Big Ten Football Preview: Running Backs

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3. Northwestern: Justin Jackson, Sophomore

Oct 18, 2014; Evanston, IL, USA; Northwestern Wildcats running back Justin Jackson (28) celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the Nebraska Cornhuskers during the first half at Ryan Field. Mandatory Credit: Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports

Justin Jackson is a legitimate star in the making for Northwestern. After the Wildcats lost Venric Mark, the true freshman had to step up to the plate and grow up really quickly. Jackson was more than ready for the challenge and he was actually one of the few bright spots for this Wildcats team. Jackson started 12 games and rushed for 1,187 yards and 10 touchdowns on 245 carries. He also caught 22 passes for 201 yards and a touchdown. His breakout game came against Notre Dame, when he ran for 149 yards and a touchdown against a tough Irish defense.

Entering his sophomore campaign, Jackson is only going to get better as he continues to develop into a more mature running back. Jackson is a very talented ball carrier. He has great vision and he really excels at getting to the second level and making this happen.

As good as Jackson is, the Wildcats aren’t short on talent behind him. There are a host of other players on this team who are capable of making plays when given the opportunity, including Warren Long and Solomon Vault.