Commentary: Ranking the top 15 Utah Utes running backs of the past 35 years (16 items)
Over the past 35 years the Utes have had a long line of solid running backs. There have been power backs and guys who could be used for a change of pace. There have been players who needed to shoulder the load as well as great backs who have had to split time because the stable was so deep and talented.
This is a top-15 list of the best running backs at the University of Utah over the past three and a half decades. The rankings are based on what each running back did during his time on the hill and nowhere else.
Note: For these players, junior college and NFL stats have not been taken into account. Players' stats do include bowl games.
1 of 16. #15 (Tie): Darrell Mack
Mack spent four seasons on the hill but only one full season as the main ball carrier. As a junior, Mack carried the ball 253 times for 1,204 yards and 12 touchdowns. That same season, he caught 21 passes for 144 yards and three more scores.
The best game of Mack’s career was Oct. 5, 2007, when he carried the ball 32 times for 163 yards and three scores, in Utah’s 44-35 victory on the road over University of Louisville.
For his career, he rushed for 2,065 yards and 16 touchdowns while catching 40 passes for 250 and three more scores.
2 of 16. #15 (Tie): Eddie Wide
Wide spent four seasons with the Utes but barely touched the ball until an injury propelled him into the starting lineup midway through his junior year. Wide made the most of his carries to put up a huge season, carrying the ball 203 times for 1,069 yards and 12 touchdowns.
For his career as a Ute, Wide carried the ball 401 times for 2,013 yards and 23 touchdowns. Wide also caught 51 passes for 425 yards and three scores.
3 of 16. #14: Keith Williams
Williams put up stats for three years at the U. with his best season in 1991. That year, Williams rushed 1,076 yards and six scores on 207 carries. He also caught 24 passes for 252 yards and another touchdown.
For his Utah career, Williams rushed for 2,003 yards and 16 touchdowns while catching 72 balls for 726 yards and another score.
Not bad for a guy after blowing out his knee and overcoming academic challenges.
4 of 16. #13: Brandon Warfield
Warfield spent two seasons with the Utes and was the main ball carrier each season. In each season, he carried the ball more than 200 times for more than 900 yards and at least nine scores.
He finished his Utah career rushing for 1,895 yards and 20 touchdowns on 438 carries, and Urban Meyer loved the guy.
5 of 16. #12: Juan Johnson
Johnson played four seasons at the University of Utah during the early 1990s and contributed every year. While never breaking the 1,000 mark in any season, he put up some very impressive numbers. His best statistical season was his senior year, when he carried the ball 181 times for 838 yards and seven scores.
Johnson became the primary back for the Utes following an injury to Chris Fuamatu-Ma'afala in 1996, and he never looked back. During his four years on the hill, Johnson carried the ball 606 times for 2,695 yards and 23 touchdowns.