Ranking the Mountain West Running Backs for 2021

The Mountain West is loaded with talented running backs. Here's how they stack up.

Photo: Ron Holman


Article by WestCoastCFB


1. Ronnie Rivers (Fresno State)


Ronnie Rivers is a small but dynamic runner at 5-9 195, who can impact the game both on the ground and through the air. During his illustrious career with the Bulldogs, Rivers has accumulated 3,686 yards and 44 touchdowns.

2. Xazavian Valladay (Wyoming)


Valladay is one of my favorite runners in the Mountain West to watch with quickness and an ability to shed tacklers. The Cowboy's running back has amassed 2,562 yards and 15 touchdowns and was 1st Team All Mountain West in both 2019 and 2020.

3. George Holani (Boise State)


Holani came to Boise State as a 4 star recruit in 2019 and quickly dominated while winning Mountain West Freshman of the Year. Unfortunately, the injury bug hit Holani in 2020 and limited him to just a few games. Expect the Boise State star to be back healthy in 2021 and ready to lead the Bronco's offense.

4. Greg Bell (SDSU)


Greg Bell began his career at Nebraska before making the decision to transfer back to California to attend San Diego State. Bell plays in a run heavy offense and should have plenty of opportunities to tote the rock in 2021. Last season, Bell totaled 751 yards on 124 touches during the 7 game season.


5. Toa Taua (Nevada)


Taua is a load to take down at 210 pounds and proved himself as one of the best running backs in the conference in 2020 while earning 2nd Team All Mountain West honors. Taua has 571 touches for 2,955 yards during his career with the Wolf Pack.

6. Tyler Nevens (SJSU)


Tyler Nevens had a breakout season last Fall and was graded by PFF as the top running back in the conference and 7th best in the country. Nevens averaged 7.8 yards per carry last season and if he can keep that production up then we may have him vastly underrated here.


7. Charles Williams (UNLV)


Williams at 7th on our list shows how many talented running backs reside in the Mountain West. The Fresno, California product was a 1st Team All Mountain West selection in 2019 and has 3,048 career yards.

8. Brad Roberts (Air Force)


Brad Roberts was a breakout player last season for Air Force as a Sophomore with 461 yards on 64 carries (7.2 YPC).


9. Bobby Cole (New Mexico)


New Mexico feels like a program on the rise and Cole should help the Lobos continue to ascend. Cole totaled 548 yards on 97 carries last season (5.7 YPC).


10. Devonta'e Henry-Cole (Utah State)


Henry-Cole came to the Aggies via the University of Utah where he was unable to carve out a major role. This will be his final opportunity to impress NFL scouts and he should get plenty of carries as the lead back for Utah State. For his career, Henry-Cole has 683 yards on 137 touches.

11. Dae Dae Hunter (Hawaii)

Dae Dae Hunter was a 2020 graduate of Chandler High School in Arizona and was able to make an immediate impact for the Warriors in Honolulu. During his Freshman campaign, Hunter totaled 254 yards on 58 touches.

12. Marcus McElroy (Colorado State)


McEleroy is a massive running back at 235 pounds and will be a load to take down. Addazio prefers a run based offense and that should give McElroy plenty of carries. The Senior has 185 career touches for 797 yards entering 2021.