Who Are the Best Running Backs in College Football?

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There are few sights in football as exciting as a quality running back charging down the field.

Plenty of exciting running backs are making headlines and shaping up the NCAA football odds. So, who are the best running backs currently setting the college leagues alight?

Bijan Robinson – The Texas Longhorns

Playing for the Longhorns, five-star recruit Bijan Robinson rushed for over 1,100 yards and scored 11 TDs last season despite not playing all the games. He set the program’s best rushing average over a season, at an impressive 19.1 and also picked up 295 receiving yards.

The highlight of his college career to date came at the 2020 Alamo Bowl, where Rodriguez was named as the most valuable player thanks to his ten rushes that yielded 183 yards as well as a touchdown. He also got selected for the 2020 All-American Bowl.

Braelon Allen – The Wisconsin Badgers

Originally viewed as a player for defense, Braelon Allen has excelled as a running back for the Badgers. He grabbed a dozen touchdowns in the 2021 season with 1,268 rushing yards and has set the school’s record for rushing at least 100 yards in seven consecutive games.

Allen was named as the MVP in the 2021 Las Vegas bowl and it’s worth noting that when he rushes 100 yards or more Wisconsin always wins the game, at least so far in his career. His 6.8 yards per carry record saw him lead the Big Ten and it looks like he still has more to offer.

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Chris Rodriguez – The Kentucky Wildcats

This Kentucky Wildcats player seemed destined for the top after a stellar 2021 season where he racked up 1,272 yards and eight touchdowns in the regular season. Playing as a redshirt junior for the Wildcats, Rodriguez helped Kentucky to a successful season where his late TD helped them win the Citrus Bowl.  

However, there are serious doubts over his participation in the upcoming season. The current top rushing running back in the Southeastern Conference was hit with DUI charges back in May this year, and the Wildcats coach has refused to give any details on what happens next, although it’s believed that Rodriguez is working out with the team just now.

Jahmyr Gibbs – The Alabama Crimson Tide

Born in Georgia, Jahmyr Gibbs was a first team All-American in high school, earning an invite to the 2020 All-American Bowl. He chose the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets from numerous options and had an exciting season before entering the transfer portal and then joining the Alabama Crimson Tide at the end of 2021.

His 2021 stats show four TDs from 746 yards and we can expect him to improve those numbers further once he gets up and running in Alabama. Reports from the team’s training camp suggest that other players are hugely impressed by his speed and expect him to go up another level this season. Gibbs is one of the reasons why Alabama is among the favorites to enter the next college football playoffs.

Devon Achane – The Texas A&M Aggies

Another of the top running backs in college football in 2022, Devon Achane has already shown his running prowess in track events and turns a high percentage of his rushes into touchdowns. Following a 2,000+ high school career, he played eight games in his freshman year, with four TDs.

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2021 was his breakthrough season for Texas, as he rushed for over 900 years and got nine TDs from 130 rushes. Expect to see his speed and agility convert him into one of the most exciting running backs in the NFL if he carries on improving like this.

TreVeyon Henderson – The Ohio State Buckeyes

This highly athletic running back set several records for Hopewell High School, where he rushed for more than 4,000 yards as he claimed 50 touchdowns. His next stop was Ohio State, and he was soon setting new records there too.

15 TDs and over 1,200 rushing yards in the 2021 season gave Henderson a strong platform to build from. He averages close to seven yards per carry and almost 20% of his rushes are for more than ten yards.  Henderson recently stated that he’s not yet at the level he wants to be at, despite breaking the program’s record for most TDs by a freshman last season.

Deuce Vaughn – The Kansas State Wildcats

As the son of a college football coach, Deuce Vaughn seemed destined for a career in the sport, and he started strongly when he rushed for 1,940 yards in a single season for Cedar Ridge High School, setting a new record for them.

Vaughn was classed as one of the nation’s best running backs as a freshman at Kentucky, and he soon claimed a starting position in the team. His first season saw him grab 642 rushing yards and seven touchdowns and earn the title of Offensive Freshman of the Year for the Big 12 Conference. His 2021 stats show over 1,400 rushing yards and 18 TDs.

 

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