Ranking 2022 SEC Running Backs
No. 13 (Tie) – Missouri and Mississippi State
There is no clear lead back at either school. Missouri must replace Tyler Badie. The most likely candidate is Elijah Young, based on playing experience. The most powerful runner for the Tigers is likely to be Michael Cox who has the build to run inside and shed tackles.
At Mississippi State. Mike Leach needs considerable improvement over last season’s inability to run effectively. Leach’s best options are Dillon Johnson and Jo’quavious Marks.
No. 12 – Re’Mahn Davis – Vanderbilt
Davis came close to rushing for 1,000 yards his freshman season at Temple. Injuries have hampered his career since. He only played three games for the Commodores last season. He was cleared to start running in late January. He should be fully healthy for the Dores’ fall practice.
No. 11 – Nay’quan Wright – Florida
The Gators’ main rusher last season was Emory Jones. Under Billy Napier, running backs should have a bigger role. Going into his fourth season in Gainesville, Wright should have a chance to step up. His 76 carries last season averaged 4.3 yards and he caught 14 passes.
No. 10 Juju McDowell – South Carolina
McDowell has considerable potential for the upwardly trending Gamecocks. He got just 52 carries last season as a freshman but averaged 4.8 yards. In an offense triggered by Spencer Rattler, McDowell can produce by both running and catching the football.
No. 9 John Emery Jr. – LSU
The former 2019 signing class, 5-Star, Emery has yet to show his considerable promise. Having prototypical size and speed, he was expected to become a star. In two LSU seasons, he has rushed for 566 yards with a 5-yard average and caught 20 passes. He has also scored seven touchdowns.
Last season, in a never fully explained academic issue, he was ineligible. He is expected to be the lead guy for Brian Kelly, but will have to hold off Penn State, transfer, Noah Cain.