Making this list was a suicide mission. But that just goes to show just how unbelievable the talent level at running back has been at the University of Miami.
Honorable Mention: Frank Gore (9.1 yards per carry in 2001), James Jackson (2,950 career rushing yards), Stephen McGuire (35 rushing touchdowns), Alonzo Highsmith (18 TD), Melvin Bratton (26 TD), and Chuck Foreman (defensive back, receiver, AND running back).
If not for some major injuries, Gore could be top two on this list. Jackson is third on the all-time rushing list. McGuire somehow has the most rushing touchdowns in Canes history, an amazing feat considering nobody ever talks about him. Foreman played multiple positions. Bratton and Highsmith carried the Canes to glory.
5. Duke Johnson (2012-Present)
Though Johnson’s legacy at Miami is incomplete, there’s no question he’s already among the best runners in Hurricanes history. The way he bends and accelerates is unlike any running back I’ve ever seen at any level.
This year’s injury may have shelved him, but we’re far from seeing the end of Duke Johnson at Miami. Leaving him out of the Top 5 would be insulting, considering he may be the best pure runner The U has ever seen.
4. Ottis Anderson (1975-1978)
The Canes’ all-time leading rusher with 3,331 yards, Ottis was also Miami’s first back to notch a 1,000-yard season.
Ottis also owns the name of a man you want no part of on a football field.
3. Clinton Portis (1999-2001)
Miami’s career leader with 14 100-yard games, Portis starred during Miami’s last National Championship season in 2001.
2. Willis McGahee (2001-2002)
The man had the most electric season for a back in team history with 1,753 yards rushing and 28 touchdowns. Those two marks may never be touched. Season-for-season, Willis is No. 1. But the next back dominated over multiple seasons.
1. Edgerrin James (1996-1998)
Edgerrin had two beastly seasons as Miami’s lead back despite Ryan Clement and Scott Covington taking the snaps at quarterback. Everyone knew Miami was running the football.
None of it mattered as James plowed through the Big East Conference with 35 touchdowns, including a 299-yard day on the ground against UCLA in 1998 that may stand forever.