Ranking the Pac-12 Running Backs for 2022

Zach Charbonnet looks to lead UCLA on a Run for the Roses.

Photo by Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images


Article by WestCoastCFB


1. Zach Charbonnet (UCLA)


Zach Charbonnet led the Bruins to a breakout season in 2021 after transferring from Michigan. His top performance came against LSU in September when he totaled 152 yards in an upset win. The electric back finished the season with a 91.9 PFF grade on runs and should be a top NFL Draft prospect after this Fall.



2. Tavion Thomas (Utah)


Tavion Thomas was a touchdown machine last year with 21 scores. He's a physical runner who should get plenty of carries this year after establishing himself at the Utes' top back. After 1,108 yards last Fall expect him to be closer to 1,500 yards in 2022.



3. Travis Dye (USC)


Travis Dye still doesn't get the respect he deserves with many thinking of him as a secondary back rather than a lead performer. His 1,673 yards from scrimmage were the most in the Pac-12.



4. Xazavian Valladay (ASU)


Valladay may not be a household name yet after starring at Wyoming the past four years but he should quickly become feared among Pac-12 fans. For his career, Valladay has 3,858 yards.



5. Byron Cardwell (Oregon)


Despite losing C.J. Verdell and Travis Dye, the Ducks still have loads of talent at the position. In limited carries in 2021, Cardwell was dangerous with the ball in hands while averaging 6.8 yards per carry. Cardwell's most notable performance came against Colorado with 127 yards on the ground.



6. Damien Moore (Cal)


The Golden Bears lost their top back after Chris Brooks announced his transfer to BYU but plenty of talent remains with Damien Moore ready to step up. Athlon named the talented runner to their 2022 All-Pac-12 team after Moore finished with 602 yards last season.



7. Micah Bernard (Utah)


Despite totaling 774 yards and 6 yards per carry, Bernard flew under the radar due to the performance of Tavion Thomas.



8. Deshaun Fenwick (OSU)


The Beavers should have one of the best offensive lines in the country and will pave the way for whoever becomes the lead back to rush for over 1,000 yards. Fenwick came to Corvallis after two years at South Carolina and has 1,093 career yards while averaging 5.5 yards per carry.



9. Damien Martinez (OSU)


Martinez was a star in the Spring for OSU and should contend for the lead role. Athlon named Martinez to their 2022 preseason All-Pac-12 team which shows the expectations for the Freshman.



10. Austin Jones (USC)


The Trojans loaded up on Pac-12 transfers and have turned other teams' starters into their backups. Jones racked up 1,686 yards and 13 touchdowns at Stanford.