ACC Running Back Review: Atlantic Division

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Tavien Feaster is part of a very strong Clemson running game. (Photo by Ivan Morozov)

Two weeks ago, we took a look at the quarterback situations at all ACC schools.  This week we’re moving forward and taking a look at running back production.

One thing I noticed from doing the research is that there just aren’t as many of what we would call “every down backs” these days.  I define “every down back” as having 200 carries or more.  Freshman AJ Dillon had 300 carries for Boston College, but no other Atlantic Division running back had more than 197 carries.  Outside of Georgia Tech and their unique offense, only one running back in the Coastal Division had more than 200 carries.  That was Jordan Ellis at UVA, and he managed just 3.9 yards per carry on his 215 carries.

Perhaps our definition of an every down back should change.  These days, perhaps an “every down back” should be a back whom the coaching staff trusts to run, catch and block.  He might not get as many carries as the “every down back” of yesteryear, but the staff would trust him in any on-field situation.

But that’s a conversation for another time.  For now, let’s just focus on the ACC tailbacks, beginning today with the Atlantic Division teams.  I’ll have more to say about certain teams than others, but by the end of the article you’ll have a decent feel for the talent level at running back