Big 12 News

CBS Sports Lists Two Big 12 Teams with Top 5 Running Back Rooms

NCAA Football: Tennessee Tech at Kansas

After some impressive offseason additions paired with veterans returning for the 2024 college football season, the Big 12 Conference is expected to house some of the nation’s top running back rooms.

In a recent list from CBS Sports’ Tom Fornelli, two teams from the Big 12 Conference were awarded spots on the list, which ranked them No. 3 and No. 5.



“I don’t know if I’ll ever get used to thinking of Kansas as one of the country’s most talented college football teams, but it’s a reality in 2024, particularly at the running back position,” Fornelli said. “Devin Neal was one of the best backs in the country last season, even if he’s not a household name. He’s been one of the most productive backs in the country over the last two seasons, rushing for 2,373 yards and 25 touchdowns. Neal is also a valuable weapon in the passing game, with 53 career receptions for 457 yards and three touchdowns. Daniel Hishaw was a solid No. 2 behind Neal last season, rushing for 626 yards and eight touchdowns. He’s back in 2024, too. Both are terrors in the open field; their combination of size and agility make them a serious pain-in-the-you-know-what to tackle.”


“Last season, UCF’s Rocky Harvey finished sixth in the nation with 1,416 yards rushing,” Fornelli said. “That was 16 yards more than Toledo’s Peny Boone, who rushed for 1,400 yards and finished eighth nationally. In 2024, they’ll be in the same backfield. Boone, last year’s MAC Offensive Player of the Year, transferred to UCF in May to give the Knights the most productive backfield in the country. And while he’s not a running back, the Knights added QB KJ Jefferson from the portal, and he’s quite literally a tank pretending to be a human quarterback. I don’t have the physical proof of this, but I trust my eyes. There’s also Johnny Richardson, who finished second in rushing behind Harvey for the Knights last season, averaging 6.59 yards per carry. Those three backs combined with Jefferson in a Gus Malzahn offense? Ladies and gentlemen, sign me up for that.”

Fornelli finished his thoughts by mentioning five honorable mentions which included Kansas State‘s running back room of DJ Giddens and Dylan Edwards.

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