I would Have to say Eddie and it's not that close.
Most Rushing Yards, Game: Eddie George, 314 on 36 attempts (1995 vs. Illinois)
Most Rushing Yards Per Game, Season: Eddie George, 148.2
Most 100-Yard Rushing Games, Season: Eddie George, 12
Most 200-Yard Rushing Games, Career: Eddie George, 5
Consecutive 100-Yard Rushing Games, Season: Eddie George, 12
I lean towards Eddie George here also, and by a decent margin. Eddie had a better O-Line in front of him though so that's a factor. Beanie does a lot of good things entirely on his own.
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"Sit over here next to Johnathan (Bench)...sit right here, he's smart."--Sparky Anderson
I didn't get the chance to see Archie play, but I heard he was one Hell of a NCAA back, but for whatever reason that talent didn't translate to a great pro career.
From the highlights I've seen, it looks like Archie was just a beast to bring down, and punished defenders when he lowered his shoulders.
The greatest tOSU back I have seen in my lifetime is Maurice Clarett. No player has meant more to a Buckeye squad. He may not have been as big or fast as Wells, but his vision was unmatched and he was truly special as a freshman. I wish we could have seen the rest of his college career unfold, because he might have gone down as the greatest running back of all-time...
I can understand the preference for George, although I can't see how anyone would think it's not close. But I admit it's based solely on my own personal observation and opinion from watching just about every game of both of them, but I just think Wells is better. He's got power, speed, and he even has great vision. He's the total package.
I agree on Clarrett. He could have been the guy, but there's no way to know. When I was at Michigan back in the fall of 2004, I took a sports marketing class with Spencer Brinton, who was a backup QB at Michigan for a few years. We got to be pretty good friends and we talked about sports a lot. He told me he thought Clarret was the best player he saw live in his college career. He said the guy had the best instincts and was the perfect combination of size and speed. He could have been special. Too bad the choices he made.
Grape works as a soda. Sort of as a gum. I wonder why it doesn't work as a pie. Grape pie? There's no grape pie. - Larry David
Eddie clearly has the stats. I do think Beanie is a better running back. If he does come back next year I think he will clearly pass 27.
As good as Clarett was he didn't have great speed. He could have been one of the best in OSU history but he associated himself with the wrong type of people.
Beanie is the most complete back I have seen since Eddie. IMO Eddie played with a better line and all around better offensive players during his time at OSU. If Beanie doesn't go down for 3 games this season he would have been in the Heisman conversation. I doubt he stays for his senior year but if he does he has the potential to go down as one of the greatest backs in OSU history.
I was lucky to see all these guys play in person. I was a graduation year ahead of Archie and saw all of his home games. Such a great back and great and talented teams.
Archie was all vision, balance, moves, durability, and determination. You had to hit him with a 2x4 to make him go down. I can't count the number of time Griffin took a direct-on shot from a Big 10 LB, spun off it, and kept going. Never took a play off, never ran out of bounds, and always got the most out of each and every play. And Woodie gave him a ton of carries. He never got hurt, got every ounce of performance out of his ability (and more), and played his heart out. He and Herschel Walker were the two best college backs I've ever seen.
Byars was a hugely talented back. Speed, strength, balance, hands, the whole deal. I was at that Illinois game that GAC mentioned (first game at the Shoe that I saw under the lights) and the show that Byars put on was amazing. We were seated down behind the visitors bench and I can still remember seeing his shoe fly up in the air as he went past. After his excellent junior year, I thought he'd be the next great NFL back, but injuries derailed his senior year and a lot of his NFL career.
Eddie was another great college back. Got the most out of his ability, stayed healthy, and had a great senior year. I never thought he had enough speed to be great, but he had the football speed where he could outrun a DB by .001 seconds and that was enough. He surprised me by being a great NFL back. I still think his OSU number was retired because of his pro career.
Wells is probably the most talented back since Keith Byars. Maybe more strength and speed, but less flexibility and not as good of a receiver. Actually, he reminds me of Jim Brown. And like Byars, he has trouble staying healthy. Wells is like Robert Smith, only with more size and strength.
And Earl Campbell he was in that class too.He and Herschel Walker were the two best college backs I've ever seen.
Baseball is not necessarily an obsessive-compulsive disorder, like washing your hands 100 times a day, but it's beginning to seem that way. We're reaching the point where you can be a truly dedicated, state-of-the-art fan or you can have a life. Take your pick. ~Thomas Boswell
Having a life is overrated.