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Greatest of All-time (GOAT)-College Running Back-Barry, Red, Marcus or Herschel? What about Bo?

I have seen some great ones, live and in-person, some on the tube, and others in old news reals and such.  Picking the greatest-of-all-time (GOAT) in various sports categories is subjective and it is my hope that you can comment, with reasons to support or not, my choices.  Today I am have chosen the GOAT for college running back.


The nominations in this category of college running back are in no particular order:  Bo Jackson, Hershel Walker, Barry Sanders, Red Grange, Jim Brown, Earl Campbell, Tony Dorsett, OJ Simpson, Marcus Dupree, LaDanian Tomlimson and Reggie Bush. 


Finalists:  Marcus Dupree, Barry Sanders, Hershel Walker


GOAT:  Barry Sanders, Oklahoma State


Sanders had the greatest season for a running back in college history.


1988, “Sanders set 34 NCAA records that season on his way to capturing the Heisman Trophy. He also rushed for 2,628 yards and 37 touchdowns, while adding two special-teams scores. The NCAA didn’t begin including bowl game statistics until 2002, but with 222 yards and five touchdowns in the Holiday Bowl against Wyoming, he totaled 2,850 yards and 44 touchdowns. No player since has come close to touching either mark.


But Sanders was built to be the perfect running back. Standing only 5-foot-8, he was difficult for defenses to find at the line of scrimmage. He also possessed superhuman strength for someone his size. In an era in which weightlifting was not yet en vogue, Sanders could bench 360 pounds and squat 560. He could also flip his hips back and forth so swiftly that even the fleetest of defenders looked as if they were wearing 15-pound ankle weights trying to corral him. (ESPN)



“He wasn’t big and he wasn’t tall, but he had such an unbelievable change of direction. He could change direction in a heartbeat and be right back in full speed again,” said former Oklahoma defensive tackle Scott Evans, who faced off against Sanders in the 1988 Bedlam game. “He had this unique way of taking a play that should’ve been a 2-yard loss and turning it into a 20-yard gain.
“He was just phenomenal.”  (Jake Trotter-ESPN)


Barry Sanders broke many records in 1988, including 200 yard games in a season, most 300 yard games in a season, most touchdowns in a season…  That whole 88 season was nothing but a highlight reel!  It was so good that Sanders is my GOAT of college football running backs.



Feature photo:  Illini football legend Red Grange (far left) heads toward the goal line on Oct. 18, 1924. (UI Alumni Association photo) – See more at: http://illinoisalumni.org/2014/10/02/gridiron-greatness/#sthash.fbAOTDnr.dpuf







About Fred Pahlke

Fred Pahlke, an Oklahoma native has viewed over 10,000 sporting events in his 64 years. A season ticket holder of the Oklahoma City Thunder, former season tickect holder for the Oklahoma Sooners, Oklahoma City University Chiefs/Stars, he is an expert in both professional and college basketball and football. A high school athlete at Classen High School in basketball and tennis, he played amateur tennis after high school in the Missouri Valley Tennis Association. A graduate of Oklahoma City University, he taught in the public schools for 6 years before becoming a building administrator in the Oklahoma City Public Schools for 31 years, 28 as the Principal of various schools in the district. Fredsportsextra has recorded 101, 410 article views in its first ten months, from August 2015 through May 2016.

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