We couldn’t put all the standout players in HBCU football on our Starting Five series, but they couldn’t go recognized either. So here go a few more standout running backs for 2013. Check the bottom of the page for the original lists.
Ricky Lewis, NC A&T
|Ricky Lewis led NC A&T with 4.5 yards per carry in 2012. (NC A&T photo)|
Lewis spent his first couple of years at A&T juggling several positions, including quarterback and receiver, but in 2012 this Greensboro Dudley hero found his stride at running back. Lewis finished second on the team in rushing yards (437), and touchdowns (6) while leading the team in yards per carry (4.5). With Mike Mayhew gone, Lewis should be the favorite to take over for A&T’s all-time leading rusher on a full-time basis.
Johnta Herbert, Prarie View
|Johnta Herbert led the SWAC in all-purpose yards as a freshman in 2012 (Advocate photo)|
There were plenty of great playmakers in the SWAC during the 2012 season, but no one did more in the open field than Herbert. The 5’10, 195 pound back from Baton Rouge made a big flash in his freshman season, leading the league in all-purpose yards with over 1300. 926 of those came on kick returns, but 60 of them came via the air as he helped Prairie View defeat his hometown SWAC team, Southern University.
Roderick Davenport, St. Augustine’s
|Roderick Davenport flashed big-play ability several times during his freshman campaign. (New Haven Register photo)|
Davenport sealed his reputation as a big-play threat when he took his first college handoff for a 78 yard touchdown run. Davenport didn’t always receive consistent carries in St. Aug’s pass-oriented system, but when he did, he made the most of them. In his two 20-plus carry games against Livingstone and Shaw, he rushed for 136 yards and two touchdowns. The Shaw game was probably his best yet, as his pair of touchdowns helped Shaw pull of a 43-42 thriller in the season finale. Make no mistake, Davenport is a problem CIAA defensive coordinators will have to deal with for three more seasons.
Seth Hill, Fort Valley State
|Seth Hill led SIAC runner-up Fort Valley State in rushing as a sophomore.|
In an offense headlined by quarterback Antonio Helton, Hill was often overlooked in 2012. But Hill was an important part of Fort Valley State’s SIAC Championship Game and playoff appearance, leading the team in rushing with 523 yards and averaging 4.8 yards per carry as a sophomore. With Helton gone, look for Hill’s role to increase in 2013.