Top non-AQ running back transfers

On Wednesday we looked at the top quarterbacks transferring from schools from automatic qualifying conferences to non-AQ schools, and a today we’re going to look at some of the top running backs.

Here are my top five running back transfers from AQ schools:

Sam McGuffie, Rice: As a true freshman at Michigan in 2008, McGuffie led the Wolverines in rushing with 486 yards and three touchdowns. He also missed three games with an injury. McGuffie, combined with Miami quarterback transfer Taylor Cook, could make Rice a feared offensive team in Conference USA. McGuffie can run, catch and return kicks. He might be the best weapon the Owls have this spring.

Lennon Creer, Louisiana Tech: Creer transferred from Tennessee after head coach Lane Kiffin arrived in 2009. Creer had played two seasons for the Volunteers and appeared in 24 total games. In 2008, he rushed for 388 yards and two touchdowns. He’ll have a prime opportunity to earn the starting role this spring with the Bulldogs looking for a new running back to replace Daniel Porter. Sophomore Tyrone Duplessis will be his primary competition, and it will be interesting to see how the running game is used with the Bulldogs’ new spread offensive system.

Aundre Dean, TCU: Dean came from UCLA last year as a Parade All-American running back, but this spring he’ll be trying his hand at safety. TCU is loaded at running back and Dean probably would have seen spot time behind Ed Wesley and Matthew Tucker. But the Horned Frogs are thin at safety and it’s an opportunity for Dean to play. Plus, the TCU coaching staff has proved time and time again that it has a knack for placing players in positions that accentuate their abilities.

Cameron Bell, Northern Illinois: Chad Spann is the starting running back, but the Huskies were most effective last season when they had a two-headed attack. Me’co Brown, who was the No. 2 back, returns, but he’s had some injury and family issues that have limited his playing time. The door is open for Bell, an Iowa State transfer, to compete for playing time and help the Huskies re-establish the two-headed monster. But there will be a lot of competition in the backfield this spring with junior college transfer Jasmin Hopkins, Ricky Crider and Antoine Kirkand.

Raymond Carter, Colorado State: Carter is another former UCLA running back looking for a home. However, finding one with Colorado State this year won’t be easy. The Rams return both leading rushers in John Mosure and Leonard Mason, and 92 percent of last year’s rushing yards. The Colorado State backfield is crowded with Lou Greenwood and Chris Nwoke also competing this spring. Carter was a highly rated back out of high school and saw action in seven games during his freshman year at UCLA. However, he had just 51 yards and a touchdown in that first season.