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2022 Iowa State Position Preview: Running Backs

How will the Clones replace one of the most talented players to ever call Jack Trice home?

Syndication: The Des Moines Register Zach Boyden-Holmes/The Register / USA TODAY NETWORK

Since the beginning of the Campbell era, Iowa State has had a strong running game headed by a talented running back. Over the last six years the fans have been treated to two of the top running backs in program history. The next ball carriers will have big shoes to fill.


The good news is we didn’t lose any of our depth. The bad news is that the best running back in school history is gone. Breece Hall, now running back for the New York Jets, put up historic performances in his last two seasons for the Clones. Hall put up 23 touchdowns in back to back seasons, and averaged 6.1 yards per carry his final year in Ames. Hall will be remembered and missed for years. But, there is plenty of reason for hope at the running back position moving forward.

Day One Starter

If you’ve been watching Cyclone football, a name you know by now is Jirehl Brock. Brock is going into his fourth year as a redshirt junior. For the last couple years, Brock has served as a solid relief back for Hall, and a reliable pass-blocker. In his most recent campaign, Brock put up 174 yards on 37 attempts. He scored his first career rushing touchdown against TCU this most recent season as well. After waiting his turn for years, it is finally Brock’s time to shine. Coming out of high school, Brock was a four star recruit.

The New Guys

Odds are high we will see a running back by committee system this year, so here are the other guys that should contribute.

Deon Silas: The muscle hamster, at 5’8” Silas has an ability to get lost coming out of the backfield. His speed and size is reminiscent of Darren Sproles, and he has a great chance at getting snaps to help space out the field in both the run and pass game. He put up 75 yards and two touchdowns in his freshman year. Silas was a three star recruit out of high school.

Eli Sanders: Sanders redshirted his freshman year, but still made appearances in four games, including snaps in the Iowa game where he had three receptions for 41 yards. Sanders was ranked as a three star recruit out of high school, where he led his team to a perfect season and a state championship. Sanders was ranked as the seventh best player in the state of Arizona and picked Iowa State over Arizona, Arizona State, and Iowa.

Cartevious Norton: A true freshman and three star recruit out of Georgia, Norton has reportedly impressed early on in camp. In his final three years of high school, Norton put up a combined 2,825 yards and 27 touchdowns. He is the youngest piece of this running back puzzle, but he might have the highest ceiling of all of them.

Matt Campbell

After what he has done for the program to this point, it is safe to say we should all trust Campbell, and it is safe to assume he really understands the running back position. This quote gets me excited.

Here’s to another great year of Cyclone football and running back production.