Johnson is a hard man to catch in open space.
The SEC isn’t the only conference that can boast about the speed of its running backs.
In fact, the Big 12 has its fair share of speedsters.
For some, they’ve used their speed to already have some early success at their respective schools. For others, they’re still waiting for the opportunity to dazzle the opposition in open space.
All in all, these guys have the speed and know how to use it.
Join B/R as we take a closer look at seven of the fastest running backs in the Big 12.
Look out for Childs (left).
40 Time: 4.45
Running back Rennie Childs is a player the Cowboys are excited about.
In nine games, the Houston, Texas, native rushed for 189 yards and a touchdown on 41 carries. He also caught four passes for 49 yards.
Given he was the third option in the rushing attack, it was expected that Childs wouldn’t get too many touches. But he looked impressive with the limited carries he had.
Next season, with Jeremy Smith set to graduate, Childs’ load should get heavier.
With top-notch speed and great quickness, Oklahoma State has a running back with tons of potential just waiting in the wings.
Warmack's speed will make him standout in 2014.
40 Time: 4.41
After losing leading rusher John Hubert, the Wildcats are set to welcome in 2014 signee Dalvin Warmack.
A 3-star prospect out of Blue Springs, Mo., Warmack is a player head coach Bill Snyder has high hopes for.
Running a 4.41 40, Warmack certainly has the speed. But he also possesses great feet and a change of direction that will make him tough for opponents to slow down.
Warmack won’t break too many tackles, but he has the vision to find the right holes to cut through.
All in all, look for this speedster to make an immediate impact with Kansas State.
40 Time: 4.40
Red Raiders running back Quinton White saw limited action last season, only appearing in four games.
However, he made those appearances count.
The College Station, Texas, native rushed for 130 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries. That included several runs of 15 yards or more.
Consider White’s 10.0 yards per carry average as a sign of just how fast and explosive he can be in open space.
Although Texas Tech has a pretty crowded backfield, it would be a shame for the team to not get the ball to White. He has the potential to take it back to the house every time he touches the ball.
Let’s hope head coach Kliff Kingsbury works the 5’7”, 200-pounder into the rotation more next season.
Gray has the potential to become one of the most explosive players in the Big 12.
40 Time: 4.40
After two solid campaigns, expectations will be high for Longhorns running back Johnathan Gray during his junior season.
The Aledo, Texas, native has rushed for 1,481 yards and seven touchdowns on 308 carries in 22 games thus far. He’s also caught 26 passes for 212 yards and a score.
Although his productivity hasn’t been as stellar as many had hoped—he only averages 4.8 yards per carry—nobody can say Gray doesn’t have a motor.
When he’s at his peak, Gray is easily one of the fastest guys in the country, let alone the Big 12.
Combined with teammate Daje Johnson, Texas has quite the quick 1-2 punch in its lineup.
Wait till the Sooners let Ford (21) loose.
40 Time: 4.37
With all the hype surrounding the Sooners pickup of 5-star running back Joe Mixon in their 2014 class, everybody seems to be forgetting about the talented Keith Ford.
Ford—a 5-star running back in the 2013 class—is expected to be the front-runner to lead the team’s rushing attack next season. And although he may be known for his ability to take on defenders head on, the Cypress, Texas, native is also very fast.
He didn’t get a lot of opportunities to shine last season, only appearing in five games. But Ford still showed a lot of potential, rushing for 134 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries.
Watch out for this guy next season.
If Johnson (center) finds space, don't expect to catch him.
40 Time: 4.34
Just because he hasn’t seen much playing time, don’t underestimate the playmaking ability of Longhorns running back Daje Johnson.
In two seasons, the Pflugerville, Texas, native has rushed for 343 yards and two touchdowns on 51 carries. He’s also caught 43 passes for 465 yards, finding the end zone twice.
The fact that Johnson averages 6.7 yards per carry and 10.8 yards per catch is just a testament to his speed.
The soon-to-be junior displayed just how explosive he can be during Texas’ Week 1 victory against New Mexico State last season, accounting for 129 total yards and two touchdowns on just nine touches.
Expect to see a lot more of Johnson in 2014.
Stockton is fast.
40 Time: 4.33
A 3-star 2014 signee out of Cibolo, Texas, Justin Stockton went pretty much under the radar during the recruiting process. So much so, that he only received offers from a total of five schools.
But once he gets on the pitch, expect Stockton to have the entire Big 12’s attention.
At 5’9” and 165 pounds, he is definitely a lot smaller than most other running backs. But given his speed, that could work in Stockton’s favor.
Don’t expect to slow this guy down if he finds open space on the field.