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2019 ACC Backfield Rankings

By Southern Pigskin Staff
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Southern Pigskin's ranking of the top five ACC backfields for 2019.

1. Clemson: Rarely, in college football history, have we seen talent like this. Quarterback Trevor Lawrence and running back Travis Etienne both return as Heisman Trophy candidates for the defending national champions, fresh off 3,280 yards and 30 touchdowns and 1,658 yards and 24 scores, respectively. Lawrence, as a true freshman, helped the Tigers become the first-ever FBS team to go 15-0. Etienne just had one of the most efficient seasons for a tailback ever. Chase Brice, of the late conversion against Syracuse fame, and Lyn-J Dixon, 8.8 yards per carry, provide excellent depth.

2. Boston College: Junior A.J. Dillon has led all ACC running backs in rushing yards per game in both of his college campaigns. A true workhorse and offensive centerpiece for the Eagles at  6'0'', 245 pounds, he has 2,697 yards and 24 touchdowns to date. Dillon is on a historic track. Only injuries have been able to slow Dillon down. Anthony Brown took major steps forward as a passer last fall. He threw for 2,121 yards and 20 touchdowns, also improving his completion percentage, with just nine interceptions.

3. Florida State: Though returning starting quarterback Deondre Francois was dismissed, James Blackman did a nice job as a true freshman forced into action in 2017, was sharp in one start a season ago and had a great spring game. Cam Akers, whose production slipped due to poor offensive line play, remains one of the most talented running backs in the country. Alex Hornibrook comes in under center as a grad-transfer from Wisconsin and the return of Khalan Laborn from injury helps at running back.

4. Miami: The dynamic Deejay Dallas, who had three 100+ yard rushing games and averaged over 17 yards per punt return, has big-play potential. He is one of multiple Miami backs who can change a game with one play. Speaking of options, the Hurricanes have continued competition under center. Returnee N'Kosi Perry threw 13 touchdowns as a freshman, while highly-touted Ohio State-transfer Tate Martell arrived as an immediately-eligible former five-star recruit.

5. Wake Forest: Running back Cade Carney is fresh off a season with 1,000 yards and eight touchdowns, including 223 yards and two scores in a win at Duke. There are two quality quarterbacks on the roster, Sam Hartman, 16 touchdown passes in nine games as a freshman, and Jamie Newman, who finished the season with great momentum. He scored four times in both the win over the Blue Devils and the Demon Deacons' win over Memphis in the Liberty Bowl.