Over the last week and a half, we at SEC Country have been counting down our picks for the Top 10 LSU football players of 2016.
Seven days in, we’ve finally gotten to the man you’ve been waiting for.
He was LSU’s best offensive player in 2016. He was the flashiest player on the field any time he touched the ball. And he might’ve singlehandedly salvaged Ed Orgeron’s head coaching for him.
His name is Derrius Guice. And he’s here to stay.
No. 4: Running back Derrius Guice
Derrius Guice was so good in 2016. He was only LSU’s full-time running back in seven of the Tigers’ 11 games, but he still managed to lead the SEC in yards per carry (7.96) and touchdowns (14), as well as finishing second in rushing yards with 1,249.
Here’s some perspective for you: In 2015, Leonard Fournette rushed for 1,953 yards on 300 carries. If Guice kept his 2016 pace and carried 300 times, he would have rushed for 2,388 yards. That mark would’ve supplanted Derrick Henry’s Heisman Trophy winning 2015 campaign as the best single season in SEC history.
Of course, that’s extrapolating. And we don’t need to do that. Because Derrius Guice was so darn good beyond projections.
- On average, Guice broke a run of 20 or more yards once every nine carries.
- 33 percent of Guice’s carries went for a first down.
- Dating back to at least 2004, Guice is the only SEC player to rush more than 150 times and average more than 7.10 yards per carry.
- Guice is the seventh SEC player since 2000 to rush for 200 or more yards in two separate games in the same season. Guice joins such company Fournette, Henry, Nick Chubb and Darren McFadden.
And, again, Guice wasn’t LSU’s full-time running back. No. 5 only received more than 20 carries on two occasions this year. By comparison, Fournette carried 20+ times in nine of LSU’s 12 games in 2016.
Derrius Guice is going to be a force next year if this year was any indication. And this year was quite the indication.
Catch up with our top LSU football players countdown:
No. 10: DL Davon Godchaux
No. 9: LB Duke Riley
No. 8: RB Leonard Fournette
No. 7: G Will Clapp
No. 6: C Ethan Pocic
No. 5: DE/OLB Arden Key