Terry Metcalf, Long Beach State 49ers
Had he played more than one season at the University of Washington, Seattle native Corey Dillon certainly would have gone down in history as the greatest college running back from the state. Dillon set an NCAA record with 305 total yards in a single quarter – he ran for 222 yards and was on the receiving end of an 83-yard TD pass – and gained 1,555 yards on the ground and scored 22 rushing touchdowns during the 1996 campaign.
As a result, even though Dillon spent just one year with the Huskies after junior college, it was a close call. However, another Seattle-born tailback gets the nod because he played one more season at the highest collegiate level than Dillon, and posted numbers that were just as impressive.
Ed Marinaro made our list as the best running back born in New York thanks in large part to his performance during the 1971 season, when he should have won the Heisman Trophy. However, Marinaro didn’t lead the nation in rushing touchdowns that year. Terry Metcalf scored 28 times on the ground for now defunct Long Beach State – then an NCAA record that still ranks among the 10 best single-season performances in FBS history. He also led the nation with 174 points, and gained 1,673 rushing yards for the 8-4 49ers.
Metcalf was less productive in 1972, though he scored 16 more rushing touchdowns. In 11 games, Metcalf gained 759 rushing yards, which pushed his two-year career totals to 2,432 yards and 44 touchdowns.