The Top Husker RBs of All-Time

A look at Nebraska on Scout's top Nebraska running backs of all-time.

#1 Mike Rozier


Mike Rozier
(NU Media Relations)

(1981-1983)
5-foot-11 / 210 pounds
Camden, N.J.

Rozier became Nebraska's second Heisman Trophy winner when he rushed for a school-record 2,148 yards and 29 touchdowns in 1983. He still holds those records along with NU's career rushing record with 4,780 yards. Rozier was a bull in a china shop, running over and around defenders, becoming one of the best college running backs of all-time. Against Kansas State his senior year, Rozier rushed for 230 yards in the first half, before finishing the game with 285. His consistency over the course of his career gets him the nod at No. 1.


#2 Lawrence Phillips

(1993-1995)
6-foot / 220 pounds
West Covina, CA

If Phillips hadn't gotten suspended in 1995, he probably would have won the Heisman Trophy and been the greatest running back in Nebraska football history. After rushing for over 1,700 yards as a sophomore, Phillips was primed for a monster junior year, but because of his suspension, he played in only five games, and finished with 568 yards. In spite of all this, he is still listed in the Top 10 all-time on the NU career rushing list. Possibly his most memorable performance was in the 1996 Fiesta Bowl, where he ran for 165 yards and two touchdowns against No. 2 Florida.


#3 Ahman Green

(1995-1997)
6-foot / 215 pounds
Omaha, NE

Green was one of the fastest running back in Husker history. He rushed for over 1,000 yards as a true freshman in 1995 and finished with close to 1,900 as a junior in 1997, helping NU win the national championship both years. Green bypassed his senior year to enter the NFL Draft, giving-up a legitimate chance to surpass Rozier on the all-time career-rushing chart. So Green remains No. 3 trailing Rozier by 900 yards. Green finished his degree in 2003 from the University.


#4 Ameer Abdullah

(2011-2014)
5-foot-9 / 190 pounds
Homewood, AL

Abdullah wasn’t able to overcome the injury bug his senior season, hurting his knee against Purdue nine games into the year. While he didn’t miss any games after, he was never the same running back that could have gone to New York as a Heisman finalist if he had continued his early season pace. Abdullah finished the year with 1,611 yards, pushing his career numbers to 4,588 total. During his freshman season, Abdullah was behind Rex Burkhead and split carries with a pair of other freshman. It's hard to imagine what Abdullah might have accomplished in his career if he had redshirted in 2011. He left Nebraska as the Huskers all-time career all-purpose yards leader.


#5 Doug DuBose


Doug DuBose
(NU Media Relations)

(1983-1985)
5-foot-11 / 190 pounds
Uncasville, CT

DuBose was the first Husker to rush for over 1,000 yards as a sophomore and junior at NU, garnering first-team All-Big 8 honors both years. Those that played with DuBose described him as a smooth runner. Former Husker quarterback Steve Taylor had this to say about his former teammate: "If he didn't get injured he could have been the best back ever at Nebraska." DuBose, a strong preseason Heisman candidate, tore his ACL causing him to miss his entire senior season in 1986.


#6 Jarvis Redwine


Jarvis Redwine
(NU Media Relations)

(1979-1980)
5-foot-11 / 204 pounds
Inglewood, CA

Redwine not only had a cool name for a Husker running back, but the ability to back it up. A transfer from Oregon State, he only had two years at NU, but rushed for over 1,000 yards in both, averaging over 7.0 yards per carry. Redwine was a first-team All-Big Eight selection in '79 and '80 and a first-team All-American as a senior. Playing with a broken rib through most of his final year dashed any Heisman hopes. He twice won the Hinky-Dinky award for Most Popular Cornhusker.


#7 Calvin Jones


Calvin Jones
(NU Media Relations)

(1991-1993)
5-foot-11 / 210 pounds
Omaha, NE

Jones had one of the best freshman seasons ever by a Husker I-back in 1991, finishing with a then school-record 900 yards and leading the Big Eight conference in scoring with 8.4 points per game. He also ran for a Nebraska game record 294 yards and an NU and Big Eight record six touchdowns. Sharing the backfield duties with fellow I-back Derek Brown cut into Jones's rushing totals in '91 and '92 and then saw his junior season hampered by a knee injury. A two-time All-Big Eight pick, Jones left for the NFL Draft after his junior season.


#8 Bobby Reynolds


Bobby Reynolds
(NU Media Relations)

(1950-1952)
5-foot-11 / 180 pounds
Grand Island, NE

Reynolds was a first-team All-American in 1950 helping the Huskers to its first winning season since 1940. He set a new school rushing record of 1,342 yards and 22 touchdowns that season in only nine games, and set an NCAA player record for most points scored per game with 17.4. His single season rushing and touchdown records would hold up for more than 30 years. Injuries would derail Reynolds's productivity in his next two seasons. In 1984 he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. He might not make everyone's list, but is well deserving of a spot.


#9 Ken Clark


Ken Clark
(NU Media Relations)

(1987-1989)
5-foot-10 / 200 pounds
Omaha, NE

Clark's 1,497 yards as a junior in '88 is the fifth-best single-season rushing total in Husker history. "Ken didn't get the recognition he deserved," NU running backs coach Frank Solich said. "He probably had as quiet a 1,500 yards as you're going to see." A two-time All-Big Eight selection (1988,'89) Clark finished with over 3,100 yards in his career, good for sixth place all-time in NU rushing history. In his last performance in 1989, he rushed for 86 yards against Florida State in the Fiesta Bowl.


#10 Roy Helu Jr.


Roy Helu Jr.
(NU Media Relations)

(2007-2010)
6-foot / 220 pounds
Danville, CA

Helu Jr. is one of the most unheralded running backs in Husker history. Even though his 3,404 career yards ranks fourth all-time, and his 307 yards is a single-game rushing record, Helu Jr. never made a first-team all-conference team in his career at Nebraska. But, he is the first player to rush for 1,000 yards in back-to-back seasons since Calvin Jones did it in 1992 and 1993. It is too bad Helu Jr. didn't play on better Nebraska teams; maybe then people would appreciate what he did a lot more. You also throw in the fact that a good handful of carriers were taken away from a guy named Rex Burkhead.


The next wave of guys in no particular order: I.M. Hipp, Derek Brown, Rex Burkhead, Jeff Kinney, and Roger Craig.

Orginally published May of 2015.


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