Over the past week, AllSooners.com has been ranking the top skill position players the Oklahoma Sooners will face in the 2022 season, continuing today with the running backs.
5. Rahmir Johnson, Nebraska
After playing a supporting role his first two years on campus in Lincoln, Rahmir Johnson stepped into the limelight last year for Nebraska.
The 5-foot-10 running back saw action in 10 games before having his season cut short due to injury last year, and only trailed quarterback Adrian Martinez in rushing yards.
Carrying the ball 112 times, Johnson picks up 495 yards and for scores on the ground. Johnson was also involved in the Nebraska passing game, catching 16 balls for 197 yards and two scores.
Against the Sooners last year, Johnson averaged 3.8 yards per carry, taking his 11 touches for 42 yards on the ground while also hauling in three catches for 48 yards.
Now with Casey Thompson taking Martinez’s place at quarterback, Johnson is expected to play an even bigger role in the Cornhusker rushing attack in 2022.
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4. Dominic Richardson, Oklahoma State
Dominic Richardson has some big shoes to fill in Stillwater.
Jaylen Warren took the conference by storm last year, rushing for 1,216 yards for Mike Gundy’s Cowboys.
But as Warren moves on, Richardson will now have his shot to be the featured back for Oklahoma State.
In limited opportunities last year, Richardson flashed. Though he only got 79 carries on the ground, the Cowboy running back averaged 4.7 yards per carry, totaling 373 rushing yards and four scores.
Richardson was especially dynamic against TCU, where he took 12 carries for 134 yards and a pair of touchdowns in Oklahoma State’s win over the Horned Frogs.
3. Kendre Miller, TCU
With Zach Evans moving on to Ole Miss, Kendre Miller will play a much larger role in 2022.
Despite splitting carries last year, Miller still was still productive.
The 6-0, 218-pound back finished second on the team with 623 rushing yards, averaging 7.5 yards per carry, and led the Horned Frogs with seven rushing touchdowns.
Miller crossed the century mark twice last year, once by totaling 185 yards and three touchdowns on 12 carries against Texas Tech and the other in Manhattan where he carried the ball 14 times for 102 yards against Kansas State.
2. Deuce Vaughn, Kansas State
A constant thorn in Oklahoma’s side, Deuce Vaughn is back for another year for Kansas State.
Last year, the dynamic playmaker finished with 1,404 rushing yards, averaging 108.0 yards per contest.
Vaughn has been named an All-Big 12 Second Team player for two straight seasons, and he’ll now have Adrian Martinez at quarterback who will be able to freeze opposing linebackers and create even more space for Vaughn to work in the running game.
The talismanic playmaker is a major factor in Kansas State’s passing game as well.
In two career games against the Sooners, Vaughn has caught 14 passes for 233 yards, scoring one touchdown through the air.
Throughout his career, Vaughn has hauled in 74 balls for 902 yards and six scores through the air, and there are no signs of him slowing down in 2022.
1. Bijan Robinson, Texas
Bijan Robinson’s performances were one of the few bright spots for the Texas Longhorns in Steve Sarkisian’s first season at the helm.
In 10 games of action, Robinson rushed the ball 195 times for 1,127 yards and 11 touchdowns, averaging 5.8 yards per carry on the ground.
Even more impressive than totals Robinson racked up was how he had to go about it.
While Texas’ offensive line struggled to find much consistency, Robinson continually made defenders look silly by running through and around them in the open field.
As a result of his excellent play on the field, Robinson was selected to the All-Big 12 First Team by both conference coaches and the Associated Press.
Robinson ran for 100 yards in six of his 10 appearances in 2021, including a dominant first half outing against the Oklahoma Sooners in the Cotton Bowl.
The Sooner defense keyed in on him in the second half, however, shutting down the Texas star in the key moments of the contest.
The Longhorns will have to find ways to stay in games in the second half this year to let Robinson have a chance and close things out on the ground. But if Texas can take steps forward, Robinson’s star will shine bright yet again in 2022.
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