10 greatest running backs in Penn State football history

Penn State has a remarkable history of dominant running backs, but these 10 stood out amongst the rest in program history. With D.J. Dozier and Ki-Jana Carter on the College Football Hall of Fame ballot, where do those legends rank?
Penn State Nittany Lions running back Saquon Barkley (26)
Penn State Nittany Lions running back Saquon Barkley (26) / Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
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. Ki-Jana Carter. 3. . 491. Ki-Jana Carter. . Ki-Jana Carter. 1992-94. player

Ki-Jana Carter only ranks 10th on the all-time Penn State rushing yards list and is 13th in all-purpose yards, but his 1994 season was so legendary that he jumps right up to the top of this list.

Carter ran for 1,026 yards in 1993, but the next year, he led Penn State to a 12-0 record and a Rose Bowl win by averaging 7.8 yards per carry, racking up 1,539 yards and 23 touchdowns on the ground. Carter was only beaten out by Colorado’s Rashaan Salaam, who ran for over 2,000 yards in 1994, for the Heisman Trophy. 

Carter’s greatest moment came in that Rose Bowl against Oregon, taking a pitch on the first play of the game 83 yards for a touchdown. The first-team All-American finished the contest with 156 yards and three touchdowns on 21 carries in a 38-20 Penn State victory. 

While he didn’t win the Heisman, the NFL thought so highly of Carter that he was drafted with the No. 1 overall pick by the Cincinnati Bengals in 1995, but injuries derailed his NFL career.