Oregon senior tailback Royce Freeman was recently named one of the Top 100 college football players for the 2017 by Sports Illustrated.
Freeman, who gained 945 rushing yards and scored 9 TDs in a 2016 season marred by nagging injuries and being underused, came in at No. 76 on the list. He was the seventh-highest running back on the list, and the second-highest in the PAC-12, trailing only Washington’s Myles Gaskin (No. 36)
Freeman has always been an unheralded player since he arrived in Eugene in a loaded running back class that included recent NFL draft picks Leonard Fournette, Christian McCaffrey, Samaje Perine and Joe Mixon, and Georgia’s Nick Chubb. But from the 2015 and 2016 seasons, no player in the country rushed for more yards than Freeman’s 3,201 yards.
Here’s what SI wrote about the Oregon star:
After sensational freshman and sophomore seasons in which he rushed for a combined 3,201 yards and 35 touchdowns, Freeman hit a rough patch in 2016 (he was still pretty effective—945 rushing yards, nine scores). The good news for college football fans—except for those who support other Pac-12 teams—is the down year led Freeman to return to Oregon for his senior season. New Ducks coach Willie Taggart said he’s building his offense in part around what Freeman does best, so don’t be surprised by a huge bounce-back season.
Freeman is the only Oregon player listed in the Top 100.