2024 Big 12 RB Rankings: Ollie Gordon II, Tahj Brooks Take the Lead

    Eight of the leading rushers from last fall are returning to the conference as the traditional members hold onto the 2024 Big 12 RB Rankings.

    Despite transfer portal attrition, conference realignment, and the beckoning call of the NFL, the Big 12’s running back core remains one of the strongest in the nation. Eight of the 10 leading rushers in the conference are returning to their teams in 2024, including all of the top five leaders in yards.

    Still, jumping from 14 to 16 teams while losing two core members in Texas and Oklahoma is bound to have consequences for the 2024 Big 12 RB Rankings.

    2024 Big 12 RB Rankings

    10) Cam Skattebo Jr, Arizona State Sun Devils

    After an impressive career at FCS Sacramento State, Cam Skattebo Jr. decided to test his talents at a higher level, transferring to Arizona State with two seasons of eligibility. Skattebo Jr. proved he could handle tougher competition, earning a 2023 All-Pac 12 Honorable Mention after rushing for the 10th most yards in Pac-12 with 783 to go along with nine touchdowns.

    Now, with the Sun Devils in the Big 12, Skattebo Jr. will have a chance to prove that he can hang out in two different Power Five conferences with one season remaining.

    9) Jahiem White, West Virginia Mountaineers

    Jahiem White only started three games but he still led the Mountaineers in rushing yards (842 yards) while splitting carries with C.J. Donaldson. White led the Big 12 worth 7.7 yards per carry and finished ninth in rushing yards while finding pay dirt on the ground four times. He added five catches for 125 yards and two more scores.

    With QB Garrett Greene (772 rushing yards) and Donaldson returning, the Big 12’s top rushing offense from last fall will be in full force in 2024.

    8) C.J. Donaldson Jr., West Virginia Mountaineers

    Starting eight games for the Mountaineers, C.J. Donaldson Jr. finished fifth in the conference in rushing TDs (11) and 10th in yards (798) on his way to earning a 2023 All-Big 12 Honorable Mention selection for a second consecutive season.

    He was a 2022 All-Big 12 Honorable Mention as a true freshman, gaining 526 yards with eight scores in seven games before sustaining a season-ending injury. The Mountaineers averaged 229 yards rushing per game last year, relying heavily on Donaldson to lead a running-back-by-committee approach.

    7) Corey Kiner, Cincinnati Bearcats

    After spending one season at LSU, scoring twice as a true freshman in 2021, Corey Kiner transferred to Cincinnati. He didn’t start in 2022, but he started every game in 2023 and is one of six returning 1,000-yard in our 2024 Big 12 RB Rankings.

    Kiner earned a CFN 2023 All-Big 12 Honorable Mention nod after gaining 1,047 yards and scoring five times. Returning as the catalyst for the third-leading rushing offense in the Big 12 (217.1 yards per game), Kiner is primed for a big 2024 with the Bearcats.

    6) Abu Sama III, Iowa State Cyclones

    Abu Sama III only started two games as a true freshman last season, but they were the final two, and he ended the season in style, rushing for a whopping 276 yards against No. 19 Kansas State in his first career start.

    He had TD runs of 77, 71, and 60 yards in the game, making him just the second FBS player since 1996 with three or more TDs of 60 yards or more against a ranked opponent.

    Sama III finished the season with 614 yards rushing and six scores, averaging 7.3 yards per carry, marking him as the Cyclones’ go-to man in 2024.

    5) D.J. Giddens, Kansas State Wildcats

    The fifth-leading rusher in the Big 12 last season, D.J. Giddens led Kansas State with 1,226 yards and 10 TDs on his way to a 2023 All-Big 12 Honorable Mention.

    He also added 29 catches for 323 yards and three more scores. He capped the 2023 campaign with four consecutive 100-yard performances, including career-highs against UCF when he gained 207 yards rushing and scored four times, earning Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week honors.

    After the third-most yards by a sophomore in school history, behind Darren Sproles (1,465) and Deuce Vaughn (1,404), Giddens is ready to prove he belongs in the conversation with those two.

    4) Devin Neal, Kansas Jayhawks

    A three-year starter for the Kansas Jayhawks, Devin Neal enters his senior season with 3,077 career rushing yards and 33 TDs. A 2023 All-Big 12 Second Team choice, Neal was the fourth-leading rusher in the conference (1,280) and tied for second in rushing TDs (16), averaging 6.3 yards per carry.

    Jayhawks fans were thrilled when Neal announced his return, forgoing an early declaration to the NFL Draft to use his last year of eligibility in Lawrence.

    3) R.J. Harvey, UCF Knights

    Coming into his sixth season after one year at Virginia (2019) and the last four with the Golden Knights, R.J. Harvey took over for the first time as the full-time starter last year. He earned a 2023 All-Big 12 Honorable Mention nod as the third-leading rusher in the conference (1,416), tied for second in rushing TDs (16), averaging 6.3 yards per carry.

    UCF had the second-best rushing offense in the Big 12 last season (228.2 yards per game), and they’ll have their leading rusher back for the 2024 college football campaign.

    2) Tahj Brooks, Texas Tech Red Raiders

    While Texas Tech is more historically known for its prominence through the air, Tahj Brooks has made a name for himself on the ground for the Red Raiders. A 2023 All-Big 12 First Team choice, he finished second in the conference rushing yards (1,538) and tied for 5th in TDs (10), averaging 5.3 per carry.

    His 3,052 career rushing yards rank seventh in Texas Tech program history, with just 1,167 more needed to establish himself at the top. Last season was his first 1,000-yard performance, but Brooks can become the Red Raiders’ all-time rushing leader if he can do it again.

    1) Ollie Gordon II, Oklahoma State Cowboys

    After only 43 carries for 267 yards and two scores as a true freshman in 2022, Ollie Gordon II exploded his sophomore season to cement his status at the top of our 2024 Big 12 RB Rankings.

    A 2023 All-Big 12 First Team selection, Gordon II led the conference in rushing yards (1,732) and rushing TDs (21), averaging 6.1 yards per carry. He added 39 receptions, 330 receiving yards, and a touchdown, eclipsing 2,000 total yards of offense.

    Aside from his 0-1 passing with one INT, Gordon II filled up the boxscore anyway he could last season, and he’ll be back to do the same as the No. 1 back in the conference.

    2024 Big 12 RB Rankings | 11-20

    11) Jaylon Glover, Utah
    12) Dylan Edwards, Colorado
    13) Quali Conley, Arizona
    14) Daniel Hishaw Jr., Kansas
    15) Dominic Richardson, Baylor
    16) L.J. Martin, BYU
    17) Parker Jenkins, Houston
    18) Evan Pryor, Cincinatti
    19) Chance Williams, Cincinatti
    20) Rayshon Luke, Arizona

    Miss any action from the top college QB Rankings during the 2023 football season? Want to track all the movement with the college football transfer portal? College Football Network has you covered with that and more!

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