2021 Rookie Running Back Draft Profiles
The top news and content from around the web
2020 ALL-ACC FOOTBALL SECOND TEAM (COACHES/MEDIA): RB – Javonte Williams, North Carolina, 145,…Williams was the other half of UNC’s dynamic backfield duo alongside Carter. Williams set a program record with 22 touchdowns and rushed for 1,140 yards in his junior season. He ranks second in the nation in total TDs and his 103.6 rushing yards per game is third in the conference. – North Carolina Football
Kenneth Gainwell made it official. His brief, brilliant Memphis football career is over. Gainwell announced Sunday night on Twitter that he declared for the 2021 NFL Draft, a decision that seemed all but certain when he opted out of the 2020 season. He leaves after an All-American freshman season in 2019 where he had 2,069 all-purpose yards and 16 total touchdowns. Gainwell was a unanimous AAC first team selection, a second-team All-American by Sporting News, AAC Rookie of the Year and named Freshman of the Year by the Football Writers Association of America. If Gainwell is drafted, it will be the eighth consecutive year the Tigers have someone selected. – Memphis Commercial Appeal
2020 ALL-ACC FOOTBALL SECOND TEAM (COACHES/MEDIA): AP – Khalil Herbert, Virginia Tech, 97,…Herbert amassed a staggering 1,791 all-purpose yards in 2020, a mark that led the nation and consisted of his 1,182 rushing yards, 179 receiving yards and 430 yards gained on kickoff returns. The Fort Lauderdale, Florida native owned the best single-game output of any conference player with his school record 357-yard performance at Duke (10/10). Herbert’s 162.8 yards per game average also led all ACC players. – Virginia Tech Football
2020 PAUL HORNUNG AWARD FINALIST: Michael Carter, Senior running back/return specialist, North Carolina,…Carter played in all 11 games as a big play running back and outstanding pass catcher who also handled kickoff returns. He averaged 8.0 yards per carry (third nationally), 10.7 yards per catch, and 151.6 all-purpose yards per game (13th nationally). Carter was second in the nation with runs of 10+ yards and averaged 10.4 yards per carry in games against teams in the Top 25. He compiled 308 all-purpose yards and two scores against Miami, and 251 all-purpose yards and two scores against Virginia Tech. Carter made the Paul Hornung Award Weekly Honor Roll four times: against NC State, Duke, Wake Forest and Virginia Tech, touching the ball three different ways and accumulating 100+ all-purpose yards and touchdowns in each game. – The Louisville Sports Commission
Data Scout Notes: **2020: DoakWalkerWinner/AFCA1st/WCamp1st/WCampPOYFinalist/DoakWalkerFinalist/1stC/WittenManoftheYearFinalist/DoakWalkerSemifinalist/MaxwellSemifinalist…PMaxwell/PWCamp2nd/PDoak…2019: 2ndC…P1stC/P2ndDS/PWCamp/PMaxwell/PDoak/P1stM…2nd team All-SEC, AP 2nd team All-SEC w/209-1224-5.9-13 rush, 27-304-11.3-7 rec, 2 TT in 13 gms, ankle sprain in 3Q vs Arkansas (Oct 26), suspended 1H vs Duke (Aug 31) for violation of team rules in ’19. Backup w/117-783-6.7-4 rush, 4-7-1.7-0 rec in 15 gms in ’18. 61-370-6.1-3 rush in 14 gms in ’17.
Etienne worked out at Clemson’s on campus pro day Thursday and was timed at 4.41 in the 40-yard dash by NFL scouts. (Wisconsin’s Jonathan Taylor was the only running back faster at last year’s NFL Combine. He was drafted in the early second round.) The speedy Etienne said he thinks he’s worthy of being a first-round pick. “I’m one of the best skill guys in the draft. I’m able to do it all. I feel like I add that component to take teams to the next tier,” Etienne said. “I feel like me being in the game, I just possess a lot of things that are God-given that most guys don’t possess.”
Etienne, who was named an All-American in 2020, averaged 7.2 yards per carry over the course of his career. As a senior this past season he rushed for 914 yards and had 588 receiving yards. The Louisiana native, who played in an option offense in high school, leaves Clemson as a complete back who can beat you with a handoff, out of the backfield or on special teams. “You see on the film I’m able to be out there three downs,” Etienne said. “I’m able to play special teams. So just being able to impact the team each and every down I feel like is what makes me different and worthy of the first round.” – The State
Ohio State running back Trey Sermon left the national championship game against No. 1 Alabama with an injury Monday night and did not return. Sermon was taken to the locker room after the Buckeyes’ first offensive series, during which he carried the ball once for 2 yards. Master Teague III, who began the season as the starter, was in for the second series and had three carries, including an 8-yard run for a touchdown. Teague scored again from four yards out in the second quarter after the Buckeyes recovered an Alabama fumble. Sermon, a graduate transfer from Oklahoma, broke out with 331 rushing yards in the Big Ten championship and another 193 yards in the semifinal win over Clemson. – AP College Football
Sign Up & Save
ENTER TO WIN A FREE CALENDAR & get monthly e-mails with the best deals from us and our partners.