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The college football season (and Ohio State) is kicking off in less than a month and now is a good time to get familiar with the best the Big Ten has to offer. With Trey Sermon gone, where will returning stud Master Teague rank within the Big Ten? Is he a top-five back in the league, even with others pushing him?
The conference does not appear to be as flush with running backs as previous years, but there are still some talented backs. If you haven’t kept up with things, this list may surprise you. A few of these guys may hear their name called relatively early in next year’s NFL draft.
Here is how we see the top five running backs in the Big Ten shaking out before all the games are played in 2021.
Zander Horvath, Purdue
Purdue running back Zander Horvath (40) runs the ball during the first quarter of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Dec. 5, 2020 at Ross-Ade Stadium in West Lafayette.
Cfb Purdue Vs Nebraska
Zander Horvath is likely going to play fullback in the NFL, but the bowling ball was the Boilermakers' leading rusher last season with 442 yards on 89 carries with two touchdowns. Horvath has glimpses of excellence and is also a capable receiver as he led all Big Ten running backs with 30 receptions last season. https://twitter.com/NCAAFNation247/status/1410972885678792705
Tyler Goodson, Iowa
Iowa running back Tyler Goodson (15) runs in space after catching a pass during the final Hawkeyes spring football practice of the season, Saturday, May 1, 2021, at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City, Iowa.
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Iowa scored an average of 31.8 points per game last season, which was the most for the program sine 2002 and Tyler Goodson was a big reason why. Goodson is a great running back that can eclipse what he did last season as he will be running behind an impressive Iowa offensive line. https://twitter.com/DavidEickholt/status/1422968327366975491
Kenneth Walker III, Michigan State
Michigan State's Kenneth Walker III, right, is tackled by Angelo Grose after a run during the spring football game on Saturday, April 24, 2021, at Spartan Stadium in East Lansing.
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Big things are expected from the Wake Forest transfer and I fully expect Kenneth Walker III to be an elite three-down back for the Spartans. In 20 games for Wake Forest, Walker ran for 1,158 yards and 17 touchdowns and his production should only get better at Michigan State. When Walker transferred in January, it was a match made in Heaven as he immediately makes this offense more dangerous. https://twitter.com/NCAAFNation247/status/1410978427193200641
Master Teague, Ohio State
Ohio State Buckeyes running back Master Teague III (33) runs upfield during Ohio State's first football practice of fall camp at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center in Columbus on Wednesday, Aug. 4, 2021.
Master Teague is expected to be the leader in a crowded and extremely talented running back room. With the Buckeyes breaking in a new quarterback, defenses should expect to see a healthy dose of Teague early and often. He'll get pushed by Miyan Williams and freshman TreVeyon Henderson, but we still sim him grabbing the starting job in Columbus. https://twitter.com/NateWithSports/status/1422527671326560260
Mohamed Ibrahim, Minnesota
Dec 19, 2020; Madison, Wisconsin, USA; Minnesota Golden Gophers running back Mohamed Ibrahim (24) runs the ball against the Wisconsin Badgers during the second half at Camp Randall Stadium. Credit: Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports
Mohamed Ibrahim was electric last season with 1,076 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns despite the season being shortened due to COVID. It should be no surprise the 2020 Big Ten Running Back of the Year is my number one back to watch in 2021. https://twitter.com/TonyLiebert/status/1421114055109009415 [listicle id=55026] Contact/Follow us @BuckeyesWire on Twitter, and like our page on Facebook to follow ongoing coverage of Ohio State news, notes and opinion.