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Around The ACC: Running Backs

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The conference has had a decent number of stars recently, but the young talent this year could be the best in a long time.

NCAA Football: Boston College at Syracuse Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

AJ DILLON - BOSTON COLLEGE

Boston College is looking to build off of a great second half of 2017 and compete for a top spot in the division in 2018. If they are to do that, they will need AJ Dillon to be the workhorse that he was during that stretch. Dillon was a high 3* prospect out of high school that was once committed to Michigan. But, I don’t think anyone expected him to be as good as he was as a freshman.

Dillon is a big back but the questions were about his speed at such a large size. He put those doubts to rest after he broke multiple long runs once he became the starter for the Eagles. Dillon has reportedly been working on his pass catching abilities this offseason, so we could see Dillon be a three down back this year.

Also, lets not forget that Andre Williams led the nation in yards and carries for Steve Addazio in 2013.

TRAVIS HOMER - MIAMI

Miami had a strong season under Mark Richt last year and a strong running game was a big factor in that. After Mark Walton went down with an injury, Travis Homer stepped up and had a couple of big games for the Canes. The offense should be better this year with another year for everyone to gel. Homer only hit 20 carries in a game twice last year. I think that number will be a little higher this season.

CAM AKERS - FSU

Jimbo Fisher had two straight letdown years at FSU before he bolted for Texas A&M and the main reason they would be described that way is because of all of the talent he brought in. Cam Akers is one of those top players and he showed why he was so highly ranked during the second half of last season. Akers became a steady source of yardage as he split time with Jaques Patrick.

The hiring of Willie Taggart will probably benefit Akers more than anyone else. Taggart consistently has running backs that run for 1300 plus yards in a season. He’s never had the depth and talent that he has at FSU and I think he will use it well. He’ll look to run as many plays as possible and I think that will lead him to use his top three running backs as much as possible.

TRAVIS ETTIENE - CLEMSON

“E-T-N” chants will be loud and clear this season if Travis Ettiene has developed his game past being a straight line running back. Ettiene showed flashes of his talent late in the game against Louisville but he really broke out in later games against BC and FSU. Clemson has cleared out their backfield and will likely only feature two running backs this year. Ettiene should have a good shot of besting his total of 13 touchdowns last year.

THE BEST OF THE REST

Tavien Feaster - Clemson

Michael Carter - UNC

KirVonte Benson - Georgia Tech

Matt Colburn - Wake Forest

Brittain Brown - Duke