There are a lot of excellent G5 running backs in college football in 2019. Some are names that you’ve heard before. Others are up and coming stars that you need to know. Here is a need-to-know list of the best G5 RBs in the country.
Michael Warren III – Cincinnati
Warren was spectacular last season for the Bearcats. He rushed for 1,329 yards and 19 touchdowns, while averaging 5.4 YPC. He also caught 25 passes for 232 yards and 1 TD. He’s a big physical back who breaks tons of tackles. He’s only a junior, so we’ll get to watch him another 1-2 seasons.
You haven’t seen lightning fast until you see Adrian Killins in the open field. He’s an elusive and electrifying playmaker who rushed for 715 yards with 4 TDs and caught 19 passes for 377 yards and 4 TDs last season. He’s also a threat on special teams.
Kevin Mensah – UConn
Mensah rushed for 1,045 yards last season with 6 touchdowns. The O-Line returns a few starters, so Mensah could be in store for another 1,000+ yard season in 2019.
Greg McCrae – UCF
Last season McCrae rushed for 1,182 yards and 10 touchdowns, while averaging an unbelievable 8.9 yards per carry. If he had more carries, that would’ve been an all-time NCAA record. He’s a bruiser with speed. Another big season is coming for McCrae and UCF in 2019.
Cronkrite averaged 6.1 yards per carry last season and totaled 1,121 rushing yards and 9 TDs. Against UMass last season he rushed for 302 yards. He and Johnny Ford make for one of the best duos in CFB.
Patrick Taylor Jr – Memphis
Taylor was 1 of 3 excellent RBs the Tigers had last season. He managed to rush for over 1,100 yards. He averaged 5.4 YPC and had 16 touchdowns. He’s the only one of the trio back in 2019. Expect him to have a big season for Memphis.
Darius Bradwell – Tulane
One of the best RBs in CFB who doesn’t get talked about enough is Darius Bradwell. Last season he rushed for 1,134 yards and 11 TDs, while averaging 5.6 YPC. He’s a big physical back, who’s also quick for his size.
Shamari Brooks – Tulsa
Brooks rushed for 967 yards and 7 touchdowns last season. In 2017, he had 10 rushing touchdowns. So he’s been a productive back for Tulsa. Expect another 10+ touchdowns this season from Brooks.
Andrew Van Buren – Boise State
2019 Breakout Watch
Van Buren is a player I expect to have a breakout season this year. Last season, he rushed for 163 yards & 2 TDs. In 2019, expect him to rush for 800+ yards and 10+ touchdowns for the Broncos.
Bright rushed for 888 yards and 10 touchdowns last season, while averaging 6.3 yards per carry. He also caught 22 passes for 232 yards and 3 TDs. The Aggies have an explosive offense this season, and Bright should eclipse 1,000+ yards rushing with 12+ Touchdowns.
Juwan Washington – San Diego State
Last season, Washington rushed for 999 yards and 10 touchdowns, averaging 5 YPC. Out of the backfield he caught 10 passes for 73 yards. He’s rushed for 23 TDs in his career and should add 12+ to that this season.
Ronnie Rivers – Fresno State
Last season, Rivers rushed for 743 yards with 10 touchdowns, averaging 5.6 yards per carry. He’s a fast, elusive running back who’s a good receiver, who caught 26 passes for 311 yards and 3 touchdowns, too.
Toa Taua – Nevada
Taua rushed for 872 yards & 6 touchdowns last season, averaging 4.9 yards per carry. Taua is set for a huge season in 2019. He’s a dynamic RB who should top 1,000+ yards and 10+ touchdowns this season. Remember the name!
Brenden Knox and Tyler King
Last season Knox rushed for 578 yards and 4 TDs, averaging 6.1 YPC as a freshman. King also averaged 6.1 YPC and rushed for 655 yards, 4 TDs. The two combine for an excellent 1-2 punch and should combine for 1,500+ yards.
Napoleon Maxwell, D’vonte Price, and Anthony Jones
Maxwell – 684 rush yds 7 TDs 5.3 YPC
Price – 560 rush yds 5 TDs 6.2 YPC
Jones – 338 rush yds 6 TDs 5 YPC
This is an excellent unit of RBs. They can top 2,000+ rushing yards as a trio. Will one take over as the lead back and get more touches? This is an interesting RB situation to keep an eye on this season.
One of the best RBs in CUSA that you need to know about is Benny Lemay. Last season he rushed for 1,243 yards, 11 touchdowns, while averaging 5.4 YPC. He caught 21 passes for 282 yards as well. Expect another 1,200+ yard season in 2019.
Chaton Mobley – Middle Tennesse State
Mobley is a player that will have a big breakout season this year. Last year as a freshman, he impressed with 613 rushing yards and 4 TDs, averaging 5 yards per carry. He also had 19 receptions and 1 TD. With QB Brent Stockstill gone, Mobley will be a big focus of the offense.
LaLa Davis – Old Dominion
Davis was a big time pickup for the Monarchs a few years ago. He’s a quick, elusive RB who has a ton of potential. Last season he rushed for 4 TDs and 131 yards. This season he could be in store for a big year. Remember his name!
Joshua Samuel – Western Kentucky
Last season as a freshman, Samuel rushed for 641 yards and a TD, averaging 5.3 yards per carry. Hilltopper fans have to be excited about his potential. This season don’t be surprised if he tops 1,000 rushing yards.
DeAndre Torrey – North Texas
Everyone knows about Mean Green QB Mason Fine, but did you know they also have an outstanding RB? Torrey rushed for 977 yards and 15 Touchdowns last season, averaging 5.6 YPC, adding 25 receptions for 202 yards, 2 TDs as well.
Brown has been an integral part of the rejuvenation of the Blazers football program. The last two years he has 2,556 rushing yards, 26 touchdowns and has averaged 5 YPC. Brown will top 1,300 rushing yards in 2019. Go watch him play.
Quardraiz Wadley – UTEP
The Miners were 1-23 the last 2 seasons, but Wadley has been a bright spot. Last season he rushed for 627 yds, averaging 5.1 YPC. If UTEP wants to get out the cellar in 2019, feeding Wadley like they did Aaron Jones in 2016 would be smart.
Brenden Brady – UTSA
Brady was a big pickup for the Roadrunners in the 2018 class. He’s a speedy RB with good acceleration in open space. Last season as a freshman he rushed for 221 yards and 1 TD. 2019 will be his big breakout season!
Juma Otoviano – Rice
Otoviano rushed for 364 yards, 3 touchdowns in 2018, averaging 5.6 YPC. He’s an explosive back who showed it vs ODU with 224 rushing yards. He has a chance to be special this year.
Jaqwis Dancy – Louisiana Tech
Dancy is the definition of a warrior, overcoming so many obstacles in his life that some couldn’t imagine. He is a true inspiration to many. Last season he rushed for 667 yards, 9 touchdowns, averaging 5.4 YPC. He will be a fan favorite.
Patterson is the reigning MAC freshman of the year. Last season he rushed for 1,013 yards and 14 touchdowns, while averaging 5.5 YPC. He’s got good vision and the athleticism to make defenders miss tackles.
Kevin Marks – Buffalo
Last season as a freshman, Kevin Marks rushed for 845 yards and 13 touchdowns, averaging 4.7 YPC. Marks and Jaret Patterson combine for one of the best RB duos in CFB. The duo will carry the Bulls’ offense in 2019.
Jo-el Shaw – Kent State
Shaw is a physical back who breaks tons of tackles. Last season he rushed for 657 yards and 7 touchdowns, averaging 4.8 YPC. Expect the senior to top 1,000 yards rushing in 2019 and have some highlight reel runs.
Andrew Clair – Bowling Green
Last season Clair rushed for 702 yards and 5 touchdowns, averaging 5.2 yards per carry. He also caught 19 passes for 102 yards and 2 TDs. With QB Jarret Doege, WR Quintin Morris, and Clair back in 2019, the Falcons’ offense should click on all cylinders.
Bryant Koback – Toledo
Koback was spectacular last year as a freshman. He rushed for 917 yards and 14 TDs, averaging 6.0 YPC. With the Rockets’ top 3 WRs all gone, expect Toledo to look to Koback and the rushing attack to bolster the offense.
Levante Bellamy – WMU
Bellamy earned first team All-MAC honors in 2018, after he rushed for 1,228 yards and 6 touchdowns, while averaging 6.0 yards per carry. Bellamy is also a threat in the passing game, as he caught 30 passes for 185 yards and 1 TD.
Tre Harbison – NIU
Harbison, who originally signed with UVA a few years ago, has been a great player for the Huskies. Last season he rushed for 1,034 yards and 5 TDs, while averaging 5.0 YPC. He’s a big physical back who’s great in short yardage and on the goal line.
Shaq Vann – Eastern Michigan
Vann had a big season in 2015 as a freshman, but injuries set him back in 2016 and 2017. Last season he rushed for 590 yards and 5 TDs, averaging 4.4 YPC. If healthy all season in 2019, expect him to top 750 rushing yards.
Caleb Huntley – Ball State
Huntley rushed for over 1,000 yards in 2017. However, last season he was hampered by injuries and only rushed for 187 yards. James Gilbert transferred to Kansas State, so expect Gilbert to become the workhorse for the Cards in 2019.
Jonathan Ward – Central Michigan
Ward rushed for 212 yards and a TD last season. The Chippewas could use a rotation of backs in 2019, with Romelo Ross and Kumehnnu Gwilly getting a share of attempts also. If Ward can pull away as the RB1, expect him to top 600+ rushing yards.
Trey Ragas – Louisiana
Ragas had a huge season in 2018, rushing for 1,181 yards and 8 touchdowns, and catching 25 passes for 229 yards and 2 TDs. Ragas and Elijah Mitchell are a dynamic RB duo. Both could go over 1,000 yards in 2019.
Elijah Mitchell – Louisiana
Mitchell rushed for 985 yards last season and 13 touchdowns, while catching 20 passes for 349 yards and 3 TDs. He and Trey Ragas combine for one of the best RB duos in college football. If you get a chance to watch this Ragin Cajuns rushing attack this season, you won’t be disappointed.
Evans had a remarkable season in 2018. He rushed for 1,187 yards and 7 Touchdowns, and averaged 6.6 yards per carry. Evans will replace Mountaineer legend Jalin Moore as RB1 in 2019. Expect over 1,300 rushing yards.
B.J. Smith – Troy
Smith was 1st team All-Sun Belt last season as he rushed for 1,186 yards and 13 touchdowns, averaging 5.4 yards per carry. The Trojans’ top 3 wideouts are all gone. So expect Smith to be the focal point of the Troy Offense.
Tra Barnett & Seth Paige – Georgia State
Barnett rushed for 551 yards and 7 TDs last season, averaging 5.1 YPC, while Paige rushed for 341 yards and 4 TDs, averaging 5.5 YPC. The two form a formidable duo for the Panthers at RB.
C.J. Marable – Coastal Carolina
Marable is dangerous in open space, a quick, elusive back who can make defenders miss. Last season he rushed for 719 yards and 6 touchdowns, averaging 6.1 YPC. He also caught 16 passes for 180 yards and 2 touchdowns.
I kept calling Murray “the man child” last season when mentioning him to people. He was only a freshman but he was a physical specimen. He rushed for 860 yards and 8 TDs in 2018, averaging 5.6 YPC. Bright future ahead for Murray!
Austin Vaughn – ULM
Vaughn rushed for 232 yards and 2 TDs last season, averaging 5 yards per carry. Derrick Gore is gone, so I expect Vaughn to step up as a senior and fill that void with 750+ rushing yards.
Tra Minter – South Alabama
Minter rushed for 801 yards and 6 Touchdowns last season, averaging 4.4 YPC. He also caught 23 passes for 201 yards. Minter is also an excellent Kick and Punt Returner who had 710 KR yards and a punt return for a touchdown.
Kell Walker – Army
Walker rushed for 320 yards last season, averaging 4.8 yards per carry, and caught 11 passes for 170 yards and 1 TD. 2017 was a big season for Walker, as he averaged 7.3 YPC and 6 TDs. In 2019, expect him to get back to his 2017 form.
Hickson was a force last season, rushing for 1,032 yards and 11 touchdowns. The senior is only 5’8″, but he’s got a good combination of speed and strength. The Flames’ offense will be explosive in 2019 and Hickson will be a big reason why.
Jason Huntley – New Mexico State
Huntley is a RB you need to know about heading into 2019. Last season he rushed for 505 yards and 7 TDs, averaging 4.6 YPC. Huntley and the Aggies open the season vs. Washington State and Alabama.