In what is expected to be a passing league in the MAC this year, a strong running back that can keep the first down marker going while making sure the other offense doesn't get on the field is a must. These strong RBs may just be the difference between winning the Conference or falling behind to the rest of the pack.
1. Kent St
#6 JR Eugene Jarvis led the MAC in rushing LY with 1,669 yds breaking Kent St's single season record, all while averaging almost 6 ypc! Also is on the 2008 Maxwell Award List for most outstanding RB. Is a small guy at 5'5" 170 lbs but so was Garrett Wolfe.
2. Central Michigan
The thing that makes CMU so special is their depth at RB. Both #3 SR Justin Hoskins and #28 SR Ontario Sneed have starting experience. Hoskins is a highly touted player that transferred from Notre Dame LY and Sneed led the team in rushing in '05 and '06. Both players have a ton of experience and that should fare well for the young Chippewas of Mt Pleasant.
3. Northern Illinois
#21 JR Justin Anderson is the next great RB at Northern Illinois. He continued the 1,000 yd streak last year and hopes to make it 10 straight seasons NIU has had a 1,000 yd rusher in 2008. Got beat up a little bit toward the end of last year, but is in much better shape this year with a lot of help around him.
#19 JR James Starks has quietly been one of the top players the last couple years, making 2nd Team All-MAC twice. Last year he was the first Buffalo Bull player ever to exceed the 1,000 yd mark in rushing. He hopes to lead the Buffaloes to a winning record and a bowl game this year for the first time.
5. Western Michigan
#2 JR Brandon West had a lot of production last year rushing for 910 yds, but scoring only 4 TDs. A lot of the Goal-Line scoring went to graduated SR Mark Bonds who was more of a power back. Hopefully, West's speed can get it done next year for the Broncos.
#22 JR DaJuane Collins led the MAC in ypc last year with 6.42 yds every touch while also scoring 7 TDs! Runs a 4.45 40 and has potential through the roof.
#7 SR Andrew Johnson just transferred to Akron from University of Miami. When the "Miami of Florida" recruited this guy he was the #6 ranked RB in the Nation. He tore up an ACL while playing for the Hurricanes, but hopes to be the main guy for the Zips this year. Backing him up is #3 SR Dennis Kennedy, who saw some time LY and was 2nd Team All-MAC as a Sophomore.
9. Ball St
#33 JR MiQuale Lewis, #2 SO Frank Edmonds and the rest of the Cardinal RBs were hampered with injuries LY. Both rushed for around 500 yds last year and hope to be finally healthy this year. This RB corps has a lot of experience and potential and will be successful as long as they stay on the field.
#28 SO Willie Geter is now the man at the RB spot since #17 SR Anthony Turner has changed his postition to WR. Geter is small (5'7" 167), but was productive lst year, averaging over 6 ypc. Is the speedy type that can be successful in BG's offensive scheme.
10. Miami OH
#34 SO Thomas Merriweather has limited experience playing LY rushing for 156 yds and 4 TDs, but is highly touted and expected to be the man for the Redhawks this year.
#2 JR Chris Garrett has some HUGE shoes to fill in trying to replace the Ohio career rushing leader Kalvin McRae. Luckily he has a pretty good skillset and Ohio is usually pretty good at running the ball. Is a converted WR so could be a good catcher out of the backfield.
#3 SO Marquise Liverpool and #26 RS FR Joe Jones are the men at the RB spot for the Temple Owls. The highly touted Marquise is switching over from the WR spot and played as a true freshman. The also-highly touted Jones injured his knee in camp LY and redshirted.
#36 SR Terrence Blevins and #22 SO Dwayne Priest are the 2 guys vying for the starting spot with the Eagles. Blevins has the experience and can supposedly run under a 4.5 and bench 405 lbs, so he is on the fast track to start for EMU for the first time as a Senior.
1. Kent St
2. Central Michigan
3. N Illinois & BGSU
6. Toledo & Akron
8. Western Michigan, Ball St & Miami OH
11. E Michigan & Temple
1. Central Michigan
2. Western Michigan
3. Kent St
6. Northern Illinois
9. Bowling Green
10. Ball St
11. Eastern Michigan
12. Miami OH