Taking a look at the Running back class through six weeks

Sep 30, 2023; Durham, North Carolina, USA; Duke Blue Devils safety Terry Moore (23) runs after Notre Dame running back Audric Estime
Sep 30, 2023; Durham, North Carolina, USA; Duke Blue Devils safety Terry Moore (23) runs after Notre Dame running back Audric Estime / Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

As the season approaches the midway point, the battle of the quarterbacks is heating up and getting a lot of attention. I wanted to take a look at the race to be the top running back in the class and see where things stand and see who has stepped up and stood out so far. Who has been those bell cow backs that have been game changers for their team's success?

Jonathan Brooks - Texas - The sophomore runner for the Longhorns has been a bright spot for the team and helped take some pressure off of Quinn Ewers and the passing game. Brooks is currently second in the nation with 726 yards and six scores on 108 carries (6.7 yards per carry). At 6'0" and 202 pounds he has the build to run between the tackles and has good instincts to change direction and an ability to not only break tackles but make people miss. Also, with a sub 4.5 40-yard time, he has speed to be a factor.

Audric Estime - Notre Dame - While I am a fan of Hartman and the ability he has as a quarterback; Estime has stood out when I watch the Irish play. With a similar build to Brooks, Estime weighs 20 pounds heavier and still has an estimated 4.50 40-yard time. Estime has had an impressive season so far with a 6.6-yard per carry average (692 yards and 105 carries). Estime has been a go-to player for the Irish when they absolutely needed yards or a play.

Jawhar Jordan - Louisville - I'll be the first to admit that Louisville has been a pleasant surprise this season (5-0 as of this writing). and Jordan has been a huge part of the success the Cardinals have had this season. At 5'09" and 185 Jordan has shown his speed (4.47e) to escape to the outside on zone-style runs and the physicality to run between the tackles. With 87 carries for 653 yards (7.5 average) and eight scores he has helped his team win and create opportunities for Jack Plummer and the passing game.

Honorable mentions

Dylan Sampson - Tennessee - Yes, I realize that Jaylen Wright and Jabari Small will get the headlines for the Volunteer offense but Sampson has impressed me. He runs very well and shows great instincts for a young runner (sophomore) he's shown a solid ability to make people miss in close quarters and showcases his speed to gain separation. He is third on the team in rushing but a vital option in what has become a three-headed running monster for Tennessee.

Jordan Waters - Duke - Another surprise team this season has been Duke. While quarterback Riley Leonard has been having a great season, Waters has been pivotal to the success of the Blue Devils this season. He's already tied his career high in touchdowns with eight. He's shown solid instincts to wait for the openings between the tackles or run to the outside.