OXFORD, Miss.—The Ole Miss backfield has been the catalyst for the Rebels’ offense all year.
Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin, also known as the ‘Portal King,’ snagged the TCU Horned Frogs’ standout junior running back Zach Evans from the transfer portal this year. He also added Alabama native and three-star recruit running back Quinshon Judkins.
Evans had a lot of hype surrounding him entering Ole Miss training camp this summer. He only played six games in 2021, but he churned out 648 rushing yards and five touchdowns for an average of seven yards per carry. Evans has had a productive year for the Rebels running for 899 yards and eight touchdowns for an average of 6.9 yards per carry.
But it has been Judkins that the Rebels have called upon to carry the majority of the workload and he has exceeded their expectations with flying colors. Nick Saban and the Alabama organization truly whiffed on this homegrown talent.
Last week versus the Arkansas Razorbacks, Judkins broke the Ole Miss single-season rushing record that has been standing since 1949. The previous record was held by Kayo Dottley at 1,312 rushing yards. Judkins eclipsed that number by 73 yards, and he still has one more game to play.
Judkins has turned 229 carries into 1,385 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns. He averages six yards per carry with 125 rushing yards and 1.5 rushing touchdowns per game. He ranks No. 7 in the nation in rushing yards, No. 5 in the nation in rushing touchdowns, and No. 8 in the nation in attempts.
His production has garnered him national recognition. He is currently a semifinalist for the Doak Walker Award, which is given to the nation’s best running back. He is a semifinalist for the Shaun Alexander Freshman of the Year Award, and he is a finalist for the C Spire Conerly Trophy, given to the best player in the state of Mississippi each season.
Whether he wins any of the awards or not, the season Judkins is having is one for the record books. He has accomplished what many players dream of and he did it all as a true freshman.
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