Spring Position Preview: Running Backs

ORLANDO (UCFKnights.com) - Heading into next season, one of the position groups with the most returning talent and depth is running back.


The Knights return four of the five backs that saw action in 2018, a year that saw UCF set program records for rushing yards in a season (3,448), rushing yards per game (265.2), rushing touchdowns (43), and yards per rush (5.8).


Leading the way a season ago, and one of the top returning running backs in the nation heading into 2019, is Greg McCrae.


“Last year I learned in life there are a lot of ups and downs,” McCrae said. “It’s about how you respond to (the downs). We lost our last game of the season and we’ve responded. We’ve put our heads down and gone to work.”


McCrae rushed for 1,182 yards as a sophomore in 2018, the fourth most in a single-season by any Knight. He averaged 8.9 yards per carry, sprinting past the UCF record of 6.48 yards per rush, and finished with 10 touchdowns on the ground.


“Coming off of the year I had, I want to build on that,” McCrae said. “Not just me, I want the whole running back room to build on it and get better as a group.”


A First Team All-Conference selection in The American as a junior, Adrian Killins Jr. returns to the fold after totaling 715 yards on the ground and 377 yards through the air in 2018. The speedster out of Daytona Beach had eight total touchdowns last season.


Otis Anderson, who split time between the slot and the backfield as a sophomore, looks to build on the success in his first two seasons. Last season Anderson rushed 51 times for 275 yards, an average of 5.4 yards per carry. He scored four times on the ground and three through the air with 230 receiving yards.


Bentavious Thompson also adds depth to the backfield after rushing 29 times for 150 yards as a redshirt freshman in 2018.


The Knights’ key departure is senior Taj McGowan. McGowan had 470 yards on the ground and eight touchdowns in 2018.


2019 Returnees / 2018 Stats:

Otis Anderson (Jr.) / 51 rushes – 274 yds – 4 TDs…16 receptions – 230 yds – 3 TDs

Adrian Killins Jr. (Sr.) / 147 rushes – 715 yds – 4 TDs…19 receptions – 377 yds – 4 TDs

Greg McCrae (Jr.) / 133 rushes – 1,182 yds – 10 TDs…8 receptions – 116 yds – 1 TD

Bentavious Thompson (r-So.) / 29 rushes – 150 yds

Trillion Coles (r-Fr.)