The Best SEC Tailbacks For The 2021 Season

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For the first time in quite a while, the search for the best SEC tailbacks doesn’t lead you to Alabama or Georgia. They are the usual suspects when looking for elite backfield talent over the past few decades in this league. Each of those programs will still have talented ball carriers in Brian Robinson Jr and Zamir White respectively. However, the best players toting the rock reside elsewhere in the conference for once. The SEC is loaded at running back heading into the 2021 season. At least eight different guys will have a legit shot at postseason honors.

The Best SEC Tailbacks for the 2021 Season

  1. Jerrion Ealy – Ole Miss Rebels

The offense in Oxford has the potential to be one of the most explosive units in the country. Quarterback Matt Corral returns under center, and he will have an electric play-maker in Ealy to hand the ball too. The junior running back has averaged almost six yards on his 251 career carries. He is quick and elusive and can turn any play into a big one if he gets into the open field. Ealy also has a kickoff return for a touchdown in each of his first two seasons. Big plays should happen often for the Ole Miss offense in 2021, and their diminutive ball carrier will certainly be a large part of that.

  1. Christopher Rodriguez Jr. – Kentucky Wildcats

Big Blue Nation will have one of the better tandems of SEC tailbacks this fall. Rodriguez Jr led the team with 785 yards in 2020, and he also led the conference with over six and a half yards per carry. Kavosiey Smoke will give him a breather when necessary. He is more than capable of producing at a high level. However, the bulk of the carries will go to Rodriguez Jr. He is a big back, but as his per-carry average shows, he can also pick up yards in chunks. He missed out on a 1000 yard season by losing two games to Covid protocols. If he remains healthy this fall, he should eclipse that mark with ease.

  1. Isaiah Spiller – Texas A&M Aggies

The 2020 All-SEC first-team selection is the prototypical workhorse running back. Including his pass-catching out of the backfield, he averaged over 20 touches a game as a sophomore. Spiller has a unique combination of power, speed, and vision that allows him to pile up yards each week. The junior from Spring, TX has 10 career games with 100 or more yards on the ground. Spiller will play a major role if the Aggies are to take the next step and truly challenge for the SEC West crown. He also has the luxury of an All-American tackle in Kenyon Green to run behind.

  1. Tank Bigsby – Auburn Tigers

The Auburn Tigers may have a claim to be in the discussion with Alabama and Georgia as far as producing elite SEC tailbacks. Their rising sophomore is definitely in that category. Bigsby is a bruising runner who carries the ball with violent intent. He also has the power and balance to back up his physical style. He should see his workload increase in his second season on the plains. The Georgia native was named SEC Freshman of the Year in 2020. Bigsby has the versatility and skillset to carry the Auburn offense this fall. He had 15 or more carries in just five contests last year, eclipsing 100 yards in four of those games.

  1. Kevin Harris – South Carolina Gamecocks

The top three on this list could easily be interchangeable in the order in which they land. Each of them will have huge production in 2021. The Gamecocks tailback gets the nod because he leads all returning players in yards and touchdowns on the ground. Harris is a bowling ball when opponents try to tackle him. His power and balance make him tough to bring down, but it is his vision that sets him apart. He is especially adept at finding the right seam on pulling plays. Harris also showed more breakaway speed than he was believed to have. Like Spiller he had more than 20 catches out of the backfield, so his versatility is unquestioned. He put up huge numbers on a bad offense in 2020. Most of his offensive line also returns in front of him. If South Carolina can make strides in the passing game, Harris will have more room to seek out defenders to run over.