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Pac-12 returning running backs, #8 to #5: Thomas Tyner, D.J. Foster make list

Who are the under-the-radar runners to watch in the conference?

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8. Thomas Tyner, Oregon Ducks

Addicted to Quack

Avinash Kunnath: Tyner has become the best receiving running back on the Ducks squad, and he helped keep Oregon's offense going when other receivers went down during the season. Tyner has also proven he can be more than capable of being an everydown back as well, and is definitely one of the most versatile options who can take a leap next season.

Jack Follman: We got to see what Tyner looks like when healthy for seemingly the first time in ages in the Playoff games and it was impressive. He is going to lose a lot of carries to Freeman, but he is just as good as any other back on this list when he is healthy and getting a steady stream of carries.

7. Storm Woods, Oregon St. Beavers

Building the Dam

Avinash Kunnath: He didn't get the football much with Sean Mannion under center, but expect it to tilt the other way this season. Woods averaged a pretty awesome 6 yards a carry last season and could be an underrated weapon this season.


Jack Follman: Woods is that guy who never seems to put up as many yards as you expect, but he is a big fast player who has a top gear that a lot of the other guys don't. I expect a 1,00-yard-plus season from him with Sean Mannion and Terron Ward no longer there to sap up production and with a guy who knows who to use a feature back in Gary Andersen at the helm in Corvallis now.

6. Daniel Lasco, California Golden Bears

California Golden Blogs

Avinash Kunnath: Lasco had a good year and helped give Cal some much needed yards when the Bear Raid struggled. Lasco has proven that he can be the number one option and be a nice change of pace from Jared Goff and the lethal Golden Bear passing attack.

Jack Follman: Lasco had about the quietest 1,100 yard, 12 touchdown season in the history of the Pac-12. Seriously, has a Pac-12 guy ever put up numbers like that and still never been heard of by about 95 percent of casual Pac-12 fans. Regardless, He is another in the mold of those big, strong NFL style backs that always gets the most out of every carry, chips away yards and scores in the red zone.

5. D.J. Foster, Arizona St. Sun Devils

House of Sparky

Avinash Kunnath: Foster struggled to be as dynamic as last season, but he will be the key leader for the Sun Devils having a good 2015 campaign. Foster is the best pass catcher out of this list too, making him a very versatile option for Todd Graham to dissect defenses.

Jack Follman: The best receiving running back in the nation returning in 2015, Foster is probably the most unique talent of any back on this list. Foster ran for 1,000 yards in 2014 and also had reception and receiving yard numbers that were in the Top 15 of the conference. Now that's versatile.