The Texas 10: Ranking the top running backs in Texas for 2024 season

Photo by Will Leverett

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Spring football begins in earnest across the country following Spring Break. The state of Texas is primed for another memorable yar at the FBS level in 2024 with the Longhorns joining the SEC and new coaching staffs at Texas A&M, Houston and UTEP. UTSA begins a new chapter without long-time quarterback Frank Harris as rival Texas State appears set for a Sun Belt title run. The Lone Star State is home to 13 FBS programs

Dave Campbell’s Texas Football will rank the 10 best players at each position continuing with RUNNING BACKS. 

Previous rankings: QB | EDGE 


2023 review: 1,538 rushing yards, 10 TD, 5.3 YPC; 29 catches

Brooks returns for another season to lead the Red Raiders offensive attack. The Manor product is rarely brought down by the first defender. He enters the 2024 season with 3,052 career rushing yards – 1,167 short of the program’s record held by Byron Hanspard. Brooks has 28 career rushing touchdowns.   


2023 review: 1,331 rushing yards, 10 TD, 6 YPC; 20 catches, 275 receiving yards, 1 TD

The best all-purpose back in Texas returns for his second season as a Swiss-Army Knife for an explosive Bobcats offense. Mahdi, now a junior, was a All-Sun Belt First Team selection as an all-purpose player last season. The Plano East export began his college career at Houston Christian. 


2023 review: 745 rushing yards, 7 TD, 5.5 YPC; 13 catches, 1 TD 

The former Miami transfer headlines the Ponies’ three-headed rushing attack that includes Alabama transfer Camar Wheaton and Texas A&M transfer LJ Johnson. The talent in the room is unquestioned. Knighton led the team in rushing and was tied for the team lead in touchdowns. His 136 carries were 28 more than Johnson, who was second on the team. 


2023 review: 659 rushing yards, 5 TD, 4.8 YPC; 24 catches, 156 receiving yards 

The departure of NFL prospect Jonathan Brooks opens the door for Baxter, now a sophomore, to fully take the reins in the Longhorns’ backfield. As much as Steve Sarkisian’s offense is known for its passing attack, the run game is vital to the Texas offense. Baxter is a big, strong back who should thrive behind an experienced offensive line. 


2023 review: 532 rushing yards, 6 TD, 5.1 YPC; 14 catches

Daniels and the rest of the running back rooms at Texas A&M should benefit from offensive coordinator Collin Klein’s preferred style of play. Carries should be plentiful for Daniels, Le’Veon Moss and Reuben Owens. Daniels was the most consistent of the three in 2023. He was the only Aggie running back with a run of over 50 yards. 


2023 review: 715 rushing yards, 6 TD, 4.9 YPC; 14 catches

Production didn’t soar to new heights for Barnes as a sophomore in 2023 after a breakout redshirt freshman campaign in 2022. Despite 12 more carries last year than the year before, Barnes rushed for 130 fewer yards and the same number of touchdowns. The Roadrunners need the run game to pace the offense without Frank Harris at quarterback. Barnes taking the next step is key.


2023 review: 771 rushing yards, 7 TD, 6.4 YPC; 43 catches, 403 receiving yards, 3 TD

Connors was quietly one of the more productive backs in Texas last season for a Rice squad that won six regular season games and reached a bowl game for the second straight year. His ability as a pass catcher out of the backfield keep him on the field on third down. His 6.4 yards per carry speaks to his explosiveness.


2023 review: 464 rushing yards, 3 TD, 4.7 YPC; 15 catches

Jenkins started in eight of Houston’s 12 games as a true freshman last season, earning All-Big 12 honorable mention as an offensive newcomer of the year candidate. All three of his rushing touchdowns came in an early-season non-conference win over Sam Houston. With Willie Fritz now in charge, expect Jenkins and the run game to become more of a focus. 


2023 review: 398 rushing yards, 3 TD, 6.1 YPC; 14 catches, 1 TD 

The 121-yard breakout performance for Blue in the regular season finale win over Texas Tech provided the burnt orange faithful with a glimpse at the upside for the Klein Cain product. He registered 13 touches in the Big 12 championship game and averaged 6.6 yards per carry on nine attempts against Washington in the Sugar Bowl. The one-two punch of Baxter and Blue helps boost Texas’ SEC championship odds. 


2023 review: 484 rushing yards, 5 TD, 5 YPC; 11 catches 

Moss is another backfield weapon for Klein to utilize in his first season as play caller in Aggieland. Moss led Texas A&M in rushing yards per game last season with 53.78. He only played in nine games due to injury. No one would be surprised if he led the team in rushing next season. 

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