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2017 Best Football Players in the MAC: #19 Terry Swanson, RB, Toledo

The Rockets running back looks to emerge from Kareem Hunt’s shadow.

NCAA Football: Western Michigan at Toledo Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

After spending most of his career in the shadow of Kareem Hunt, Terry Swanson is ready to have a breakout season in 2017.

For a precursor of this season, we can look back to 2015. Kareem Hunt spent some time on the sidelines, and Swanson showed great potential in relief duty. He ran for 923 yards on the season with a 6.5 yards per carry average. He had two runs of over 88 yards, one against Eastern Michigan and the other against Kent State. His performance in 2015 was good enough to earn second team All-MAC honors.

For his career, he has already amassed 2,238 yards, good enough for 15th all-time for the Rockets and also has 17 career touchdowns. The senior from Aliquippa, PA, should have a standout in 2017. The Rockets have quite a few weapons, including two burners on the outside that should keep defense from stacking the box. Cody Thompson and Jon’Vea Johnson each averaged over 19 yards a reception. At five-feet-10, 205 lbs., Swanson is fast and shifty, with a penchant for taking hits, and I expect him to pile up a bunch of long runs like he had in 2015.

He is also a weapon in the passing game. In 2016, he caught 12 passes for 153 yards and a touchdown. With the departure of Hunt, I think it’s a real possibility that the Rockets will throw the ball more to their running backs, especially Swanson.