When one thinks about the Big 12 Conference, the first thing that comes to mind is high-octane offense.
But while there have been some spectacular running backs in the past with the likes of Oklahoma’s Adrian Peterson, the running game is not generally looked at as the go-to approach in the conference — the ground game is simply overshadowed by the quarterbacks and spread passing attacks.
However, in 2012, another stellar offensive year with nine out of 10 teams reaching a bowl game, we did see some very capable play-makers in the backfield. So, with the 2013 season rapidly approaching, it’s time to take a look at the talent returning to the Big 12 this upcoming season.
Without further ado, here are the top 10 running backs ready to shock the conference:
Honorable Mentions: Andrew Buie (West Virginia), Joe Bergeron (Texas), Dustin Garrison (West Virginia), James White (Iowa State), Tony Pierson (Kansas)
10. Glasco Martin – Baylor: Glasco Martin, a senior on the Baylor Bears, looks to build up a dynamic rushing attack with Lache Seastrunk in 2013. The 6-foot-1, 220-pound Texas native recorded 889 yards and 15 touchdowns in his junior year. Through two seasons, Martin only had 289 total yards, but during a stellar junior season as the change of pace guy, Martin demonstrated that he has the potential to sneak in 1000 yards for the Bears. In 2012, Martin’s two best performances came against Kansas (157 yards rushing) and Kansas State (113 yards rushing). Against the Wildcats, he had three touchdowns.
9. Kenny Williams – Texas Tech: Kenny Williams, a junior for Texas Tech, could become the first 1,000-yard rusher in school history this upcoming season. The 5-foot-9, 220-pound back earned an All-Big 12 honorable mention for his sophomore season where he racked up 824 yards and six touchdowns. Expect more of the same for Williams in 2013.
8. Waymon James – TCU: Waymon James, a senior, recorded over 1,300 yards in his first two seasons in Fort Worth (11 rushing touchdowns). There were high expectations for James last season after a fantastic two-game start (9.9 yards per carry), but a season-ending knee injury got in the way of what could have been a special year for the senior. The 5-foot-8, 205-pound rusher should be fully recovered by fall for TCU, and his explosiveness should allow him to continue his stellar play. James could easily see All-Big 12 honors following his senior campaign.
7. Malcolm Brown – Texas: Malcolm Brown, a junior, looks to compliment Johnathan Gray this upcoming season. Brown was also the top-rated running back recruit in the country when he signed with the Longhorns. As a freshman, he missed three games but was still able to record 742 yards and was honored as Big 12 Newcomer of the Year. As a sophomore, Brown started the year off strong with two performances of over 100 yards (Wyoming, Ole Miss), but an injury prevented him from playing as he missed five straight games and six total on the year. The 6-foot, 223-pound rusher could have a very strong 2013 campaign if he can stay healthy.
6. John Hubert – Kansas State: John Hubert, who will be a senior, has come along nicely for head coach Bill Snyder and company. The 5-foot-7, 191-pound running back was a compliment to former K-State quarterback Collin Klein last season. In his junior season, Hubert rushed for 947 yards and 15 touchdowns. He rushed for 152 yards and a touchdown against Missouri, while also running for 130 yards and a touchdown in a huge win over the Oklahoma Sooners in Norman. It will come as no surprise if Hubert registers his first 1,000-yard campaign as a senior.