Dalvin Cook: Big-Play Machine

Christian McCaffrey racked up an NCAA-record 3,864 total yards for Stanford en route to finishing second in this Heisman Trophy race. LSU’s Leonard Fournette is a 6-1, 230-pound slab of granite with rocket boasters for legs; he also ran for 1,953 yards and 22 touchdowns as a sophomore. Both of these guys are amazing, but when the conversation arises over whom is the best running back in college football, a third name must be added to the mix: Florida State’s Dalvin Cook.

As a freshman in 2014, Cook ran for over 1,000 yards while helping FSU reach the first ever College Football Playoff. In 2015, though, Cook hit another level: in just 12 games, he scored 20 touchdowns, which led the ACC’s list of talented skill position players, and ran for 1,691 yards — shattering the single season school record of 1,242 by Warrick Dunn back in 1995.

It’s scary to think, too, that Cook’s staggering numbers could easily look even more prolific; the running back missed the Oct. 31 game against Syracuse, which the Seminoles won 45-21, with an ankle injury. Despite missing their star back, Florida State ran for 221 yards in the game — Jacques Patrick led the way with 162 of those. The Orange ranked 12th in the ACC in rush defense; during league play, Syracuse gave up 192.4 yards per game on the ground.

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