As we continue our look back over the past decade of SEC football, this week we will recall the conference’s best players from those 10 years.
The series began with a look at quarterbacks, but now we're shifting to the guys next to them: running backs.
1. Darren McFadden, Arkansas (2005-07): Easily one of the greatest running backs the SEC has ever seen, McFadden put up PlayStation numbers during his three seasons at Arkansas. In 2005, he set the Arkansas freshman record with 1,113 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns on 176 carries; the previous record was just 668 yards. McFadden followed that up by becoming the first sophomore to win the Doak Walker Award (nation's best running back) and was the runner-up for the Heisman Trophy in 2006. In his second season of work with the Hogs, the consensus All-American rushed for a school-record 1,647 yards and scored 16 touchdowns (14 rushing). McFadden led the SEC in rushing yards that year, even with teammate Felix Jones finishing second with 1,168. McFadden capped his college career by leading the SEC with 1,830 yards and 18 rushing touchdowns. For his career, the tough, shifty back with home-run speed totaled 4,590 rushing yards, good enough for second all time in the SEC.
2. Knowshon Moreno, Georgia (2006-08): It was hard to find a shiftier back with the kind of production Moreno had in two full seasons with the Bulldogs. Moreno burst onto the scene in 2007 by ranking second in the league behind McFadden with 1,336 yards and 14 touchdowns. Moreno averaged 5.4 yards per carry and started just six games that season but finished the year with six 100-yard outings, including registering five straight from mid-October to mid-November. As a redshirt sophomore, Moreno joined Herschel Walker as the only players in school history to produce back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons, leading the league with 1,400 yards and 16 more scores. For his career, Moreno also caught 53 passes for 645 yards (12.2 avg) and two touchdowns, totaling 3,409 all-purpose yards (131.1 yards per game).
3. Derrick Henry, Alabama (2013-15): Henry really didn't become a star until his record-breaking junior season. And what a season it was. After registering 1,372 yards and 14 touchdowns during his first two seasons of work, Henry shattered the SEC single-season rushing record last year by leading the nation with 2,219 yards and 28 touchdowns. Henry broke Walker's conference record (1,891) by 328 yards. The unanimous All-America selection won Alabama's second Heisman Trophy while also taking home the Doak Walker Award and the Maxwell Award. In conference play alone, Henry averaged 5.7 yards per carry and 180.3 yards per game. He registered 10 100-yard games, four 200-yard games, scored a touchdown in every game and recorded nine multi-touchdown performances.
4. Mark Ingram, Alabama (2008-10): You can't ignore how much of a grinder Ingram truly was. The ultimate workhorse for the Crimson Tide during the better part of two seasons as a starter, Ingram helped take Alabama to a national championship in 2009 during his run for Alabama's first Heisman Trophy. The All-American rushed for at least 100 yards nine times that season, finishing with a league-high 1,658 yards (at the time the single-season school record) and 17 touchdowns while averaging 6.1 yards per carry. For his career, Ingram rushed for 3,261 yards in 39 games.
5. Leonard Fournette, LSU, (2014-present): OK, so his career isn't over, and it was tough to keep a couple other guys off this list, but how do you not include a guy who possesses the speed, strength, agility, power, quickness and anger Fournette does? Hyped as the next Superman, Fournette rushed for 1,034 yards and 10 touchdowns as a freshman -- and that was considered a disappointment. He bounced back admirably to rush for 1,953 yards and 22 touchdowns in 2015 -- two numbers that would have been higher if the opener against McNeese State hadn't have been canceled. The early Heisman favorite began the season rushing for at least 150 yards in the first seven games of the season, including three straight 200-yard efforts. He was held under 100 yards just twice and averaged a nation-leading 162.8 yards per game and an SEC-high (among starters) 6.5 yards per carry.
Just missed the cut: Nick Chubb, Georgia (2014-present); Alex Collins, Arkansas (2013-15); Anthony Dixon, Mississippi State (2006-09); Todd Gurley, Georgia (2012-14); Marcus Lattimore, South Carolina (2010-12); Trent Richardson, Alabama (2009-11)