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Vanderbilt's Ralph Webb: I'm best running back in nation

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HOOVER, Ala. -- Vanderbilt RB Ralph Webb lacks notoriety, but not confidence.

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The Commodores fifth-year senior said on Tuesday at SEC Media Days that he's the top running back in college football , but realizes that, at least for now, he isn't recognized as such.

"I think I'm the best running back in the nation. ... I think my film is as good as anyone else's in the country," Webb said.

NFL.com analyst Lance Zierlein ranks LSU's Derrius Guice as the nation's top back, followed by Penn State's Saquon Barkley and Alabama's Bo Scarbrough, but doesn't have Webb in the top 10 entering the 2017 season.

"I'm used to it. I've been underrated my whole life, so I use it as motivation to rise up, prove everyone wrong, and be the best I can be," said Webb, who suggested Vanderbilt's annual underdog status in the SEC could have something to do with the lack of recognition. "We might not get the same publicity. Other SEC schools get a lot of the media attention, so therefore a lot of great guys might be underrated. ... Film, stats, consistency, none of that lies. I haven't missed a game. Thank God, I haven't missed a game the past three years. I think I've gotten better every year."

Webb's size could be a factor, as well. At 5-foot-10, 202 pounds, he's on the small side for an NFL running back, but that certainly hasn't held him back at the college level.

Said VU QB Kyle Shurmur: "Ralph plays with a chip on his shoulder."

Webb has rushed for 3,342 career yards at Vanderbilt, already a school record with a season of eligibility remaining. He ranks as the SEC's 20th all-time rusher, with some iconic names within his reach on the list; Emmitt Smith and Bo Jackson, to name two. He would need 1,918 yards to pass another icon -- Herschel Walker -- as the league's all-time leading rusher.

"I think it'd be a great thing for my family to look back on down the line. Something to go back and talk about -- just to be mentioned with those guys is an honor," Webb said. "Those are some of the greatest running backs to play this game."

A 1,283-yard campaign last year wasn't enough to put Webb in the same conversation with Guice and Barkley. But he has one more season to change the narrative. A good place to start would be a Sept. 23 home game against SEC champion Alabama.

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.

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