Top Five College Football Running Backs of All Time

This article was submitted by Thomas Blakely. Thanks to Tom for giving us his top college players!

In the game of college football there have been so many awesome talents at the running back position that it is really difficult to make a list of the top backs, but I think there are a few that have stood out above the rest.

There is a fine line between a great college running back and a once in a lifetime type of running back, and everyone in this top five list fits the mode of once in a lifetime.

Here are the top five running backs in college football history:

1. Herschel Walker (Georgia)

Walker was an absolute beast for the Georgia Bulldogs in the early 1980’s. I would argue that Walker was one of the first backs in the modern era to have the absolutely lethal combination of brute power and amazing speed. Walker led his team to the National Championship in 1980 and was absolutely a game changing star in every single game he played.

2. Archie Griffin (Ohio State)

Archie Griffin stands in history as, to this point at least, the only two-time winner of the Heisman Trophy. The fact that Griffin won two Heisman’s alone is all you need to know about his ability, but he was an amazing back. He topped 100 yards for a stunning 31 games in a row, and led his Ohio State Buckeyes to four straight Rose Bowl appearances while starting all four years for the Buckeyes.

3. Earl Campbell (Texas)

Earl Campbell has to be the leader in the all important yards after contact statistic. Campbell made it commonplace to simply run over the defender rather than trying to make him miss. Campbell also possessed a pretty good amount of speed and played much larger than his 5’11 and 225 pound frame would suggest.

4. Barry Sanders (Oklahoma State)

Sanders went on to have an amazing pro career, but some may forget just how awesome he was in college as well. Some have called him a one year wonder in college, but goodness it was an absolutely amazing year! In 1988 Sanders rushed for 2,628 yards, averaging almost 8 yards per carry and about 240 yards per game. Sanders also rushed for a stunning 39 touchdowns in 1988. Obviously Sanders won the Heisman and every other major award in 1988.

5. Tony Dorsett (Pitt)

His nickname fits him quite well “Touchdown Tony Dorsett” they called him, Dorsett literally carried his Pitt team to the national title in 1976. Dorsett had the record for total yards in a college career for over 20 years from the late 70’s until the late 1990’s. Dorsett rushed for over 1,000 yards in each of his four seasons at Pittsburgh.

All of the running backs on this list were blessed with talents that many could only dream of. Who would be on your top five list?