The SEC's best 25 players: No. 8

The Alabama theme continues in our countdown of the SEC's top 25 players from 2012.

No. 8: Eddie Lacy, RB, Alabama, RJr.

2012 summary: The SEC's second leading rusher among running backs, Lacy rushed for 1,322 yards and finished second in the league with 19 total touchdowns. He averaged 6.5 yards per carry and had five 100-yard games. Lacy was a first-team All-SEC selection by the coaches.

Most recent ranking: Not ranked in the 2012 preseason countdown.

Making the case for Lacy: It's hard to find a running back anywhere in the country who closed the season any better than Lacy. In his last three games, Lacy combined for 452 rushing yards and scored six touchdowns. He was at his best when it counted the most against rival Auburn, the SEC championship game against Georgia and in the Discover BCS National Championship against Notre Dame. He earned MVP honors in the SEC championship game and was named the Most Outstanding Offensive Player in the national title game. Lacy played through some serious pain to start the season, too. He was plagued by knee and ankle injuries early on, but got stronger as the season progressed. And once he got healthy, he was a runaway train. The 6-1, 220-pound Lacy was known for his signature spin move that left more than a few defenders grasping for air. But more times than not, he just simply ran over people. He was a terrific short-yardage runner and money down around the goal line. But he was also capable of picking up yardage in chunks and had four touchdowns of 20 yards or longer. He broke off a 73-yard run for a touchdown against Missouri. Following in the footsteps of Trent Richardson and Mark Ingram at Alabama, Lacy might not have been as decorated as they were in college, but there's no denying his productivity and his ability to be that bullish workhorse for the Tide on the biggest of stages.

The Rundown