1.) New Mexico Rodney Ferguson: Sr.
292 attempts, 1,137 yards, 13 touchdowns
A 1st Team All-Mountain West Conference Player in 2006 and 2007, Ferguson has recently been voted the MWC's Most Elusive RB by Sporting News. Ferguson has been instrumental in making the Lobo's important again.
BigPurpleNation.com Reasoning: The 6-0, 225-pounder isn't going to destroy a team with long runs, but he is a workhorse and can catch the ball out of the backfield. He might struggle coming out of the gates with a new offensive line and a defense (TCU) that will be one of the best in the nation. Nonetheless he should be a lock for another 1,000-yard season and will be relied heavily to pound out the football.
2.) TCU Aaron Brown: Sr.
106 attempts, 490 yards, 2 touchdowns
The Preseason Mountain West Conference Player of the Year in 2007, Brown was banged up all of last year, before finally getting knocked with a broken ankle. With one year left, he is only the 12th player in TCU history to rush for over 2,000 career yards.
BigPurpleNation.com Reasoning: When he is healthy, the 6-1, 196-pound senior is one of the conferences best players with a tremendous combination of speed, quickness and power. The bad news for the rest of the conference is Aaron Brown is healthy. TCU Coach Gary Patterson has gone as far as saying that the running back is looking faster this year. Look for Brown to rebound from 2007 and show why he was the Preseason Player of the Year a year ago.
A Freshman All-America last season, Unga was largely an unknown going into last season, but quickly emerged as one of the top backs in the Mountain West. He became first-ever BYU freshman running back to eclipse the 1,000-yard rushing mark. At 6'0, 245-lbs Unga is a powerful back that has great speed for his size. This season Unga is a 2008 All-America and Doak Walker Award candidate.
BigPurpleNation.com Reasoning: The biggest snub on this list, Unga has the combination of size and quickness to be a dangerous workhorse once again. Unfortunately for the back, he is not going to surprise anyone in the Mountain West this year. With BYU's passing game as good as it is, Unga's carries could drop. He struggled against some of the better-run defenses that he faced last year (ex.UCLA), but against teams like Utah and San Diego St. the freshman put up big numbers. He will be good, but expect a sophomore slump.
4.) Utah Darrell Mack: Sr.
253 attempts, 1,204 yards, 12 touchdowns
Flying under the radar as a recruit in 2005, Mack earned 2nd Team All-Mountain West Conference honors last year becoming the third highest Utah single season rusher. Last year, Mack finished second in the MWC and 33rd in the nation in rushing (100.3 yards per game).
BigPurpleNation.com Reasoning:An all out banger as a running back, the 6-0, 219-pound senior had six 100-yard games in a seven week span last season. With the left side of the line possibly being the best in the MWC, Mack should once again have no problem eclipsing a 1,000 yards.
A former transfer from Cal, "The Tank" s the only player in UNLV history to have led his team in both rushing touchdowns in a single season. He was named as the Toughest Player to Bring Down in the MWC by Lindy's .
BigPurpleNation.com Reasoning: At 5-10, 240 pounds Summers is one of the biggest backs in the MWC. Last year he put together a nice string of three 100-yard games in a row highlighted by a 190-yard game against Utah. With an experienced line and a quarterback controversy all year long, Summers will be counted on to carry the load.
Publisher note: These rankings are based solely on the opinion of BigPurpleNation.com and its publisher Josh Harvey!