Top MAC Football Players of 2013: #6 Beau Blankenship, Ohio RB

USA TODAY Sports

Our No. 6 player is the leading returning rusher who wasn't a quarterback.

I don't know what Beau Blankenship would be doing if he was still in Ames, but his decision to transfer to Ohio has a lot of Bobcats excited for the 2013 season.

Since transferring from Iowa State, Blankenship has shown and proved himself to be one of the top running backs in the Mid-American Conference. His complementing Tyler Tettleton has been what Frank Solich's offense has needed to roll on all cylinders.

While at Iowa State, Blankenship only managed to accumulate 11 yards on the ground. In 2011 during his first year with the 'Cats, he racked 42 times that, picking up 462 yards and four touchdowns on the ground.

He exploded last year during his junior season, probably because he decided to grow dreadlocks during the fall. Blankenship rushed for a school-record 1,604 yards and tallied 15 touchdowns on the year. After the season he earned Second Team All-MAC honors and was named Co-MVP of the Independence Bowl win over Louisiana Monroe where he rushed for four touchdowns.

Blankenship has been a workhorse, especially with his backfield mate Ryan Boykin dealing with injuries throughout his career. He has toted the rock 409 times, 312 of those times last season. His hard work has paid off, too. He's reached the century mark 10 times over his career.

Blankenship finished second in the MAC in rushing last season behind Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch. This season he'll have Lynch to compete with along with six other Doak Walker Watch List running backs. This will be his best chance to reach his pinnacle as he is surrounded with plenty of senior talent including fellow Oklahomans Tettleton and Donte Foster.

Blankenship has a tough test to start the season as Ohio heads to Louisville on Sept. 1 to take on the AAC favorite Cardinals.

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