Despite the metabolic success of the past decade, the Texas Longhorns There were some talented individuals in the running back position in the decorated history of the program.
Before electric play making ability Bijan Robinson Longhorn officially attracted fans last season, the mighty workhorse D’Onta Forman won the Dock Walker Award in 2016, an annual honor given to the country’s top players.
But for the past 60 years, the culture of Texas has been established by the legendary performances of a kind of running back. On Tuesday, ESPN revealed the list of the 100 best running backs of college football for the past 60 years.
The Horns have a clear few candidates, so let’s take a look.
84. Roosevelt Leaks, 1972-74
Before the emergence of El Campbell, the Roosevelt Leaks smashed the backs of the defense with some incredible performances. 1973 was his year, and Heismann came in third in the league, a consensus All-American, and jumped to a 342-yard school record against SMU, a record later broken by Ricky Williams in 1998.
Leakey, a member of UT’s Hall of Honor, may be the lowest runner in the Texas rankings at the bottom of the list, but he’s legendary as a runner – up. He played at the Leaks Pro level for nine years after being drafted by the Baltimore Colts in 1975. He is currently ranked seventh on UT’s Rushing Yard list (2923).
59. Jamal Charles, 2005-07
Charles Austin was a dynamic runner and pass-catcher before becoming one of the NFL’s best running backs in the early 2010s. On the way to Texas’ historic title game victory against USC in January 2006, he was with Charles Vince Young for most of the season in the backfield, with a total of 133 touches, 1035 scrip image yards and a total of 13 scores.
He took full charge in 2007, with Colt McCoy recording 258 attempts, 1619 rush yards and 18 touchdowns. With 3328 yards, Charles is fourth on UT’s all-time rushing list and has been to the All-Big 12 selection three times.
32. Cedric Benson, 2001-04
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Benson has been hailed by ESPN as the most “consistent” running back in college football in his four – year career. In his final season in 2004, Benson won first-team All-American honors and the Dock Walker Award after running 1,834 yards and 19 touchdowns.
With 5,540 rushing yards in NCAA FBS history, he is currently ranked seventh, and one of only eight players to run 1,000 or more yards in four consecutive seasons. Benson’s last match as Longhorn was a victory in the Rose Bowl against Michigan in 2005, a victory that set Texas a year later in the national championship.
After more than 6,000 career racing yards in an eight-year NFL career with three different teams, Benson died tragically in August 2019.
9. El Campbell, 1974-77
Earl Campbell, winner of the 1977 Heismann Trophy and an NFL Hall of Famer, is still a living legend immersed in the program.
He was the first person to be selected by the Houston Oilers in 1978 after completing his Texas career with 765 carries, 4,443 rushing yards and 40 scores on the field. All three marks are good for third in program history.
Here is what ESPN has to say about the Longhorn legend:
Like Derrick Henry, Campbell was like a video game creat-a-player. “Tyler Rose” passed away as a sophomore with very wide and strong legs, but struggled with injuries the following year. He was in perfect health in 1977, leading the country with 1,744 yards, 18 touchdowns and leading Texas to the edge of the national title, until losing to Longhorn’s Cotton Bowl Not Dam.
4. Ricky Williams, 1995-98
It was a toss-up between Campbell and Williams for first place in Texas, but takes an unprecedented career cake on forty acres. Williams is number one in program history in rushing yards (6,279) and scores (72), but it’s scratching the surface of what he’s achieved.
In his senior year in 1998, Williams won the Heismann Trophy and was named AP’s first Player of the Year after leading the country with a second – place finish at Rushing Yards (2,124) and Rushing Yards (193.1) (28). ).
Before Jonathan Taylor of Wisconsin won the Dock Walker Awards in 2018 and 2019, Williams was a two-time award winner for the first time.
Here’s what ESPN has to say about Williams:
A 1997 All-American Dock Walker Award winner as a junior, Williams has run 4,265 yards and 46 touchdowns in his career, returning to UT as a senior and setting records. He broke Dorset’s career rushing record in style.
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