Surveying the field: Who is the Big Ten's best RB right now?
There are many good running backs in the Big Ten in 2016: Northwestern’s Justin Jackson, Ohio State’s Mike Weber, Penn State’s Saquon Barkley, Rutgers’ Robert Martin, Purdue’s Markell Jones, Minnesota’s Rodney Smith and Indiana’s Devine Redding, among others, are the elite.
But who is the best RB in the Big Ten? I asked some media members who cover the league.
Scott Dochterman, LandOf10.com: Penn State’s Saquon Barkley. In baseball terms, Barkley would be considered a five-tool player. He’s got the perfect blend of size, speed, quickness, power, toughness and acceleration.
Steve Greenberg, Chicago Sun-Times and Bleacherreport.com: Saquon Barkley is the guy I’d pay to watch play. Big-time talent and clearly the bright spot for Penn State. I didn’t just commit myself to pay to watch that team play, did I?
Tom Shatel, Omaha World-Herald: Wow. It kind of says it all that I can’t pick one. Where have all the Big Ten running backs gone? I guess the easy answer is Mike Weber, who leads the league. But how about if I go outside the box and say Tommy Armstrong is the most important runner in the league? His QB run game dimension has given NU a dynamic it lacked last year and has made him a better passer. He has 293 yards, so he’s not in the top 10. But he’s been impressive.
Louie Vaccher, WildcatReport.com: Saquon Barkley. He’s the complete package. He’s big, he has elite speed, he can run over you and he can make you miss. I shudder to think what Penn State’s offense would look like without No. 26 in the backfield.
Nick Baumgardner, Mlive.com: Saquon Barkley. He leads the league in rushing (yards) despite running behind an up-and-down offensive line.
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