Position Previews: Are the Running Backs this Team's Best Unit?

Nate Gabler

The 2020 Ole Miss football team has a lot of unanswered questions. The offense  is not shy of its own questions and concerns, but none of those question marks come from within the running backs room.

Ole Miss running backs accounted for 2,116 yards from scrimmage one season ago. 1,497 (71-percent) of those yards are returning. Scottie Phillips and his 524 rushing yards is now with the Houston Texans; everyone else is back.

Despite leading the team with 125 carries in 2019, Phillips ran at a clip of 4.3 yards per carry. Both major returning contributors with Jerrion Ealy and Snoop Conner were over 6.0 yards per clip on the ground.

The Rebels return quite a lot of talent but also add two really impressive freshmen. 

Returning Starter: Jerrion Ealy (So.)

Let's be quite blunt, Jerrion Ealy is the most talented player on this Ole Miss football team. If there's one player with an opportunity to be drafted in the first round of subsequent NFL Drafts, it's Jerrion Ealy.

Ealy totaled 722 rushing yards and six touchdowns last year at 6.9 yards per carry, adding 172 receiving yards and another touchdown. He was named All-SEC Second Team by the coaches and a True Freshman All-American by 247 Sports. 

Entering this season, Ealy is tabbed as a second team All-SEC Returner and a third team All-SEC running back.  

Returning Contributor: Snoop Conner (So.), Isaiah Woullard (Jr.)

As good as Jerrion Ealy was as a true freshman last season, Snoop Connor was really impressive in his own right. Conner saw action in every game last year, carrying 81 times for 512 yards and five touchdowns, averaging 6.3 yards per carry.

Isaiah Woullard, the old head in this running back room despite only being a junior, has played in every game since arriving at Ole Miss as Mississippi's all-time leading high school rusher with 8,294 career rushing yards in high school. Despite carrying the ball 84 times as a true freshman, he only saw 10 carries as a sophomore.  

Newcomers: Henry Parrish Jr. (Fr.), Kentrel Bullock (Fr.)

Lane Kiffin said on Monday that true freshman Henry Parrish will be seeing playing time on Saturday against Florida. The four-star recruit out of Florida, Rivals ranked Parrish as the nation's No. 149 overall player and the country's No. 10 running back. He ran for 2,319 yards and 28 TD as a senior.

It's an interesting year for true freshmen in general – there's no redshirts, it's a free year for everyone. For that reason, it would be a pretty big surprise if Bullock never plays as well. The No. 6 ranked player in Mississippi by Rivals in the 2020 class out of Columbia, Miss., Bullock amassed 1,966 yards rushing, 33 total touchdowns as a senior.

More Position Previews:

Evaluating the Experience in the Ole Miss Secondary

Linebacker Room Provides Remarkable Depth

Breaking Down the new Ole Miss Defensive Line

Ole Miss Searching for Offensive Line Depth

The New Look Ole Miss Tight End Room

A Very Deep Ole Miss Receivers Room

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