The Sun Belt Conference (SBC) has added some new teams to its membership: Marshall, Old Dominion, James Madison, and Southern Mississippi. As a result, the SBC has now become one of, if not the most competitive Group of Five conferences. Here is a look at all the returning RBs in the Sun Belt for the 2022 season, in no particular order.
Returning RBs in the Sun Belt
Nate Noel and Cameron Peoples, Appalachian State
Noel rushed for 1126 yards and 4 touchdowns last season. He averaged 5.6 yards per carry and rushed for over 100 yards five times.
In 2021, Peoples rushed for 926 yards and found the endzone 14 times. Even though he missed two games, he recorded five multi-touchdown games.
Braydon Bennett, Coastal Carolina
Bennett ran for 636 yards and 7 TDs last year. He also added 295 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns through the air.
Gerald Green, Georgia Southern
In 2021, Greene rushed for 423 yards and 5 TDs. Against Louisiana, he ran for 186 yards and 3 TDs, averaging 10 yards per carry in a 28–20 loss.
Tucker Gregg and Jamyest Williams, Georgia State
A two-headed monster in the backfield last season, Gregg rushed for 953 yards and 9 TDS.
Williams rushed for 859 yards and 9 TDs. He averaged 6 yards per carry.
Latrele Palmer, James Madison
In 2021, Palmer ran for 947 yards and 3 TDs.
*Rasheen Ali, Marshall
Ali carried half of the team rushing load last season (250 carries out 499 total). He rushed for 1401 yards (2nd in C-USA) and 23 touchdowns. His touchdown total was tied for the most in the FBS. He rushed for four TDs vs Navy.
In addition, he also returned a kickoff for a touchdown. Ali was named to the 2021 FWAA Freshman All-American Team as an all-purpose player. He also was named 1st Team All-CUSA.
*However, Ali announced two weeks ago that he would be taking a leave of absence from football for undisclosed reasons. It is unknown when he will return to the team.
Blake Watson, Old Dominion
Watson was more than elementary, rushing for 1112 yards and eight touchdowns last season. He averaged over 5 yards per carry and produced five games of over 100 yards rushing.
Chris Smith, Louisiana
Last season, Smith rushed for 844 yards and 8 TDs. In addition, he averaged 20 yards on kickoff returns.
Against Arkansas State, he rushed for 238 yards and 2 touchdowns and averaged 9.92 yards per carry in a 28–27 win.
Frank Gore, Jr., Southern Mississippi
Gore was Mr. Everything last season, even pulling quarterback duty. He rushed for 801 yards and 5 TDs.
In addition, Gore also played quarterback for the last three games of the season. As a result, he passed for 189 passing yards, 4 TDs, 1 INT, and completed 62% of his throws.
Terrion Avery, South Alabama
Avery rushed for 508 yards and a touchdown for the Jags last season.
Calvin Hill, Texas State
In 2021, Hill rushed for 714 yards and 3 TDs. His high game of the season: 123 yards and a TD in a 24–22 win over Arkansas State. He averaged 10 yards per carry against the Red Wolves.
Johnnie Lang, Arkansas State
Lang ran for 263 yards last season, but no touchdowns. In addition, he had zero games with over 100 yards rushing.
Kimani Vidal, Troy
Vidal rushed for 701 yards and 5 touchdowns. Against Texas State and Coastal Carolina combined, he rushed for 299 yards and 3 TDs, averaging over 6 yards per carry in each game.
Andrew Henry and Malik Jackson, Louisiana-Monroe
Henry rushed for 487 yards and 4 TDs.
Jackson rushed for 451 yards and 3 TDs. In a 27–24 loss to Arkansas State, he rushed for 166 yards and 2 touchdowns.
These Returning Sun Belt RBs Have Been Named to the Doak Walker Award Watchlist for 2022
In addition, the Sun Belt Conference has several running backs named to the prestigious Doak Walker Award Watchlist for 2022:
- Johnnie Lang-Arkansas State
- Frank Gore- Southern Miss
- Tucker Gregg-Georgia State
- Jamyest Williams-Georgia State
- Nate Noel-Appalachian State
- Cameron Peoples-Appalachian State
- Gerald Green-Georgia Southern
- Jalen White-Georgia Southern
- Blake Watson-Old Dominion
- Kimani Vidal-Troy
- Rasheen Ali-Marshall
Thanks for reading.
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