Michigan State Football: Top 5 running backs since 2000

Le'Veon Bell, Michigan State football (Photo by Mark Cunningham/Getty Images)
Le'Veon Bell, Michigan State football (Photo by Mark Cunningham/Getty Images) /
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Michigan State football
LJ Scott, Michigan State football (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images) /

Some could dispute this and say that a guy like Edwin Baker deserves to be on the list or even Jehuu Caulcrick, but people forget just how important LJ Scott was to the program.

Coming in as a highly-touted four-star running back recruit, Scott was expected to do big things right away and he was forced into a three-way split for carries with Madre London and Gerald Holmes. He emerged at the end of the 2015 season as the best back of the bunch but he still finished with just 699 yards. He did have 11 touchdowns, though.

Scott’s biggest touchdown came during that freshman season in the Big Ten Championship when he fought off a host of Iowa defenders to get into the end zone with about 30 seconds left in the fourth, giving Michigan State a late lead and trip to the College Football Playoff.

The next year, he truly broke out while Michigan State had a forgettable 3-9 season, finishing with 994 yards and six touchdowns on 5.4 yards per touch. He solidified himself as the starting back and went into his junior year with 1,000 yards on his mind.

Unfortunately, that didn’t quite happen as he finished with 898 yards and eight touchdowns, declaring his intent to return for his senior season after a big Holiday Bowl win — the Spartans’ 10th on the season.

That senior year didn’t go well as he appeared in just five games and was a relative non-factor.

Scott finished his career with 2,855 yards and 25 touchdowns as well as 43 catches for 403 yards and two more scores. He had some great moments, but never became that superstar everyone expected coming in.