3 Best NFL Running Backs to Ever Come Out of Texas

3 Best NFL Running Backs to Ever Come Out of Texas


The Texas Longhorns have had no shortage of star running backs come out of their program over the years. Many have been drafted into the NFL, although not all have turned that opportunity into a successful career.

Some high profile Texas running back prospects that never quite panned out were Eric Metcalf, Jim Bertelsen and more recently D'Onta Foreman. Others performed admirably, like Cedric Benson and Jamaal Charles, but still fall short of the top three alumni all-time.

3. Priest Holmes (1997-2007)

Signing with the Baltimore Ravens as an undrafted free agent, Priest Holmes was a true underdog story after his days as a Longhorn. He finished third on the all-time Texas alumni list in rush yards, with 8.172, but also second in yards per game with 72.3, and first in total touchdowns with a staggering 94 in 10 seasons. Known even more for his days with the Kansas City Chiefs, Holmes is now a member of their franchise's Hall of Fame. An NFL rushing leader in 2001, touchdown leader in '02 and '03, Offensive Player of the Year in '02, three-time First Team All-Pro player in all three of those seasons, and Super Bowl Champion with the Ravens in 2000-01, the former walk-on's name is now cemented in NFL history.

2. Ricky Williams (1999-2011)

Playing during a similar time span as Holmes, another Longhorns graduate competed with him in the NFL, only the players had opposite starts to their careers. Ricky Williams was a first round draft pick of the New Orleans Saints in 1999, at number five overall. His expectations were very high coming in, after winning a Heisman Trophy with the Longhorns. After three up-and-down seasons with the Saints, they traded him to the Miami Dolphins for a wealth of draft capital. The next season (2002), he led the NFL in rushing yards with 1,853 yards. Williams struggled to replicate those numbers after '02, with only two more 1,000 yard season and five total. He was a First Team All-Pro player in 2002, and still remains the Texas graduate with the most all-time NFL rush yards at 10,009.

3. Earl Campbell (1978-85)

The number one overall pick by the Houston Oilers in 1978, Earl Campbell was a legend in both college and the NFL. He only played nine seasons at the professional level, but is the all-time leader in yards per game with 81.8, out of all former Longhorns running backs. The former Heisman Trophy winner took the NFL by storm, winning the Offensive Rookie of the Year Award in '78. He was a three-time rushing yards leader (1,934 in 1980 averaging an absurd 128.9 per game), a two-time rushing touchdowns leader, three-time Offensive Player of the Year, three-time First Team All-Pro, and an NFL MVP in 1979. His a member of the Oilers/Titans Ring of Honor, with his jersey now retired with the Titans franchise. He is also a member of the 1970's All-Decade Team and the NFL's 100th Anniversary All-Time Team, and the greatest running back to ever come out of the University of Texas.

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Michael Obermuller is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Michael Obermuller also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username king_mizzard. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.