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Published 07/01/2014
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Portis, Canes Top List as "Running Back U"

By Bryan Fischer
College Football 24/7 writer

When it comes to the NFL Draft, no position has seen its stock fall further than that of the running back. It was once common to see backs being taken early in the first round, but we had to wait until pick No. 54 in 2014 to see one taken.

The league is becoming much more pass-happy, but it shouldn't go unnoticed that a strong running game is a key component of any successful team. Running backs still matter quite a bit, and with that in mind, College Football 24/7 took a look at college football programs and took into account their history of producing NFL backs (including fullbacks) over the past 25 years, the quality of backs they've produced, and even considered the future a bit to see what kind of pipeline there is for the school at the position.

Here are the 10 programs that can proudly lay claim to the title of "Running Back U" based on their success in sending players to the league during the past quarter century or so.

10. Ohio State Buckeyes
9. USC Trojans
8. LSU Tigers
7. Tennessee Volunteers
6. Alabama Crimson Tide
5. Auburn Tigers
4. Georgia Bulldogs
3. Penn State Nittany Lions
2. Florida State Seminoles
Draft picks last 25 years: 13, including Willis McGahee, Lamar Miller, Frank Gore, Clinton Portis and Edgerrin James.
The skinny: The U hasn't produced the most picks of any school, but the team's still-rich history and the number of impact backs it has produced is enough to keep the Hurricanes atop this list. Four Miami running backs have rushed for more than 8,000 yards in the NFL, and a remarkable nine of the school's 13 draft picks turned into a team's primary ball carrier at the next level. With Duke Johnson and freshman Joseph Yearby on the roster in 2014, along with a strong commitment to the ground game, expect Miami to be able to hold off others for this title in the coming years, too.

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