On Tuesday, we checked out the SEC quarterbacks who could hit the 3,000-yard passing mark in 2016. With a handful of unproven QBs returning, I went with four making it to 3,000.
Today, we look at potential 1,000-yard rushers, and expect the SEC to move mountains with its running games in 2016. A slew of talented running backs return, meaning a lot of offenses will hit the ground to pound opposing defenses.
Last season, the SEC tied the Mountain West with a nation-leading nine 1,000-yard rushers. Of those nine players to hit triple digits, only four of them -- LSU's Leonard Fournette (1,953 yards), Tennessee's Jalen Hurd (1,288), Georgia's Sony Michel (1,161) and Vanderbilt's Ralph Webb (1,152) -- return, but the SEC has plenty of other capable backs lurking around the league.
And don't forget about the quarterbacks, either. Could we see a 1,000-yard rusher emerge from under center in the SEC for the first time since Nick Marshall ran for 1,068 in 2013?
So how many will eclipse 1,000 yards in 2016? I'll go with an even eight because I think running back duos could eat into individual numbers more this year.
Here's my list in order of the most likely rushers to get to 1,000 yards:
1. Leonard Fournette, LSU: No one will argue this one. Fournette was a Heisman favorite for most of last season and nearly rushed for 2,000 yards.
2. Jalen Hurd, Tennessee: One of the league's most underrated players, Hurd rushed for 1,288 yards and with all the offseason work he's done to get bigger and stronger, Hurd should have no problem clearing 1,000 yards with his pounding style.
3. Nick Chubb, Georgia: Coming off that devastating knee injury, maybe he's too high on the list. But consider that in 14 career starts, he's failed to rush for 100 yards just once -- his season-ending game against Tennessee last year. Chubb has 2,294 yards in one and a half seasons of work, so if he's healthy this fall, 1,000 yards will be a breeze.
4. Sony Michel, Georgia: I could see Michel getting back to 1,000 yards even if Chubb is healthy this fall. He performed admirably in Chubb's place last year, and expect the Bulldogs to run the ball even more this season. If Chubb can't make it through the entire season at 100 percent, Michel should be a shoe-in for 1,000 yards.
5. Bo Scarbrough, Alabama: We've only seen 18 carries from Scarbrough, who now takes over for record-breaking back -- and Heisman Trophy winner -- Derrick Henry. But from everything coming out of Tuscaloosa, the physical specimen could be a special player. Can you really keep an Alabama back off the 1,000-yard list?
6. Jovon Robinson, Auburn: With Peyton Barber gone and reports of Roc Thomas wanting to transfer, this should be Robinson's backfield to lose. He rushed for 639 yards behind Barber last year. Auburn wants to get back to running the ball more, and Robinson should be more than up for that.
7. Ralph Webb, Vanderbilt: He went from 907 yards as a freshman in 2014 to 1,152 yards last year. He's the Commodores' best offensive weapon and will once again the focal point of the offense. Webb should get a little more freedom with second-year QB Kyle Shurmur taking over, giving Vandy more of a downfield passing threat.
8. Stanley "Boom" Williams, Kentucky: Williams ran for 855 yards in only 10 games of work. He also averaged a league-high 7.1 yards per carry among back who played in at least 10 games. So just imagine what he could do if he got a full season under his belt.
9. A Florida back: The Gators think they have three very talented backs coming out of spring in sophomores Jordan Cronkrite and Jordan Scarlett and junior college transfer Mark Thompson. Thompson has drawn physical comparisons to Henry and could be the most complete back of the bunch, but Cronkrite has shown solid flashes in SEC work. This will be a communal effort, but one could emerge to take the reigns.
10. An Arkansas back: I mean it's a Bret Bielema offense. Someone has to run for 1,000 yards, right? Well, Alex Collins and Jonathan Williams are gone and Kody Walker and Rawleigh Williams III were hobbled this spring. With rebuilding along the offensive line and a more passing presence in Fayetteville, don't be surprised if its a struggle to get a back to 1,000 yards.
11. Alvin Kamara, Tenneesse: He's Hurd's backup, but he's so exciting and elusive with the ball. Kamara rushed for 698 yards last year, but averaged 5.9 yards per carry in SEC play. It might be hard to get to 1,000 yards, but don't write this guy off.
12. John Franklin III, Auburn: This all rests on him being the starting quarterback, but Gus Malzahn raved about his running ability and speed this spring. Could the JUCO transfer be the next Nick Marshall for Auburn?