Penn State’s all-time leading rushers in Nittany Lions history

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Maybe Penn State doesn’t have as strong a case to be made for Running Back U as some other programs, but the Nittany Lions have had their fair share of some of the best running backs in the game. From Lydell Mitchell to Franco Harris to Ki-Jana Carter and to Saquon Barkley, Penn State running backs have provided plenty of memories to fans over the years.

But who tops the list when it comes to Penn State’s all-time leading rushers list? Perhaps one of the more unassuming names to come through Happy Valley, Evan Royster. Royster may not have had the talent and skills of some of the others to suit up for the Nittany Lions over time, but his hard work and reliable performance stood the test of time. And having the opportunity to break into the offense early on and play his full four years of eligibility helped him continue to climb the ranks of Penn State’s all-time leading rushers.

With three 1,000-yard seasons, it has proven to be difficult to catch Royster, but his mark may not be untouchable. Saquon Barkley came close to catching Royster and would have easily surpassed him had Barkley remained at Penn State for one more season of eligibility instead of heading to the NFL. But as things stand now, Royster should feel pretty comfortable atop the leaderboard for a little while longer before anyone makes a run at his school record.

Here is a look at Penn State’s top 20 all-time leading rushers.

All data is credited to College Football Reference. This list will be updated accordingly.

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Evan Royster

Charles LeClaire-USPRESSWIRE

Years: 2007-2010 Career Rushing Yards: 3,932

Saquon Barkley

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Years: 2015-2017 Career Rushing Yards: 3,843

Curt Warner

Malcolm Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Years: 1979-1982 Career Rushing Yards: 3,398

Tony Hunt

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Years: 2003-2006 Career Rushing Yards: 3,320

Blair Thomas

USA TODAY Sports

Years: 1985-1989 Career Rushing Yards: 3,301

Curtis Enis

USA TODAY Sports

Years: 1995-1997 Career Rushing Yards: 3,256

D.J. Dozier

Malcolm Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Years: 1983-1986 Career Rushing Yards: 3,227

Larry Johnson

Preston Mack-USA TODAY Sports

Years: 1999-2002 Career Rushing Yards: 2,953

Lydell Mitchell

AP Photo

Years: 1969-1971 Career Rushing Yards: 2,934

Ki-Jana Carter

Stephen Dunn /Allsport

Years: 1992-1994 Career Rushing Yards: 2,829

Matt Suhey

Malcolm Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Years: 1976-1979 Career Rushing Yards: 2,818

John Cappelletti

AP Photo/Paul Vathis

Years: 1972-1973 Career Rushing Yards: 2,639

Eric McCoo

Doug Pensinger/ALLSPORT

Years: 1998-2001 Career Rushing Yards: 2,518

Charlie Pittman

Malcolm Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Years: 1967-1969 Career Rushing Yards: 2,236

Zach Zwinak

Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports

Years: 2011-2014 Career Rushing Yards: 2,108

Booker Moore

AP Photo/Guise

Years: 1977-1980 Career Rushing Yards: 2,072

Jon Williams

Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports

Years: 1980-1983 Career Rushing Yards: 2,042

Franco Harris

AP Photo

Years: 1969-1971 Career Rushing Yards: 2,002

Richie Anderson

USA TODAY Sports

Years: 1989-1992 Career Rushing Yards: 1,756

Trace McSorley

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Years: 2015-2018 Career Rushing Yards: 1,697

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