The running back position doesn’t always get the same notoriety as the quarterback position. Even so, a good running back corps can make an offense incredibly difficult to stop. The below individuals will be difference makers for their respective teams in 2019. Now, we look at the best the position has to offer with the top five Big 12 running backs in 2019.
Top Five Big 12 Running Backs In 2019
There are some big holes to fill at the running back position this season. Both David Montgomery and Alex Barnes have moved on from last season. But, there are plenty of other great players waiting in the wings. Here are the top five Big 12 running backs in 2019.
5. Kennedy McKoy, West Virginia:
McKoy enjoyed his best season in Morgantown in 2018 as a compliment to Will Grier. He ran for over 800 yards and had eight touchdowns on the year. His best game occurred on the road against Oklahoma State where he ran for 148 yards and two touchdowns.
Conventional wisdom points to a more balanced attack in 2019 under new head coach Neal Brown. Change will be constant early in 2019 as West Virginia also will be breaking in a new quarterback. There are currently rumors swirling around McKoy possibly looking at the transfer portal. However, should he stay in Morgantown, McKoy’s production early on will be paramount to the Mountaineers success.
4. Da’Leon Ward, Texas Tech:
Much like his counterpart at the quarterback position, Ward’s 2018 season was riddled with injury. He started well with a 90-yard and two touchdown performance against Ole Miss. However, he missed the next three games with a groin injury and never fully reclaimed his starting position. Even so, he still ran for 341 yards in spot duty.
Ward will have the opportunity to put some numbers early on if he can stay healthy. Texas Tech hosts Montana State and UTEP to begin the season. Those opponents will allow for a quick start and confidence for both Ward and the Red Raiders in 2019.
3. Chuba Hubbard, Oklahoma State:
Conversely, Hubbard was able to reap the rewards of an injury last season. With Justice Hill sidelined with a rib injury, Hubbard rushed for over 100 yards in three of the Cowboys final four games. He finished the season with over 700 yards in a reserve role.
Mike Gundy’s offenses always seem to have a balanced attack. Even with the loss of Taylor Cornelius, offensive productivity should remain in place. Hill is gone to the NFL, so the job should be firmly in Hubbard’s hands. Don’t be surprised to see about 1,200 yards with double-digit touchdowns from him this season.
2. Kennedy Brooks, Oklahoma:
Brooks was forced into action earlier than expected last year when Rodney Anderson was lost for the season in the second game. He took full advantage in teaming up with Trey Sermon for the best 1-2 punch in the Big 12. Individually, Brooks ran for 1,056 yards with 12 scores on the year.
The time-share will likely continue with Brooks and Sermon in 2018. Now, that certainly doesn’t mean the production will go down in 2019. Oklahoma will be ushering in four new offensive linemen this year. With that, the cohesiveness might not be solidified early on in the year. Be that as it may, expect another 1,000-yard season and double-digit touchdowns for Brooks.
1. Pooka Williams, Kansas:
This is not a joke. We do have a Kansas football player ranked at the top of our list. But, this is well deserved. Williams leads all returning running backs with bringing forward 1,125 yards from a year ago. He will likely be Les Miles biggest offensive weapon in 2019.
Williams was also a big threat out of the backfield with 33 receptions for 289 yards and two touchdowns. He did his part to help solidify a revolving door at the quarterback position. The Jayhawks should have an opportunity to get off to a 2-0 start to begin the Miles regime. The reliance of Williams will continue is his sophomore campaign as Kansas fights to get back to a respectable state in the conference.
John Lovett, Baylor: Lovett has been in a timeshare with JaMycal Hasty. But, with Hasty’s injury last year Lovett took advantage and ran for 573 yards and six touchdowns. Look for Lovett to take more of a featured role this season.
Keaontay Ingram, Texas: Ingram could very well find himself in the top three by seasons end. He ran for over 700 yards splitting time with Tre Watson last year. Ingram has a chance to be the next great Longhorn running back.
Also, see our other Big 12 positional rankings coming soon: