Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Big Ten [Print without images]

Monday, June 28, 2010
Big Ten rankings: No. 6, Evan Royster


The Big Ten preseason player rankings, based on past performance and 2010 potential, continue with ...

No. 6: Evan Royster, RB, Penn State, Sr., 6-1, 213

2009 numbers: Finished second in the Big Ten and tied for 38th nationally in rushing average (89.9 ypg); one of only two Big Ten rushers to eclipse 1,000 yards with 1,169; finished fifth in the league in all-purpose yards (104.9 ypg); had best yards-per-carry average (5.7) among Big Ten players with at least 130 carries.

Most recent ranking: No. 15 in the 2009 postseason player rankings.

Making the case for Royster: Royster has been Mr. Consistency for Penn State during the past two seasons, racking up 2,405 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns on only 396 carries. His career yards-per-carry average of 6.1 is extremely impressive for a guy who has been in a key role for the past three seasons. Some thought Royster would leave Happy Valley for the NFL, but he returned and needs just 481 rushing yards this fall to break Curt Warner's record and become Penn State's all-time leading rusher. Penn State hasn't overworked Royster to this point -- he has received 20 or more carries just four times in his career -- but the senior likely will shoulder a greater burden in 2010 as an inexperienced quarterback steps into the fire. Royster wants to prove he's a true featured back, and he should have every opportunity to do so this fall. A big senior season will put Royster in contention for national honors and boost his 2011. draft stock.

The rundown