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).


Brought to you by OrthoPros of Utah. For all your orthopedic and sports medicine supplies checkout


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 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):

RankNameYear(s)CarriesYards GainedYards LostNet YardsYPC
1Eddie Stinnett1982-1983101765237427.3
2Vai Sikahema1980-1981, 1983-1985112755107456.7
3Homer Jones1979-1980107732237096.6
4Tom Tuipulotu1983-19869159675896.5
5Francis Bernard2015-201652346123346.4
6Dustin Johnson1995-199768441144276.3
7David Foote2010-201263415183976.3
8Casey Tiumalu1982-19832441,530261,5046.2
9Scott Pettis1980-1982149951528996
10KJ Hall2016-20176539333906
11Luke Staley1999-20024192,6441512,4935.9
12Stacey Corley1987-1990138869488215.9
13Robert Parker1984-1986129818627565.9
14Eric Lane1979-19801901,072101,0625.6
15Mike Salido1986-1988, 19901771,049649855.6
16Reynaldo Brathwaite2003145891798125.6
17Reno Mahe1998, 2001-2002128776577195.6
18Peter Tuipulotu1987-19912771,570421,5285.5
19Scott Phillips1977-19802121,244861,1575.5
20Steve Campora1956-19589426675215.5
21Lopini Katoa201877437104275.5
22Kelly Smith1982-198574446384085.5
23Jamaal Williams2012-2014, 20167263,998973,9015.4
24Ronney Jenkins1996, 19983802,1791392,0405.4
25Steve Stratton1971-19732151,176161,1605.4
26Taysom Hill2012-20165343,3365172,8195.3
27Bruce Hansen1980-1981, 1985-1986135725157105.3
28Riley Burt2015, 2017-201896534215135.3
29Matt Hadley2012, 2015-201871390113795.3
30Jamal Willis1991-19945763,1691992,9705.2
31Pete Van Valkenburg1969-19724562,5291372,3925.2
32Kalin Hall1992-19932511,399901,3095.2
33Nate Carter2013-201584459204395.2
34Tefua Bloomfield1994-199566352123405.2
35Brian McKenzie1996-19973852,021671,9545.1
36JJ DiLuigi2008-20113521,858611,7975.1
37Algernon Brown2013-20162591,349391,3105.1
38Steve Carlsen1977, 1979-19805327752725.1
39Harvey Unga2006-20096963,547923,4555
40Curtis Brown2002, 2004-20066413,3721513,2215
41Weldon Jackson1956-1958292185391,4495
42Squally Canada2015-20182861,478401,4385
43Adam Hinē2012-2015142747437045
44Waymon Hamilton1980-19832181,113491,0644.9
45Paul Lasike2012-2014171856138434.9
46Eric Mortensen1988-199191473314424.9
47Mark Giles1973-197553346852614.9
48Marcus Whalen2000, 2002-20032641,359931,2664.8
49Brian McDonald2000-2001148741357064.8
50Phil Brady1962-19641286094.8
51Jack Gifford1958-19601065084.8
52Wayne Bower1970-197398494354604.7
53Ken Call1967-196851250122384.7
54Ron Wakley1967-1969137640136274.6
55Alan Robinson1962-19641084974.6
56Paul Allen1959-1961602754.6
57Lakei Heimuli1983-19866052,8501402,7104.5
58Eldon Fortie1960-19623641,6244.5
59Fred Whittingham1984, 1987-19893511,7041241,5804.5
60Fui Vakapuna2003, 2006-20082491,2351181,1174.5
61Nyle McFarlane1958-19591818114.5
62Bill Ring1977-1978174822407824.5
63LeGrand Young1955, 1958-19591406244.5
64Casey Wingard1977-1978115555385174.5
65Howard Ringwood1957-19591125094.5
66John Ogden1964-19665351,617112,3764.4
67Matt Bellini1987-1990214998679314.4
68Michael Alisa2008, 2011-2014175811357764.4
69Scott Farmer1954-195610112254414.4
70Mark Terranova1973-197794454404144.4
71Jeff Blanc1973-19766252,7661032,6634.3
72Hema Heimuli1992-19953291,521951,4264.3
73Josh Quezada2010-2011185843408034.3
74Kalani Sitake1994, 1997-200086400273734.3
75Ron Jacobson1956, 1959-19606618992834.3
76Fahu Tahi1999, 2003-20053261,432741,3584.2
77Chris Reading1968-19709540383954.2
78Dick Felt1952-1954913794.2
79Ula Tolutau20177230853034.2
80Scott Charlton1988-199153243232204.2
81Mark Atuaia1991, 1994-19963011,309621,2474.1
82Perry Rodrigue1966-196797421233984.1
83Don James1953-1954753064.1
84Bryan Kariya2008-20112781,141401,1014
85Steve Young1981-19832691,6015171,0844
86Roger Gourley1975-1977145613325814
87Dave Lowry1974-1976137587355524
88Todd Christensen1974-19772701,089231,0663.9
89Raynor Pearce1955-1957180171187013.9
90Wally Hawkins1965-1968134533155183.9
91Will Snowden1997-200069286162703.9
92Virgil Carter1964-19663231,1142771,2253.8
93Kip Jackson1968-19703121,232541,1803.8
94Riley Nelson2009-20122261,1512938583.8
95Manase Tonga2005-2007, 2009178716386783.8
96Steve Ogden1964-196610425463933.8
97John Malarsie1961-1963893263.7
98Ned Stearns1996, 1999-200155222192033.7
99Charlie Ah You1972-1975213821557663.6
100Dave Swanson1965, 1968-196916661276053.6
101Tom Ripee1967-1968135494104843.6
102Tom Stolworthy1960622253.6
103Doran Merkley1961-19632237893.5
104Keith Hubbs1957-19591384853.5
105Randy Litchfield1973, 1976623231082153.5
106Dalton Overstreet1954-1955521823.5
107Dave Coon1970-19732491,0151308393.4
108Brandon Doman1998-20011859563306263.4
109Mike O’Brien1969, 1985-1988121440294113.4
110Phil Oyler1953-19551183983.4
111Dan Taylor1960, 1972-197368268362323.4
112Eddie Nichols1969-197011638563793.3
113Kent Oborn1964-196675153132473.3
114Dave McLaren1954-1955581923.3
115Joe McGinn1957-1959541653.1
116Burt Bullock1956-19597494102233
117Terry Sanford1967-19681045562533032.9
118Zach Wilson2018753791582212.9
119Bruce Samples1960-1961581702.9
120Bill Nelson1961-19631183272.8
121Dion Frazier1960-1961, 19631102922.7
122Bill Wright1960-1962972642.7
123Gary Dunn1958-1959832262.7
124Bud Belnap1958-19601072802.6
125Dave Terry1970-19731646192343852.3
126Carroll Johnston1955-19577182431462.1
127Doug Wardell1962-1964901842
128Christian Stewart2013-2014833211631581.9
129Bob Jensen1985-19871366183912271.7
130Brian Gunderson1970-1972692271121151.7
131Max Hall2007-20091896244202041.1
132Jim McMahon1977-1978, 1980-19812659357481870.7
133Rick Jones1968-1970147518426920.6
134John Beck2003-2006267735696390.1
135Marc Wilson1975-1979246724759-35-0.1
136Bill August1971-197299256278-22-0.2
137Charlie Peterson1995, 1999-200160190201-11-0.2
138Marc Lyons1966-1969169526571-45-0.3
139Robbie Bosco1982-1985162478579-101-0.6
140Steve Lindsley1984-1986100301392-91-0.9
141Tanner Mangum2015-2018119280400-120-1
142Steve Sarkisian1995-1996164352563-211-1.3
143Sean Covey1986-1989109231375-144-1.3
144Ty Detmer1988-19912657391,105-366-1.4
145Kevin Feterik1996-1999248531873-342-1.4
146Matt Berry2002-200592195333-138-1.5
147Gary Sheide1973-1974102192364-172-1.7
148Bret Engemann1999-2000, 200262119243-124-2
149Gifford Nielsen1974-1977163281723-442-2.7
150John Walsh1991-1994179162816-654-3.7


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.

Subscribe to ESPN960's News!

Get the latest cougar news, contests and flyaways, and more straight to your inbox with our weekly emails.


* indicates required
To Top