College Football Preseason Running Back Unit Rankings: CFN Preview 2022

·10 min read

College Football News Preview 2022 preseason unit rankings, looking at the top ten running back situations and rankings by conference.

The quarterbacks have turned into the stars of college football, but there are a whole slew of great backs and teams with terrific rotations of runners returning for 2022.

Who has the No. 2 and 3 backs to keep the main man fresh? Who has the guys to take the pressure off the quarterback so he doesn’t have to take a slew of big hits?

This isn’t a list of the top players – it’s about that depth chart along with the key starters in the unit rankings.

And remember, it’s not necessarily about the running games the crank up huge yards. How effective are these groups in the respective systems?

Sometimes, averaging over five yards per carry and being able to move the chains are more important than amassing big yard totals. So with all of that in mind …

Here are the 2022 running back unit rankings.

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CFN Preview 2022 Preseason College Football Unit Rankings: Running Backs

Unit Rankings By Conference: Running Backs 
Top 10 | ACC | Big Ten | Big 12 | Pac-12 | SEC
AAC | C-USA | Ind | MAC | M-West | Sun Belt

1 Texas

As long as Bijan Robinson is rolling, everything else about the Texas offense should work. He was banged up last year, but he still ran for 1,127 yards and 11 touchdowns. Roschon Johnson and Keilan Robinson are great reserves who can more than carry the load.

Wisconsin

Leave it to Wisconsin to find a superstar from out of nowhere. Braelon Allen was a load as a true freshman – running for 1,268 yards and 12 touchdowns – and the offense gets back Chez Mellusi, the main man early on before getting hurt. Isaac Guerendo can pound away, too.

3 Minnesota

Mohamed Ibrahim was cranking it up against Ohio State in the opener last year with 163 yards and two touchdowns, and then he tore his Achilles tendon and was out for the year. He’s back, Trey Potts and Bryce Williams are proven veterans, and it should all work behind another pounding offensive front.

4 Ohio State

Yeah, Bijan Robinson might be the best running back in college football, and Minnesota and Wisconsin have the Big Ten’s killer ground games, and CJ Stroud and the passing attack own the Ohio State offense … Buckeye RB TreVeyon Henderson takes a back seat to no one. He averaged close to seven yards per carry with 15 scores, and backup Miyan Williams averaged over seven yards per pop with 507 yards and three scores.

5 Alabama

Get ready for Jahmyr Gibbs. Alabama has had some fantastic running backs over the years, but the Georgia Tech transfer is the best home run hitter the program has had in a while. He’s about to explode, and Jase McClellan, Roydell Williams, and Trey Sanders can rotate in and produce, too.

2022 CFN Predictions For Every Game 
ACC | Big Ten | Big 12 | Pac-12 | SEC
AAC | C-USA | Ind | MAC | M-West | Sun Belt
CFN 2022 Preseason Ranking of all 131 Teams
CFN 2022 Preview of all 131 Teams

Appalachian State

The Mountaineers are insane-deep in talent and experience. 2021 leading rusher Nate Noel is back after running for over 1,600 yards and seven touchdowns in two seasons. Cameron Peoples led the team in rushing in 2020 – he averaged over six yards per carry with over 2,000 yards and 26 touchdowns in the last two years. Anderson Castle averaged over five yards per carry as the third leading rusher, and Daetrich Harrington is a 1,425-yard career rusher with 12 scores – averaging over five yards per pop.

Syracuse

Sean Tucker is as good as any back in college football. He might not have the hype of some of the other starts, but the guy who ran for almost 1,500 yards and 12 touchdowns might just be the ACC Player of the Year if he can do that again. QB Garrett Shrader is the team’s second best runner, but New Mexico State transfer Juwaun Price is a terrific all-around back who adds more flash to the mix.

Michigan State

It worked last year with Kenneth Walker. Get a solid transfer, turn him loose, get massive production. Jalen Berger was a huge recruit for Wisconsin, but it didn’t quite work out. He might not be Walker, but the talent is there to explode. Colorado transfer Jarek Broussard was terrific in his two years in Boulder – he could be the one who takes over right away.

Related

College Football Preseason Quarterback Unit Rankings: CFN Preview 2022

9 USC

USC might have lost Keontay Ingram and Vavae Malepeai, but Darwin Barlow is a nice back with upside. He’ll be a part of the mix, but Oregon transfer Travis Dye is the star. The tough back can do it all – he scored 18 times last year and has over 3,000 career rushing yards and 83 catches. Peeling away Austin Jones from Stanford was terrific for the depth.

10 Florida

The backs under Billy Napier in the Louisiana offense ripped off yards and big plays in chunks. The attack is great at putting the runners in a position to do big things, and that’s about to be what Montrell Johnson – 838 yards, 5.2 yards per carry, 12 touchdowns last year for the Ragin’ Cajuns – does for the Gators. Nay’Quan Wright and Lorenzo Lingard should roll in the new attack, too.

Unit Rankings By Conference: Running Backs 
Top 10 | ACC | Big Ten | Big 12 | Pac-12 | SEC
AAC | C-USA | Ind | MAC | M-West | Sun Belt 

NEXT: CFN Preview 2022 Preseason College Football Running Back Unit Rankings: ACC

CFN Preview 2022 Preseason College Football Running Back Unit Rankings: ACC

Click on each school for its 2022 preview to dive into the running backs and the rest of the team.

1 Syracuse

2 Florida State

3 Clemson

4 Louisville

5 Georgia Tech

6 North Carolina

7 Miami

8 Pitt

9 Wake Forest

10 Virginia Tech

11 NC State

12 Boston College

13 Virginia

14 Duke

Unit Rankings By Conference: Running Backs 
Top 10 | ACC | Big Ten | Big 12 | Pac-12 | SEC
AAC | C-USA | Ind | MAC | M-West | Sun Belt 

NEXT: CFN Preview 2022 Preseason College Football Running Back Unit Rankings: American Athletic Conference

CFN Preview 2022 Preseason College Football Running Back Unit Rankings: American Athletic Conference

Click on each school for its 2022 preview to dive into the running backs and the rest of the team.

1 UCF

2 Cincinnati

3 Navy

4 Tulsa

5 Houston

6 USF

7 East Carolina

8 SMU

9 Memphis

10 Tulane

11 Temple

Unit Rankings By Conference: Running Backs 
Top 10 | ACC | Big Ten | Big 12 | Pac-12 | SEC
AAC | C-USA | Ind | MAC | M-West | Sun Belt 

NEXT: CFN Preview 2022 Preseason College Football Running Back Unit Rankings: Big 12

CFN Preview 2022 Preseason College Football Running Back Unit Rankings: Big 12

Click on each school for its 2022 preview to dive into the running backs and the rest of the team.

1 Texas

2 Kansas State

3 Oklahoma

4 Baylor

5 Oklahoma State

6 Iowa State

7 TCU

8 Texas Tech

9 West Virginia

10 Kansas

Unit Rankings By Conference: Running Backs 
Top 10 | ACC | Big Ten | Big 12 | Pac-12 | SEC
AAC | C-USA | Ind | MAC | M-West | Sun Belt 

NEXT: CFN Preview 2022 Preseason College Football Running Back Unit Rankings: Big Ten

CFN Preview 2022 Preseason College Football Running Back Unit Rankings: Big Ten

Click on each school for its 2022 preview to dive into the running backs and the rest of the team.

1 Wisconsin

2 Minnesota

3 Ohio State

4 Michigan State

5 Illinois

6 Michigan

7 Penn State

8 Iowa

9 Nebraska

10 Indiana

11 Maryland

12 Northwestern

13 Rutgers

14 Purdue

Unit Rankings By Conference: Running Backs 
Top 10 | ACC | Big Ten | Big 12 | Pac-12 | SEC
AAC | C-USA | Ind | MAC | M-West | Sun Belt 

NEXT: CFN Preview 2022 Preseason College Football Running Back Unit Rankings: Conference USA

CFN Preview 2022 Preseason College Football Running Back Unit Rankings: Conference USA

Click on each school for its 2022 preview to dive into the running backs and the rest of the team.

1 UTSA

2 UAB

3 North Texas

4 Florida Atlantic

5 UTEP

6 Louisiana Tech

7 Charlotte

8 Rice

9 WKU

10 Middle Tennessee

11 FIU

Unit Rankings By Conference: Running Backs 
Top 10 | ACC | Big Ten | Big 12 | Pac-12 | SEC
AAC | C-USA | Ind | MAC | M-West | Sun Belt 

NEXT: CFN Preview 2022 Preseason College Football Running Back Unit Rankings: Independents

CFN Preview 2022 Preseason College Football Running Back Unit Rankings: Independents

Click on each school for its 2022 preview to dive into the running backs and the rest of the team.

1 Army

2 Notre Dame

3 BYU

4 Liberty

5 UMass

6 New Mexico State

7 UConn

Unit Rankings By Conference: Running Backs 
Top 10 | ACC | Big Ten | Big 12 | Pac-12 | SEC
AAC | C-USA | Ind | MAC | M-West | Sun Belt 

NEXT: CFN Preview 2022 Preseason College Football Running Back Unit Rankings: MAC

CFN Preview 2022 Preseason College Football Running Back Unit Rankings: MAC

Click on each school for its 2022 preview to dive into the running backs and the rest of the team.

1 Western Michigan

2 Kent State

3 Northern Illinois

4 Central Michigan

5 Toledo

6 Ohio

7 Miami University

8 Buffalo

9 Ball State

10 Eastern Michigan

11 Bowling Green

12 Akron

Unit Rankings By Conference: Running Backs 
Top 10 | ACC | Big Ten | Big 12 | Pac-12 | SEC
AAC | C-USA | Ind | MAC | M-West | Sun Belt 

NEXT: CFN Preview 2022 Preseason College Football Running Back Unit Rankings: Mountain West

CFN Preview 2022 Preseason College Football Running Back Unit Rankings: Mountain West

Click on each school for its 2022 preview to dive into the running backs and the rest of the team.

1 Air Force

2 Wyoming

3 San Diego State

4 Boise State

5 Fresno State

6 Nevada

7 Colorado State

8 San Jose State

9 Utah State

10 New Mexico

11 UNLV

12 Hawaii

Unit Rankings By Conference: Running Backs 
Top 10 | ACC | Big Ten | Big 12 | Pac-12 | SEC
AAC | C-USA | Ind | MAC | M-West | Sun Belt 

NEXT: CFN Preview 2022 Preseason College Football Running Back Unit Rankings: Pac-12

CFN Preview 2022 Preseason College Football Running Back Unit Rankings: Pac-12

Click on each school for its 2022 preview to dive into the running backs and the rest of the team.

1 USC

2 Utah

3 Colorado

4 UCLA

5 Arizona State

6 Oregon

7 Washington

8 Cal

9 Oregon State

10 Arizona

11 Stanford

12 Washington State

Unit Rankings By Conference: Running Backs 
Top 10 | ACC | Big Ten | Big 12 | Pac-12 | SEC
AAC | C-USA | Ind | MAC | M-West | Sun Belt 

NEXT: CFN Preview 2022 Preseason College Football Running Back Unit Rankings: SEC

CFN Preview 2022 Preseason College Football Running Back Unit Rankings: SEC

Click on each school for its 2022 preview to dive into the running backs and the rest of the team.

1 Alabama

2 Florida

3 Kentucky

4 Auburn

5 Georgia

6 Arkansas

7 Texas A&M

8 Tennessee

9 Ole Miss

10 Missouri

11 Mississippi State

12 South Carolina

13 LSU

14 Vanderbilt

Unit Rankings By Conference: Running Backs 
Top 10 | ACC | Big Ten | Big 12 | Pac-12 | SEC
AAC | C-USA | Ind | MAC | M-West | Sun Belt 

NEXT: CFN Preview 2022 Preseason College Football Running Back Unit Rankings: Sun Belt

CFN Preview 2022 Preseason College Football Running Back Unit Rankings: Sun Belt

Click on each school for its 2022 preview to dive into the running backs and the rest of the team.

1 Appalachian State

2 Marshall

3 Coastal Carolina

4 Georgia State

5 Louisiana

6 Georgia Southern

7 Southern Miss

8 Troy

9 James Madison

10 Old Dominion

11 South Alabama

12 Texas State

13 ULM

14 Arkansas State

Unit Rankings By Conference: Running Backs 
Top 10 | ACC | Big Ten | Big 12 | Pac-12 | SEC
AAC | C-USA | Ind | MAC | M-West | Sun Belt

2022 CFN Predictions For Every Game 
ACC | Big Ten | Big 12 | Pac-12 | SEC
AAC | C-USA | Ind | MAC | M-West | Sun Belt
Preseason Predictions AP Poll | Coaches
CFN 2022 Preview of All 131 Teams

Story originally appeared on College Football News