1.) Duke Johnson (Sophomore, Miami) – After torching Florida Atlantic for 186 yards on the ground, Miami running back Duke Johnson came back down to earth with a 59-yard performance on 21 carries against in-state rival Florida. Johnson has found the end zone in both contests and is averaging 6.1 yards-per-carry.
2.) Andre Williams (Senior, Boston College) – Williams has been just as impressive as Duke Johnson if not more so. The Pennsylvania native rushed 318 yards in two games, including 201 yards against Wake Forest last week.
3.)Trey Edmunds (Freshman, Virginia Tech) – If I were to say that Hokies freshman tailback Trey Edmunds turned in rushing totals of 132 and 68 yards through the first games against Alabama and Western Carolina, I bet you’d assume the 58 yards was against the Crimson Tide. That would be false. Edmunds rushed for 132 yards on 20 carries (6.6 yards-per-carry) and a touchdown against the defending national champions. This kid seems to be the real deal.
4.) Roderick McDowell (Senior, Clemson) – After playing behind Andre Ellington in 2012, McDowell is off to a great start this season. He rushed for 132 yards against Georgia, but only had eight carries against South Carolina State due to the game being a blowout. McDowell is a great asset for quarterback Tahj Boyd to have in the backfield.
5.) Brandon Ross (Sophomore, Maryland) – After a lackluster opener against Florida International, Terps running back Brandon Ross stepped up in a big way. On only 18 carries, Ross totaled 149 rushing yards and a touchdown against Old Dominion. Ross ran very well out of several zone read formations and showed tremendous vision and poise.
6.) Jerome Smith (Junior, Syracuse) – Delaware native Jerome Smith may not have the most gaudy rushing statistics, but he is a physical back that has a nose for the end zone. Smith is tied for second in the ACC in rushing touchdowns (only trailing Terps quarterback C.J. Brown). I’d expect Smith to be a top-five ACC back when the season wraps up.
7.) Matt Dayes (Freshman, North Carolina State) – With projected preseason starter Shadrach Thornton being suspended for the season opener and barely seeing the field against Richmond last week, Florida native Matt Dayes has played pretty well for a freshman. Dayes turned in an impressive 84-yard, three touchdown performance against Louisiana Tech in the season opener and has also been a strong commodity catching the ball out of the backfield.
8.) Kevin Parks (Junior, Virginia) – Despite facing two strong opponents to start off the season in Brigham Young and Oregon, Parks has still managed to total 125 yards on the ground. He has the pedigree as he has seen tremendous success in the past for the Cavaliers. With not the greatest quarterback situation, Parks is going to be very effective down the stretch.
9.) Romar Morris (Sophomore, North Carolina) – With star running back Giovani Bernard having moved on to the NFL, the Tar Heels had a few options at tailback and Romar Morris seems to have distinguished himself from the crowd. In North Carolina’s last game against Middle Tennessee, Morris only totaled 46 yards but found the end zone twice. For now, he’s the guy for the Tar Heels.
10.) Jela Duncan (Sophomore, Duke) – You certainly don’t think of a high-powered rushing attack when you think of Duke. However, sophomore Jela Duncan has topped the century mark with 107 yards in two games. Despite a forgettable performance against Memphis this past week, the Charlotte native did rush for 76 yards and a touchdown against North Carolina Central in the opening week. It’s somewhat surprising because he hasn’t had much playing time in the past.