Who are the best running backs coming into the 2019 college football season? Here are the 2019 CFN All-America running backs and 30 top players.
2019 CFN Preseason All-America Running Backs
Who are the best running backs coming into the 2019 college football season? Based on projections for this year – and not necessarily based on pro talent and potential ….
Honorable Mention All-Americans
30. Salvon Ahmed, Jr. Washington
With Myles Gaskin done, the speedy 5-11, 193-pound Ahmed now gets to take over the workload after running for 608 yards and seven scores with 21 catches in a reserve role. He might not be a regular 25-carry-a-game back, but he should be able to push for Gaskin-like numbers.
– 2019 Washington Preview
29. LeVante Bellamy, Sr. Western Michigan
With 16-touchdown back Jamauri Bogan done, Bellamy should grow into a statistical superstar after leading the Broncos with 1,228 yards and six scores, averaging six yards per carry. The 5-9, 185-pound quick back caught 30 passes and returned kicks, too.
– 2019 Western Michigan Preview
28. JaTarvious Whitlow, Soph. Auburn
It might have been a disappointing season for the Auburn offense, but the 6–0, 210-pound Whitlow did enough in his redshirt freshman season to lead the team in rushing with 787 yards and six scores, and he caught two touchdown passes – busting out a 66-yarder in his three touchdown bowl day against Purdue. Now he’ll get the first shot to be the lead runner in the offense’s revival.
– 2019 Auburn Preview
27. BJ Smith, Sr. Troy
There might be a new coach and the team might have some rebuilding to do, but the 5-9, 203-pound Smith will stat the centerpiece of one of the Group of Five’s best teams. He went from a little-used back and kick returner to a 1,186-yard, 13-touchdown runner – he’ll get the ball even more.
– 2019 Troy Preview
26. Adrian Killins, Sr. UCF
Greg McCrae might have been the leading rusher, but the 5-8, 164-pound Killins did his part in the UCF rotation with 715 yards and four scores. More of a receiver than McCrae – catching four touchdown passes – and used as a dangerous kickoff returner, he can do a little of everything.
– 2019 UCF Preview
25. Zack Moss, Sr. Utah
There was a thought that he was ready to go pro early, but after running for close to 1,100 yards and 11 scores and catching a touchdown pass in just nine games, he’s back to lead another great ground game. He’s a mortal lock for a third straight 1,000-yard season – and all-conference honors – if he can stay in one piece.
– 2019 Utah Preview
24. Benny LeMay, Sr. Charlotte
He didn’t come from out of nowhere, but he went from being a nice part of the 49er offense to the main man, running 232 times for 1,243 yards and 11 scores to go along with 21 catches. He got tougher and better as the year went on, saving his two biggest games for the last two. Now the 5-9, 215-pound all-star has to be ready to do even more.
– 2019 Charlotte Preview
23. Spencer Brown, Jr. UAB
Speeding up the revival of UAB football, Brown ran for over 1,300 yards with ten scores as a freshman, and followed it up with a 1,227 yards, 16 rushing scores and a receiving touchdown on the way to all-star honors. The 6-0, 230-pound workhorse won’t have to carry the entire load, but he can.
– 2019 UAB Preview
22. Greg McCrae, Jr. UCF
The 5-10, 175-pound speedster didn’t have to be the workhorse, but he still managed 1,182 yards and ten touchdowns, averaging close to nine yards per pop. There won’t be much in the way of power, but he’ll once again be dangerous whenever he gets a sliver of daylight.
– 2019 UCF Preview
21. Jafar Armstrong, Jr., Notre Dame
No one’s expecting him to be another Dexter Williams, but it’s his turn up. The 6-1, 220-pounder was banged up a bit and missed some time, running for 377 yards and seven touchdowns with two scores against Michigan and two more against Wake Forest. He’s big, can move, and should be in for a giant season.
– 2019 Notre Dame Preview
20. Trey Sermon, Jr. Oklahoma
He might have lost a bit of his workload and time to Kennedy Brooks, but he was still good enough to come up with 947 yards and 13 touchdowns, running for a score in five of the last six games. The 6-0, 224-pounder has next-level ability with his toughness and power to get into the end zone, and best of all this year, he doesn’t have to do it all.
– 2019 Oklahoma Preview
19. Brian Robinson, Jr. Alabama
Yeah, he really might be every bit as NFL-good as Damien Harris, Josh Jacobs, Najee Harris, and all the other star Crimson Tide runners who rocked last year. Now it’s his time to get the chances to show what he can do with his 6-1 221-pound power to go along with his speed, get ready for a breakout season.
– 2019 Alabama Preview
18. Michael Warren, Jr. Cincinnati
The dependable 5-11, 218-pound main man for the Bearcat attack ran for 1,329 yards and 19 touchdowns in his all-star season. He can catch – making 25 grabs with a score – but his worth is as a 100-yard machine, hitting the mark seven times including 166 yards with two scores in the bowl win over Virginia Tech.
– 2019 Cincinnati Preview
17. Juwan Washington, Sr. San Diego State
It was supposed to be his time to rise up and rock in the Aztec offense, but the 5-7, 190-pounder got banged up and missed a huge chunk of the season. Even so, he still ran for 999 yards and ten scores averaging over five yards per carry. Get ready for a statistically amazing season.
– 2019 San Diego State Preview
16. Jermar Jefferson, Soph. Oregon State
The true freshman was given the ball over and over again, and he was able to handle the work just fine. He powered for 1,380 yards and 12 scores, and caught 25 passes as a mid-range receiver. He’s not all that big at 5-10 and 216 pounds, but he’s tough.
– 2019 Oregon State Preview
15. Ricky Slade, Soph. Penn State
The flash-of-lightning super-recruit of last year got in a little bit of work, but he only ran 45 times for 257 yards and six scores. He’s a compact 5-9 and 203 pounds with great moves and burst. With Miles Sanders taking off early to the NFL, now it’s his turn to shine.
– 2019 Penn State Preview
14. Joshua Kelley, Sr. UCLA
The former transfer from UC Davis stepped up right away as one of the bright spots of the Bruin season, running for 1,243 yards and 12 scores and catching 27 passes. It took him a little while to get going, and then he was dominant with six 100-yard games in the final nine outings, including a 40-carry, 289-yard, two-score day against USC.
– 2019 UCLA Preview
13. Patrick Taylor, Sr. Memphis
Home run hitter Darrell Henderson might be gone, but the 6-3, 223-pound Taylor can more than handle the workload. He might not have the flash of Henderson, but he brings a bit more power, and he can move, too. Last year as the No. 2 man in the rotation he ran for 1,122 yards with 16 scores and caught two touchdown passes, averaging over five yards per carry.
– 2019 Memphis Preview
12. Kennedy Brooks, Soph. Oklahoma
He led the team in rushing, coming on late last year with a brilliant three-game stretch with 165 yards or more in each one. Now he’ll combine with Trey Sermon and the running of Jalen Hurts. The 5-11, 205-pounder has the flash along with a nose for the end zone, leading the team with 1,056 yards and 12 scores averaging nine yards per pop.
– 2019 Oklahoma Preview
11. JJ Taylor, Jr. Arizona
The diminutive 5-6, 184-pound speedster keeps the ground game going while Khalil Tate becomes more of a passer. Taylor might be small, but he’s a workhorse, carrying the ball 108 times in the last four games. On the year, he ran for 1,434 yards and six touchdowns, and averaged close to 25 yards per kickoff return with a score.
– 2019 Arizona Preview