Big Ten Football Preview: Running Backs

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1. Ohio State: Ezekiel Elliott, Junior; Curtis Samuel, Sophomore

Sep 13, 2014; Columbus, OH, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes running back Curtis Samuel (4) warms up before the game against the Kent State Golden Flashes at Ohio Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

The Buckeyes are absolutely loaded in the backfield. They have three big-time quarterback options and then they also have two big-time running back options. The most notable of those options is Ezekiel Elliott. Elliott was just a beast for Ohio State last season, rushing for 1,878 yards and 18 touchdowns.

He really came on strong at the end of the season, reeling off three-straight 200+ yard performances. In the first-ever FBS Playoffs, Elliott ran for 230 yards and two touchdowns against a previously vaunted Alabama defense in the Allstate Sugar Bowl and then he followed it up with a 246-yard and four touchdown performance against Oregon in the National Championship.

Elliott is arguably the best running back in all of college football. As if that wasn’t enough, the Buckeyes also have another back who is capable of exposing opposing defenses. Curtis Samuel rushed for 383 yards and six touchdowns on just 58 carries in 2014. He was a four-star prospect coming out of high school, so there is no doubt that this kid can play.

Samuel and Elliott together will give defenses fits all year long. If a team has the Buckeyes on their schedule next season, they can only pray that they keep it close.

Next: 2015 Big Ten Quarterback Rankings