No. 5 – Devon Achane – Texas A&M
Alabama football fans remember Achane, although most would like to forget his 96-yard kickoff return touchdown against the Crimson Tide. The Aggies’ fanbase thinks Achane could be the fastest player in college football. Even if that is an exaggeration, Achane is at least one of the fastest. In two A&M seasons, he has rushed for over 1,200 yards at an average carry of 7.4 yards. He is a good receiver as well with 29 catches as Isaiah Spiller’s backup.
No. 4 – Kenny McIntosh – Georgia
As a senior, McIntosh gets the nod as number one in the Bulldogs backfield. He will not be over-worked with the Bulldogs also relying on Kendall Milton and others. McIntosh is a punishing runner who produces yards after contact. His three-season average per-carry in Athens is 5.8 yards. He is versatile and has 33 pass receptions in his Georgia career. With Georgia’s depth, he will stay fresh in games and should put up big numbers in 2022.
No. 3 – Tank Bigsby – Auburn
If Bigsby does not rethink his decision of remaining with Auburn, he will be Auburn’s most important offensive weapon. He rushed for almost 1,100 yards in the 2021 season at a carry average of 4.9 yards, down from a 6-yard average in 2020. His biggest challenge is running behind Auburn offensive lines. That problem will likely be worse in 2022. As a powerful runner, he might be able to break enough tackles to overcome his teammates.
No. 2 – Jahmyr Gibbs – Alabama
A dual-threat running and receiving, Gibbs can be an explosive player for the Crimson Tide. The only reason he is not ranked No. 1 is, his impressive stats from 2020 and 2021 of 1,206 yards rushing and 768 yards receiving, were not produced against SEC-level defenses. He will also have to share snaps with a very deep Crimson Tide backfield, which is the best running back group in the SEC.
No. 1 – Chris Rodriquez – Kentucky
Getting Rodriquez to wait another year for the NFL was a coup for Mark Stoops. The Cats’ power rusher has gained 2,739 yards in his Kentucky career with a carry average of 6.6 yards. By the end of the 2022 season, a healthy Rodriquez has a good chance to become Kentucky’s all-time leading rusher. What might keep that from happening is, after being one of the SEC’s best last season, the Kentucky offensive line must be rebuilt. Otherwise, Rodriquez is going to shred SEC East defenses.
Note: Player stats in this post are from sports-reference.com
As usual, the SEC is loaded with outstanding running backs. Several not listed in this ranking have a chance to finish the 2022 season among the league’s best.