The running backs: Former UCF runner Kevin Smith leads ‘other’ colleges

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Sometimes, the NFL has to look hard for its players.

Consider the state of Florida’s running backs. There, it can find Kevin Smith at UCF and Alfred Morris of FAU. Latavius Murray had 1,000 yards for the Raiders this season. Andre Hall had only a brief career with Denver, but the point is what he did in college.

They’re all young programs, but there has been talent.

So who are the top five running backs from the “other” state schools?

5. Latavius Murray, UCF (2010-2013): Rushed for 2,424 yards and 37 touchdowns for the Knights. Rushed for more than 1,000 yards for the Raiders.

4. Marlon Mack, USF (2014-present): Has gained 2,402 yards already at USF has has two years left. Expected to lead the Bulls again.

3. Alfred Morris, FAU (2008-2010): Morris has made a nice career with the Redskins and Cowboys. He gained 2,343 yards for the Owls. Had three 1,000-yard seasons with Washington.

2. Andre Hall, USF (2005-2006): Hall had 2,731 yards and averaged 5.7 yards per carry. Spent parts of two seasons with Denver.

1. Kevin Smith, UCF (2005-2007): Smith had an incredible 2,565 yards in one season, finishing eighth in the Heisman Trophy voting. He had 4,679 yards in only three years.

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Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit garysheltonsports@gmail.com.