OXFORD, Miss. -- Going into the offseason, Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin was tasked with replacing his two most productive running backs and finding a new running backs coach for the Rebels.
Former Ole Miss assistant coach Kevin Smith decided to leave back in January to become the Miami Hurricane's new running backs coach which left fans wondering if the Rebel rushing offense would take a step back in 2022.
However, shortly after Smith's departure, Kiffin found his new running backs coach in Marquel Blackwell. Blackwell was previously the running backs coach at the University of Houston from 2021 to 2022 before joining Kiffin's staff in January.
Ulysses Bentley IV
Ulysses Bentley IV
Now, Kiffin had to replace the combined production of running backs Snoop Conner and Jerrion Ealy (18 rushing touchdowns and 1,415 rushing yards), a task much easier said than done.
To reload Blackwell's running back room, Kiffin headed to the NCAA Transfer Portal and recruited one of the top transfer classes in the nation. Former TCU running back Zach Evans and SMU running back Ulysses Bentley IV both transferred to Ole Miss, joining running back Kentrel Bullock.
In two seasons with the Horned Frogs, Evans has recorded a combined 1,063 rushing yards and nine rushing touchdowns on 146 carries, adding on 130 receiving yards and one touchdown reception in 2021.
Bentley joins the Ole Miss running backs room with 273 carries under his belt, and he recorded 1,559 rushing yards and 15 rushing touchdowns in three seasons with SMU.
Bullock, a junior out of Columbia, Miss., has patiently waited two seasons for more opportunities and will likely get the chance to be featured in the offense at some point in 2022. He was the No. 34 running back and the No. 12 player in the state of Mississippi in his class, according to 247Sports.
Bullock has only rushed for 89 yards at Ole Miss so far.
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