College Football Analysis

2022’s Most Underrated Backs In College Football

Oregon running back Travis Dye rushing against Washington State

The 2022 college football season begins later this month, and ahead of the first week of games, we’re taking a moment to preview five of the most underrated running backs who will take the field over the next several months.

Travis Dye – USC

Dye transferred to USC from Oregon, and USC is building a powerhouse with the moves its made during this offseason. Dye will be surrounded with a talented quarterback and a great offensive-minded head coach, and could propel the USC running game to a whole new level. He’ll play in a similar gap scheme to what he’s accustomed to at Oregon, with lots of pin and pull runs, getting him out in space with blockers in front of him. During his senior season at Oregon, he rushed for 1,271 yards, racking up 402 receiving yards and 18 total touchdowns in 11 starts.

Raheim Sanders – Arkansas

Sanders competed heavily for touches with the rest of the running back room at Arkansas, and impressed as a freshman. Despite it being his first season in college football, he was entrusted with 114 carries, rushing for 578 yards and five touchdowns. It’s hard to not see Sanders winning the starting job for 2022. An Arkansas team with KJ Jefferson running its offense should be challenging again for a spot in the Top 25 of the AP Poll.

Camerun Peoples – Appalachian State

Appalachian State may not be a powerhouse of college football. But it has produced some particularly talented players in recent years – D’Marco Jackson, Darrynton Evans, Akeem Davis-Gaither etc. Peoples is another example of one of these talented players, who sees a gap and makes one cut before bursting through the defense. App. State had an extremely proficient rushing game with another RB rushing for 1,128 yards, while Peoples had 166 carries for 926 yards and 14 rushing touchdowns. Entering his senior season, I could see Peoples splitting carries with Nate Noel again. Peoples is their power back, too, and gets a lot of red zone touches – certainly a player to watch out for as one of football’s most underrated running backs in 2022!

Kendre Miller – TCU

Zach Evans was the RB starter at TCU in 2021, but Miller managed to get some reps as Evans only played six games, and has since moved onto Ole Miss. Miller had 83 carries for 623 yards, an incredible 7.5 yards per carry, with seven touchdowns. TCU didn’t set the world alight by any means in 2021, but they pulled off some impressive wins against #12 Baylor and California, while losing narrowly to Texas and SMU. Miller will likely be RB1 for the Horned Frogs in 2022, so expect to see more production this season.

Mohamed Ibrahim – Minnesota

Some media outlets consider Ibrahim one of the better running backs in college football. Others, however, have completely neglected to mention him. He suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon in the first game of the 2021 season, after impressing yet again (rushing for 163 yards and two touchdowns). There are injury doubts about him, and whether he’ll be back to his best. But if healthy, then Ibrahim will without doubt break 1,000 rushing yards behind yet another impressive Minnesota Gophers offensive line.

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