By Russell Lorentz, for Vandy Insider
Webb Looks to Become Second Leading Rusher in SEC History
Senior Tailback Ralph Webb heads into his senior season on West End as the career leader in rushing yards (3,342) at Vanderbilt.
In just three seasons as he eclipsed Zac Stacy (’09-’12) in the record books grabbing hold of the record in route to a season ending victory over in-state rival Tennessee.
But for Webb, forgoing a chance at the NFL and returning to the Commodores for his final season opens the door for more historical recognition.
Webb can become the second leading rusher in the history of the Southeastern Conference, needing just 653 yards to reach the 4,000-yard mark, and 1,249 yards to pass former Arkansas Razorback great Darren McFadden for second all-time. Herschel Walker leads all SEC running backs with 5,259 career yards.
There’s a chance @TurnUpWebb reaches #2 on the all-time SEC rushing list this season.
— Paul Finebaum (@finebaum) June 26, 2017
However, Webb does not garner the same national attention as his fellow running mates, like Nick Chubb at Georgia or Bo Scarbrough at Alabama simply because of the name on the front of his jersey.
Webb racked up 672 yards in SEC play, 52 percent of his total output compared to Chubb’s 490 yards and 43 percent, in 2016.
Webb proved to be a top tier running back, (1,283 yards, 13 TD) despite facing constant eight and nine man looks in the trenches due to lack of offensive production from a passing standpoint during the early and middle portions of the season. With the deck stacked against him, Webb finished third in the conference in 2016 behind LSU’s Derrius Guice and Arkansas Rawleigh Williams III. Williams has since decided to step away from football following his second neck injury, per Chris Low of ESPN.
Webb should be able to reach the 4,000-yard plateau fairly easily, but the Vanderbilt offense as a whole needs to show more consistency throughout a complete season like they displayed the final two games against Ole Miss and Tennessee – their most complete games offensively totaling nearly 900 yards of offense.
Webb and the rest of the ‘Dores can be more than just a 6-win club, but consistency in the passing game will determine exactly how far both Ralph Webb and Vanderbilt can ascend.