With the return of Tavion Thomas and Micah Bernard, and the addition of freshman Jaylon Glover, Utah's running back room is bursting at the seams with talent and should be one of the top groups in the nation.
With that being said, its important to note where each individual player ranks amongst the rest of the talent, and what their contributions may look like for the 2022 season.
After joining the program last year, Thomas was an explosion of offense as he led the team in rushing with 204 carries for 1,108 yards (5.4 ypc) and 21 touchdowns. For his efforts, Thomas led the Pac-12 in rushing touchdowns and finished third in the FBS. He was also named to the Pac-12 All-Conference first-team.
The return of Thomas is incredibly significant for the Utes as the powerful back is a ferocious runaway train of offense. As demonstrated time and again last season, Thomas is a punishing ball-carrier who has the ability create his own gaps, regardless of who stands in his way. He also has incredible strength and can keep his feet moving which often requires multiple defenders in order to bring him down.
Looking ahead to the 2022 season, Thomas will continue his role as RB1 and should be on track for some even bigger numbers. If he can average the same kind of production he posted in the last nine games of the 2021 season, Thomas very well could go beyond 1500 yards and nearly 30 touchdowns. Regardless, the junior running back is a critical aspect of the Utah offense and will fuel their chances at another Pac-12 Championship.
Between these highly talented backs, Utah's run game should yet again be a three-headed monster, and one that Thomas is the primary leader of with his ferocity, force and elite strength.
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