BYU

Matt Hadley & the Best YPC Rushers in BYU Football History

Who are the best YPC rushers all-time for BYU Football?

We recently interviewed former BYU Football Running Back Matt Hadley (@versace_matt2) on Cougars Sports with Ben Criddle. During our discussion we talked about his potential as a running back at BYU had he played the position his entire time as a Cougar (also played LB).

 

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Let’s pull up Hadley’s stats while at the RB position:

Career (2012, 2015-2018)

Carries – 71

Yards Gained – 390

Yards Lost – 11

Net Yards – 379

Yards Per Carry (YPC) – 5.3

Long – 40 yards

Touchdowns – 6

 

While some of those numbers might not jump off the page, there is one, in particular, that did in my mind and it got me thinking.

5.3.

5.3 Yards Per Carry.

 

If Matt Hadley was running for a first down every couple times he touched the ball on average he would be up there with the great RBs in BYU history, right?

Let’s see where he sits all-time (minimum 50 carries):

Rank Name Year(s) Carries Yards Gained Yards Lost Net Yards YPC
1 Eddie Stinnett 1982-1983 101 765 23 742 7.3
2 Vai Sikahema 1980-1981, 1983-1985 112 755 10 745 6.7
3 Homer Jones 1979-1980 107 732 23 709 6.6
4 Tom Tuipulotu 1983-1986 91 596 7 589 6.5
5 Francis Bernard 2015-2016 52 346 12 334 6.4
6 Dustin Johnson 1995-1997 68 441 14 427 6.3
7 David Foote 2010-2012 63 415 18 397 6.3
8 Casey Tiumalu 1982-1983 244 1,530 26 1,504 6.2
9 Scott Pettis 1980-1982 149 951 52 899 6
10 KJ Hall 2016-2017 65 393 3 390 6
11 Luke Staley 1999-2002 419 2,644 151 2,493 5.9
12 Stacey Corley 1987-1990 138 869 48 821 5.9
13 Robert Parker 1984-1986 129 818 62 756 5.9
14 Eric Lane 1979-1980 190 1,072 10 1,062 5.6
15 Mike Salido 1986-1988, 1990 177 1,049 64 985 5.6
16 Reynaldo Brathwaite 2003 145 891 79 812 5.6
17 Reno Mahe 1998, 2001-2002 128 776 57 719 5.6
18 Peter Tuipulotu 1987-1991 277 1,570 42 1,528 5.5
19 Scott Phillips 1977-1980 212 1,244 86 1,157 5.5
20 Steve Campora 1956-1958 94 266 7 521 5.5
21 Lopini Katoa 2018 77 437 10 427 5.5
22 Kelly Smith 1982-1985 74 446 38 408 5.5
23 Jamaal Williams 2012-2014, 2016 726 3,998 97 3,901 5.4
24 Ronney Jenkins 1996, 1998 380 2,179 139 2,040 5.4
25 Steve Stratton 1971-1973 215 1,176 16 1,160 5.4
26 Taysom Hill 2012-2016 534 3,336 517 2,819 5.3
27 Bruce Hansen 1980-1981, 1985-1986 135 725 15 710 5.3
28 Riley Burt 2015, 2017-2018 96 534 21 513 5.3
29 Matt Hadley 2012, 2015-2018 71 390 11 379 5.3
30 Jamal Willis 1991-1994 576 3,169 199 2,970 5.2
31 Pete Van Valkenburg 1969-1972 456 2,529 137 2,392 5.2
32 Kalin Hall 1992-1993 251 1,399 90 1,309 5.2
33 Nate Carter 2013-2015 84 459 20 439 5.2
34 Tefua Bloomfield 1994-1995 66 352 12 340 5.2
35 Brian McKenzie 1996-1997 385 2,021 67 1,954 5.1
36 JJ DiLuigi 2008-2011 352 1,858 61 1,797 5.1
37 Algernon Brown 2013-2016 259 1,349 39 1,310 5.1
38 Steve Carlsen 1977, 1979-1980 53 277 5 272 5.1
39 Harvey Unga 2006-2009 696 3,547 92 3,455 5
40 Curtis Brown 2002, 2004-2006 641 3,372 151 3,221 5
41 Weldon Jackson 1956-1958 292 185 39 1,449 5
42 Squally Canada 2015-2018 286 1,478 40 1,438 5
43 Adam Hinē 2012-2015 142 747 43 704 5
44 Waymon Hamilton 1980-1983 218 1,113 49 1,064 4.9
45 Paul Lasike 2012-2014 171 856 13 843 4.9
46 Eric Mortensen 1988-1991 91 473 31 442 4.9
47 Mark Giles 1973-1975 53 346 85 261 4.9
48 Marcus Whalen 2000, 2002-2003 264 1,359 93 1,266 4.8
49 Brian McDonald 2000-2001 148 741 35 706 4.8
50 Phil Brady 1962-1964 128 609 4.8
51 Jack Gifford 1958-1960 106 508 4.8
52 Wayne Bower 1970-1973 98 494 35 460 4.7
53 Ken Call 1967-1968 51 250 12 238 4.7
54 Ron Wakley 1967-1969 137 640 13 627 4.6
55 Alan Robinson 1962-1964 108 497 4.6
56 Paul Allen 1959-1961 60 275 4.6
57 Lakei Heimuli 1983-1986 605 2,850 140 2,710 4.5
58 Eldon Fortie 1960-1962 364 1,624 4.5
59 Fred Whittingham 1984, 1987-1989 351 1,704 124 1,580 4.5
60 Fui Vakapuna 2003, 2006-2008 249 1,235 118 1,117 4.5
61 Nyle McFarlane 1958-1959 181 811 4.5
62 Bill Ring 1977-1978 174 822 40 782 4.5
63 LeGrand Young 1955, 1958-1959 140 624 4.5
64 Casey Wingard 1977-1978 115 555 38 517 4.5
65 Howard Ringwood 1957-1959 112 509 4.5
66 John Ogden 1964-1966 535 1,617 11 2,376 4.4
67 Matt Bellini 1987-1990 214 998 67 931 4.4
68 Michael Alisa 2008, 2011-2014 175 811 35 776 4.4
69 Scott Farmer 1954-1956 101 122 5 441 4.4
70 Mark Terranova 1973-1977 94 454 40 414 4.4
71 Jeff Blanc 1973-1976 625 2,766 103 2,663 4.3
72 Hema Heimuli 1992-1995 329 1,521 95 1,426 4.3
73 Josh Quezada 2010-2011 185 843 40 803 4.3
74 Kalani Sitake 1994, 1997-2000 86 400 27 373 4.3
75 Ron Jacobson 1956, 1959-1960 66 189 9 283 4.3
76 Fahu Tahi 1999, 2003-2005 326 1,432 74 1,358 4.2
77 Chris Reading 1968-1970 95 403 8 395 4.2
78 Dick Felt 1952-1954 91 379 4.2
79 Ula Tolutau 2017 72 308 5 303 4.2
80 Scott Charlton 1988-1991 53 243 23 220 4.2
81 Mark Atuaia 1991, 1994-1996 301 1,309 62 1,247 4.1
82 Perry Rodrigue 1966-1967 97 421 23 398 4.1
83 Don James 1953-1954 75 306 4.1
84 Bryan Kariya 2008-2011 278 1,141 40 1,101 4
85 Steve Young 1981-1983 269 1,601 517 1,084 4
86 Roger Gourley 1975-1977 145 613 32 581 4
87 Dave Lowry 1974-1976 137 587 35 552 4
88 Todd Christensen 1974-1977 270 1,089 23 1,066 3.9
89 Raynor Pearce 1955-1957 180 171 18 701 3.9
90 Wally Hawkins 1965-1968 134 533 15 518 3.9
91 Will Snowden 1997-2000 69 286 16 270 3.9
92 Virgil Carter 1964-1966 323 1,114 277 1,225 3.8
93 Kip Jackson 1968-1970 312 1,232 54 1,180 3.8
94 Riley Nelson 2009-2012 226 1,151 293 858 3.8
95 Manase Tonga 2005-2007, 2009 178 716 38 678 3.8
96 Steve Ogden 1964-1966 104 254 6 393 3.8
97 John Malarsie 1961-1963 89 326 3.7
98 Ned Stearns 1996, 1999-2001 55 222 19 203 3.7
99 Charlie Ah You 1972-1975 213 821 55 766 3.6
100 Dave Swanson 1965, 1968-1969 166 612 7 605 3.6
101 Tom Ripee 1967-1968 135 494 10 484 3.6
102 Tom Stolworthy 1960 62 225 3.6
103 Doran Merkley 1961-1963 223 789 3.5
104 Keith Hubbs 1957-1959 138 485 3.5
105 Randy Litchfield 1973, 1976 62 323 108 215 3.5
106 Dalton Overstreet 1954-1955 52 182 3.5
107 Dave Coon 1970-1973 249 1,015 130 839 3.4
108 Brandon Doman 1998-2001 185 956 330 626 3.4
109 Mike O’Brien 1969, 1985-1988 121 440 29 411 3.4
110 Phil Oyler 1953-1955 118 398 3.4
111 Dan Taylor 1960, 1972-1973 68 268 36 232 3.4
112 Eddie Nichols 1969-1970 116 385 6 379 3.3
113 Kent Oborn 1964-1966 75 153 13 247 3.3
114 Dave McLaren 1954-1955 58 192 3.3
115 Joe McGinn 1957-1959 54 165 3.1
116 Burt Bullock 1956-1959 74 94 10 223 3
117 Terry Sanford 1967-1968 104 556 253 303 2.9
118 Zach Wilson 2018 75 379 158 221 2.9
119 Bruce Samples 1960-1961 58 170 2.9
120 Bill Nelson 1961-1963 118 327 2.8
121 Dion Frazier 1960-1961, 1963 110 292 2.7
122 Bill Wright 1960-1962 97 264 2.7
123 Gary Dunn 1958-1959 83 226 2.7
124 Bud Belnap 1958-1960 107 280 2.6
125 Dave Terry 1970-1973 164 619 234 385 2.3
126 Carroll Johnston 1955-1957 71 82 43 146 2.1
127 Doug Wardell 1962-1964 90 184 2
128 Christian Stewart 2013-2014 83 321 163 158 1.9
129 Bob Jensen 1985-1987 136 618 391 227 1.7
130 Brian Gunderson 1970-1972 69 227 112 115 1.7
131 Max Hall 2007-2009 189 624 420 204 1.1
132 Jim McMahon 1977-1978, 1980-1981 265 935 748 187 0.7
133 Rick Jones 1968-1970 147 518 426 92 0.6
134 John Beck 2003-2006 267 735 696 39 0.1
135 Marc Wilson 1975-1979 246 724 759 -35 -0.1
136 Bill August 1971-1972 99 256 278 -22 -0.2
137 Charlie Peterson 1995, 1999-2001 60 190 201 -11 -0.2
138 Marc Lyons 1966-1969 169 526 571 -45 -0.3
139 Robbie Bosco 1982-1985 162 478 579 -101 -0.6
140 Steve Lindsley 1984-1986 100 301 392 -91 -0.9
141 Tanner Mangum 2015-2018 119 280 400 -120 -1
142 Steve Sarkisian 1995-1996 164 352 563 -211 -1.3
143 Sean Covey 1986-1989 109 231 375 -144 -1.3
144 Ty Detmer 1988-1991 265 739 1,105 -366 -1.4
145 Kevin Feterik 1996-1999 248 531 873 -342 -1.4
146 Matt Berry 2002-2005 92 195 333 -138 -1.5
147 Gary Sheide 1973-1974 102 192 364 -172 -1.7
148 Bret Engemann 1999-2000, 2002 62 119 243 -124 -2
149 Gifford Nielsen 1974-1977 163 281 723 -442 -2.7
150 John Walsh 1991-1994 179 162 816 -654 -3.7

 

29th! 29th out of 150 rushers seen totin the rock in a Cougar uni! That’s pretty impressive and the numbers say as much. It makes me wonder what could have been had Hadley been at RB when he returned from a mission in 2015. The RB depth in 2015 included the following:

  • Algernon Brown
  • Adam Hine
  • Nate Carter
  • Francis Bernard

I know Cougar fans love to play the “what if” game as well. Matt Hadley alluded to the “what if” about what his BYU career could have been at Running Back in the interview below:

 

 

I also think we need to factor in style of offense when looking at these rushing leaders. Guys like Eddite Stinnett and Vai Sikahema took advantage of the trap draw. Guys like Taysom Hill & Jamaal Williams played with the Go Fast, Go Hard offense.  But it was amazing to see where the greats stacked up against one another.

 

Other Rushers of Note:

5 – Francis Bernard 6.4 YPC (transferred)

10 – KJ Hall 6 YPC (retired)

11 – Luke Staley 5.9 YPC (left early for NFL)

21 – Lopini Katoa 5.5 YPC (currently projected as BYU’s RB1 for 2019)

23 – Jamaal Williams 5.4 (BYU’s All-Time Leading Rusher)

26 – Taysom Hill 5.3 (BYU’s All-Time QB Rushing Leader)

28 – Riley Burt 5.3 YPC (transferred)

39 – Harvey Unga 5 YPC (previous All-Time Leading Rusher)

40 – Curtis Brown 5 YPC (previous All-Time Leading Rusher)

42 – Squally Canada 5 YPC (2018 Starting Running Back)

74 – Kalani Sitake 4.3 YPC (BYU Football Head Coach)

85 – Steve Young 4 YPC (BYU great & NFL Hall of Famer)

118 – Zach Wilson 2.9 YPC (Current Starting QB)

 

There are some pretty awesome names on that list.

What do you think of the list? Who stands out to you? Would Matt Hadley’s career have looked like had he be given the opportunity to run the ball his whole time in a Cougar blue? Let me know what you think! Tweet at me @CriddleBenjamin using #ESPN960.

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Author

  • Ben Criddle

    Ben Criddle hails from Glendale, Arizona. After playing junior college football he served a Spanish speaking mission for his church in Spokane, Washington. In 2005, he "walked-on" to the BYU football team, later earning a scholarship and becoming a two year starter at cornerback. Ben graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 2008 and moved on to become the current owner and founder of OrthoPros of Utah, (a distributor of DJO Global orthopedic devices and other medical equipment). August 3rd 2011, marked his official launch into the sports radio world as the co-host of CougarSports, the first successful BYU dedicated sports radio show. Ben has been supplying cougar nation with candid, unfiltered cougar sports analysis with a dose of attempted humor everyday since that summer morn. Put on your blue goggles and join him from 3-7pm as he breaks down all things BYU throughout the year.

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