Wednesday, May 22, 2013
The Big 12's 1,000-yard rushers in 2013
By David Ubben
We looked at the 3,000-yard passers on Tuesday, but what about the guys on the ground? The 1,000-yard mark is the benchmark for a good season running the ball, and the Big 12 had just three players reach it in 2012. Three more had at least 925 yards, but who's going to run for 1,000 yards next season?
Here's who I'm taking:
Lache Seastrunk rushed for 831 yards in Baylor's last six games of last season.
1. Lache Seastrunk, Baylor: He has physical skills no other back in the league can match, and big-time confidence to go with them. He basically rushed for 1,000 yards in little more than a month last year. I have no doubt he'll do it again. He carries a status into the season as the most dangerous player in the league with the ball in his hands. I'll be shocked if he doesn't top 1,000 yards easily, barring injury.
2. James Sims, Kansas: This will be out of necessity. Sims notched his first 1,000-yard season in 2012 and did so with zero help from the passing game. Everybody knew he'd be getting the ball at least 25 times a game, and they still couldn't stop him. Jake Heaps will add some more balance to help soften up the box, but Sims is still the most reliable player on KU's offense.
3. John Hubert, Kansas State: Hubert's been overshadowed by Collin Klein, and logging over 500 carries in the running game the past couple of seasons has limited what Hubert could do. Still, he's had more than 950 yards in each of the past two seasons. Daniel Sams or Jake Waters will still run the ball, but not as much as Klein did. Look for Hubert to benefit and play the role of bell cow for this offense.
4. Jeremy Smith, Oklahoma State: Oklahoma State has had a 1,000-yard rusher for six consecutive seasons, the longest streak in the Big 12 and one of the nation's longest. It's still a pass-first offense, but that streak's not ending under new offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich. Smith's role was marginalized last season behind Joseph Randle despite topping 600 yards back in 2011, but he's going to be the main guy ahead of Desmond Roland this year. He's experienced and a solid blocker, too. That'll keep him on the field a whole lot. He's also got deceptive speed for his size.