground to go along with 500 more on 48 receptions. If you forget about him this year you’d be making a mistake.
4) Orwin Smith, Georgia Tech
I don’t care what offense you run, if you average more than 10 yards a carry that’s impressive. Then you throw in 11 touchdowns on 61 carries and the only thing I’m wondering why Orwin Smith doesn’t get the ball more often in Paul Johnson’s triple option offense.
No player in Georgia Tech’s offense has more game breaking ability than Smith.
5) James Washington, NC State
It took me awhile to decide who I wanted to go with as my number 5 choice at running back. I finally went with James Washington at NC State due to his productivity last season. After losing Mustafa Greene to injury, Washington filled in quite nicely this past year.
He had a tidy 897 yards rushing with 42 receptions. With 4 returning starters on the offensive line Washington could be due for even bigger season in 2012.