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Tuesday, January 28, 2014
Big Ten postseason player rankings: No. 12

By Adam Rittenberg

By the end of the day, the Big Ten player rankings countdown will have reached the Top 10. As a reminder, these rankings are based solely on performance during the 2013 season, not on future potential. The next man up shared the spotlight for much of his Wisconsin career but proved his value throughout his final season in Madison.

No. 12: James White, RB, Wisconsin

James White, Marques Johnson
Wisconsin tailback James White finished the 2013 season with 1,444 rushing yards and 15 total touchdowns.
Previous ranking: No. 23

Making the case for White: There might be flashier or more decorated running backs who have passed through Camp Randall Stadium, but arguably none were less selfish and more opportunistic than White. He never became a true featured back at Wisconsin but finished fourth on the Badgers' career rushing list (4,015 yards) and third in both rushing touchdowns (45) and total touchdowns (48). White is Wisconsin's all-time leader in yards per carry (6.24), the fifth-best mark in Big Ten history.

Overshadowed by fellow Badgers back Melvin Gordon early in the 2013 season, White came on strong in October and November, racking up 808 rush yards and nine touchdowns during Wisconsin's six-game win streak. He finished with a career-high 1,444 rush yards, averaging 6.5 yards per carry, and added 39 receptions for 300 yards and two touchdowns, setting the team record for career receiving yards by a running back (670). This season in many ways epitomized what makes White so special.

White had his ninth 100-yard rushing performance of the season in the Capital One Bowl against South Carolina, recording 107 yards on just 12 carries. He and Gordon combined for 3,053 rush yards, the FBS single-season record for rush yards by a pair of teammates. We've seen better individual seasons from Big Ten running backs in recent years, but few careers are as complete as White's at Wisconsin.

The countdown