The best University of Utah running backs over the last 35 years

By: Jay Yeomans

Over the last 35 years, the Utes have had a long line of solid running backs. There have been power backs and guys that could be used for a change of pace. They have had guys who needed to shoulder the load and have had great backs that had to split time because the stable was just so deep and talented. This is the list of the top running backs at the University of Utah over the last three and a half decades.

The rankings are based on what each running back did during their time on the hill and nowhere else. Their junior college and NFL stats have not been taken into account.

Note: player’s stats include bowl games.

T15. Darrell Mack

Mack spent four seasons on the hill but only one season as the main ball carrier.  As a junior, he carried the ball 253 times for 1,204 yards and 12 touchdowns.  That same season, he also caught 21 passes for 144 yards and three more scores.

The best game of Mack’s career came on October 5th, 2007, when he carried the ball 32 times for 163 yards and three scores in Utah’s 44-35 road win over Louisville.  For his career, he rushed for 2,065 yards and 16 touchdowns while catching 40 passes for 250 and three additional scores.

T15. Eddie Wide

Wide spent four seasons with the Utes but barely touched the ball until an injury propelled him into the starting lineup midway through his junior year. He made the most of his of chance carrying the ball 203 times for 1,069 yards and 12 touchdowns.

For his career at Utah, Wide carried the ball 401 times for 2,013 yards and 23 touchdowns.  He also caught 51 passes for 425 yards and three scores.

14. Keith Williams

Williams put up stats for three years at the U. with his best season coming in 1991.  That year, he rushed 1,076 yards and six scores on 207 carries.  He also caught 24 passes for 252 yards and another touchdown.

For his Utah career, Williams rushed for 2,003 yards and 16 touchdowns while catching 72 balls for 726 yards and another score.

13. Brandon Warfield

Warfield spent two seasons with the Utes and was the main ball carrier each season.  Each year, he carried the ball more than 200 times for over 900 yards and at least nine scores.

Warfield finished his Utah career rushing for 1,895 yards and 20 touchdowns on 438 carries.

12. Juan Johnson

Johnson played four seasons at the University of Utah during the early 1990s and contributed every year. While never breaking the 1,000 mark in any season, he put up some very impressive numbers during his entire career. His best statistical season came as a senior when he carried the ball 181 times for 838 yards and seven scores.

During his four years on the hill, Johnson carried the ball 606 times for 2,695 yards and 23 touchdowns.

11. Tony Lindsay

Lindsay spent four years playing for the Utes and was their leading rusher three times. His best season came as a senior when he rushed for 909 yards and eight touchdowns on 190 carries while making 25 receptions for 215 yards and another score.

For his Utah career, Lindsay carried the ball 648 times for 2,995 yards and 17 touchdowns as well as catching 42 passes for 347 and three scores.

10. Quinton Ganther

Ganther spent two seasons with the Utes with only one being as a starter. That season, he carried the ball 205 times for 1120 yards and seven touchdowns while catching 25 passes for 314 yards and another score.

The most impressive game of his Ute career came that season came on October 22nd, 2005, against UNLV when he had 15 carries for 155 yards and three touchdowns to go along with two catches for 66 yards.

During his two years as a Utah player, Ganther ran for 1,774 yards and 9 touchdowns on only 314 carries. He added 32 receptions for 363 yards and two more trips to the house.

9. Eddie Lewis

Lewis played four seasons at Utah and was the leading ground gainer in both his sophomore and senior years. His best statistical season came as a senior when Lewis rushed for 1018 yards and eight touchdowns on just 195 carries while recording 22 receptions for 198 yards and four more touchdowns.

For his career as a Ute, Lewis totaled 2,179 yards and 18 touchdowns on the ground while averaging 5.7 yards a carry.

8. Jamal Anderson

Before Anderson was doing the dirty bird for the Atlanta falcons he was terrorizing defenses in the WAC.  Anderson spent two seasons playing for Utes but only one as the starter.  During his one season as the Utes main ball carrier, Anderson had 184 carries for 1,030 yards and 12 touchdowns to go along with 24 receptions for 244 yards and three more scores.

During his two seasons at Utah, Anderson rushed for 1,347 yards and 15 touchdowns on only 239 carries.  He also had 42 receptions for 403 yards and four more scores.

7. Del Rodgers

Rodgers spent four seasons as a running back for the Utes and split carries with Tony Lindsay among others his first three years.  While finally getting the lion share of the carries his senior year Rodgers really shined.  He rushed for 1,127 yards and 13 touchdowns on only 170 carries.  His 6.6 average yards per carry led the WAC and was third highest in the nation.  Rodgers also led the WAC in rushing yards and finished second in rushing touchdowns.

During his four year career at Utah, Rodgers rushed for 2,616 yards and 31 touchdowns while adding 34 receptions for 338 yards and another score.

6. Dameon Hunter

Hunter spent two seasons playing for the Utes but only one as a starter.  As a senior, Hunter rushed for 1,490 yards and nine touchdowns.  During that same season, Hunter had the best game of his career.  On December 1st, 2001, Hunter rushed for 226 yards and two scores on 28 carries against Air Force.

For his career as a Ute, Hunter amassed 1,829 yards and ten touchdowns.

5. Chris Fuamatu-Ma’afala

Fuamatu-Ma’afala spent three seasons playing at Utah and basically split carries the whole time.  Even though he split carries, Chris finished two seasons as the Utes leading rusher.  Fuamatu-Ma’afala’s best season came in his second year on the hill when he rushed for 987 yards and nine touchdowns on 172 carries.  What makes that more impressive is that he missed games that season because of a knee injury.

For his career at Utah, Fuamatu-Ma’afala rushed 2,635 yards and 22 touchdowns on 467 carries.  He also caught 15 passes for 125 yards and another score.

4. Mike Anderson

Anderson spent two seasons as the Utah starting running back and led the team in rushing yards both seasons.  Anderson finished second in the conference in each of his seasons in rushing yards, as well as scoring at least 10 touchdowns.

For his career as a Ute, Anderson rushed for 2,404 yards and 24 touchdowns while taking two passes into the end zone as well.

3. Carl Monroe

Monroe spent two seasons as a Ute but only one as a starter.  As a senior starter, Monroe set the all-time Utah single-season rushing record with 1,507 yards rushing and four touchdowns.  Monroe’s yardage total placed him first in the WAC and seventh nationally in 1982.

For his career at Utah, Monroe rushed for 2029 yards and nine touchdowns while catching 30 passes for 249 yards and another score.

2. John White

White spent two seasons at the University of Utah and rushed for more than 1,000 yards each season.  White’s best season came in his junior year when White broke the Utah single-season rushing record by amassing 1,519 yards to go along with 15 touchdowns.  White also caught 13 passes for 44 yards and two more scores.  Those totals placed White second in the PAC 12 in rushing and third in rushing touchdowns.

For his career at the University of Utah, White rushed for 2,560 yards and 23 touchdowns as well as 28 receptions for 167 yards and three additional scores.

1. Eddie Johnson

Johnson spent his entire college career at Utah and was effective every season.  Johnson had more than 1,000 yards from scrimmage in three different seasons including two seasons of more than 1,000 yards rushing.  As a freshman, Johnson finished second in the WAC in rushing and was sixth nationally with a yards per carry average of 6.5.  Johnson almost duplicated the feat as a junior, when he once again finished second in the WAC in rushing while finishing seventh in the nation in yards per carry.

For his career at Utah, Johnson ran the ball 564 times for 3,219 yards and 26 touchdowns on 5.7 yards per carry.

What separates Johnson from all other Utah backs was the fact that as well as being a great rusher, he was also a major threat catching passes. During his time on the hill, Johnson caught 95 passes for 839 yards and nine scores.


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