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Bijan Robinson. TreVeyon Henderson. Blake Corum. These are some top RBs in the nation that you hear about on a weekly basis and that capture your attention. These three backs have one big thing in common that you likely wouldn't believe. What is it you ask? They all do NOT lead the nation in rushing yards through four games. In fact, only one of them, Blake Corum, is even in the top 10 right now (and half of his yards came this past weekend against Maryland).

So if those big-name backs don't lead the nation in rushing yards, who does? The answer is Illinois RB Chase Brown. 

Most certainly, the name at the top of this chart is not the one that most people would have expected coming into the season. However, Chase Brown is a force to be reckoned with. He is averaging 6.4 yards a carry, averaging 151 yards per game, and just became the first RB in Illinois history to rush for 100+ yards in 5 consecutive games. He is also the first Illinois RB to rush for 150+ yards in each of the first two games of a season. When you think about the fact Illinois has had backs like Rashard Mendenhall, Mikel Leshoure, and the immortal Red Grange, that's a pretty stellar feat.

His 199-yard effort against Indiana in week 2 helped him win the Doak Walker National Runningback of the Week award.

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Now obviously, Brown doesn't go to a blue-blood program and because of that doesn't garner the same amount of national attention as the guys mentioned at the beginning of this article. But the junior tailback is making his presence known and if he continues this trend of 100+ yard rushing games, the voters of the Doak Walker award and even NFL teams will take notice. Currently, Mel Kiper has Brown ranked as the 9th best back in next year's draft. 

Sep 2, 2022; Bloomington, Indiana, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini running back Chase Brown (2) runs the ball while Indiana Hoosiers defensive lineman Beau Robbins (41) defends in the first quarter at Memorial Stadium.

Sep 2, 2022; Bloomington, Indiana, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini running back Chase Brown (2) runs the ball while Indiana Hoosiers defensive lineman Beau Robbins (41) defends in the first quarter at Memorial Stadium.

Illinois head coach Bret Bielema has a great history of breeding successful RBs. From P.J. Hill to John Clay to James White to Montee Ball to Alex Collins, the former Wisconsin and Arkansas head man has a sustained track record of developing all-conference running backs. Brown's success stems from Bielema's offensive mind and zone blocking scheme, and it is helping his next superstar running back step into the national spotlight.

Looking at the remaining schedule for Illinois, Brown has a legitimate shot to put up some legendary numbers for the Illini. Next up is Bret Bielema's return trip to Madison and the Badgers, coming off a huge loss to Ohio State, could be vulnerable, which would help Brown pad his stats. They do, however, play Iowa and Minnesota in back-to-back weeks after that and both rank top 6 in rush defense.

However the rest of the season goes, Chase Brown's done an outstanding job thus far and will only continue to put up impressive numbers on a weekly basis.