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Athlon ranks Isaac Bennett No. 17 running back in ACC

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Mark Konezny-US PRESSWIRE

Athlon continued their offseason lists with a ranking of the top ACC running backs. As expected, Pitt didn't have one in the top few ... or the top ten. Or even the top 15. The first Panther listed was Isaac Bennett at No. 17. That he was tops as far as Pitt players wasn't a surprise. Where he ranked may or may not be to you.

To be honest, I can understand the ranking. I personally think he'll finish higher than that in terms of yardage, but from the outside looking in, it's easy to want to dismiss him. He hasn't played all that much so far and had it not been for the untimely exit by Rushel Shell, Bennett likely would have never gotten his chance to be the premier guy.

I'm not confident he's going to be a great player. But I do believe he'll get his fair share of carries in what everyone expects to be a run-heavy offense. And if he gets those carries, he'll get yardage.

The reason I expect Bennett to put up some strong numbers is because he's in line to get a ton of carries. Malcolm Crockett and Desmond Brown are there, but I just don't know that either will take a lot of touches away from Bennett. And if Bennett gets out to a fast start and is consistent, the backup may find it difficult to make an impact. Pitt will, of course, play at least three guys, but if Bennett is consistently running through defenders, you want to keep him on the field more often than not.

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