Fresh moves

These first-year running backs have gone ball-istic

Originally Published: December 2, 2009
By Ryan Hockensmith | ESPN The Magazine
Getty ImagesBernard Pierce has been one of this season's most surprising tales.

This article appears in the December 14 issue of ESPN The Magazine.

Alabama sophomore Mark Ingram is vying to become only the second running back this decade (along with USC's Reggie Bush in 2005) to win a Heisman. But Ingram's breakout has obscured the emergence of a whole new class of running backs; four freshmen were among the top 10 rushers entering Thanksgiving break. To show how far these frosh have come, we found a preseason coach's quote about each kid, and a late season assessment from a rival.