1. Gio Bernard -- North Carolina. At 5-foot-10 and 205 pounds, Bernard wanted to be recruited by Miami out of high school but Randy Shannon's staff never showed much interest in the former St. Thomas Aquinas standout. Now, after running for over 1,200 yards and 13 touchdowns as a freshman last season, he's widely considered the best running back in the conference. Bernard is also a major threat in the passing game, having caught 45 passes for 362 yards and one score last season. He's a legit threat to go for over 1,500 yards this season.
2. Cierre Wood -- Notre Dame. At 6-feet and 180 pounds, Wood was heavily recruited out of high school and has had a productive career in an Irish uniform. He ran for over 1,100 yards and nine touchdowns last season and also caught 27 passes. He's a breakaway threat in their offense and can also beat you as a pass-catcher. He's living up to the recruiting hype and should be ready for a banner senior season in South Bend.
3. Davonte Freeman -- Florida State. At 5-foot-9 and 200 pounds, Freeman tore up the opposition at Miami Central High as a senior in 2010. He made a summer commitment to Florida State that year and Randy Shannon's staff didn't make a serious move at him until it was too late. He enrolled early at Florida State, ran for 579 yards and eight scores as a true freshman, and really began establishing himself as one of the better young backs in the conference. He will likely make a run at 1,000 yards this fall for the Noles.
4. Perry Jones -- Virginia. At 5-foot-8 and 185 pounds, he's not the biggest running back out there but he's very productive in UVA's offense. He ran for 915 yards and five scores but was the best pass-catching running back in the league, with over 500 yards receiving. He turned his only catch against Miami into a 78-yard touchdown. Jones isn't flashy but all he does is eat up yardage and beat you in different ways.
5. John Hubert -- Kansas State. At 5-foot-7 and 185 pounds, he hides behind the offensive line very well and does a lot of damage down the field. He ran for just under 1,000 yards last season, including 166 against Miami. He is a talented pass-catcher, too. Everyone keys on K-State quarterback Collin Klein in short yardage situations but it's Hubert that eats up big chunks of yardage between the 20's. He's a threat to go for well over 1,000 yards in the Big 12 this season.