3 Greatest Running Backs in Ohio State History

Zach Brunner
The best running backs in Ohio State history include Ezekiel Elliott, who averaged 6.7 yards per carry as a Buckeye.
The best running backs in Ohio State history include Ezekiel Elliott, who averaged 6.7 yards per carry as a Buckeye. / Don Juan Moore/Getty Images
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Some college teams have a knack for continuing to find elite talent at specific positions. For the Ohio State Buckeyes, running back is definitely one of those positions. It feels like year in and year out they are running over their opponents, breaking their spirits and dominating the ground game.

With that in mind, here are the three best running backs in Ohio State history.

1. Archie Griffin, 1972-75

Archie Griffin is the only two-time Heisman Trophy winner.
Archie Griffin is the only two-time Heisman Trophy winner. / Justin Casterline/Getty Images

This first one is easy. It's pretty safe to say that the only two-time Heisman Trophy winner in college football history is also one of the best running backs in program history, Archie Griffin dominated college football for a few year, running for a program-leading 5,589 yards while adding another 350 through the air. While some of that came from his heavy workload, Griffin was also incredibly efficient when he had the ball, averaging 6.0 yards per carry over his four-year career.

2. Eddie George, 1992-95

Eddie George has the third-most touchdowns in school history, with 45.
Eddie George has the third-most touchdowns in school history, with 45. / Walter McBride/Getty Images

Standing at 6-foot-3 and weighing in at 238 pounds, Eddie George was certainly one of the more intimidating running backs in college football history. But if his physical presence didn't intimidate you, his playing style would do the trick. He won the Heisman Trophy his senior year, running for 1,927 yards and 24 touchdowns, bruising his way to 5.9 yards per carry. He has the third-most touchdowns in school history, with 45.

3. Ezekiel Elliott, 2013-15

Ezekiel Elliott is third-all time in program rushing yards, at 3,961.
Ezekiel Elliott is third-all time in program rushing yards, at 3,961. / Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Ezekiel Elliott is one of the most recent stars to come from Ohio State to the NFL, and he finished his collegiate career just one touchdown behind George, with 44. He is third in program history in rushing yards (3,961) and he averaged an incredible 6.7 yards per carry over his entire time as a Buckeye — the most in program history for any player with at least 200 carries. Possibly his most impressive season was his Sophomore year, when he averaged 6.9 yards per carry and posted back-to-back 200-yard games en route to a National Championship win.


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