Top 5 Countdown: Running Backs To Focus On This Fall

To help you count down the days until football season arrives, the 5NEWS Sports crew has put together 11 different countdowns looking at players, coaches and games to be looking forward to this fall.

On Wednesday we took a look at the workhorses in the backfield that could be headed for (more) thousand yard seasons as we looked at the running backs.

#5: Andrew Robertson, Booneville
He might be number five on the list but he averaged more than double that number last season as he picked up 10.5 yards per rush for the Bearcats. Robertson finished with a thousand yards and 13 touchdowns as a junior and now as the focal back in the Booneville power running game, another big season is coming for Robertson.

#4: Easton Francis, Poteau
If it seems like Francis has been in the Pirates backfield for a decade, you aren't alone but he's finally a senior and defenses in the 4A-4 are quite thankful. Over the past two seasons, Francis has run for 2,700 yards and 42 touchdowns while Poteau has been a state title contender. Greg Werner is back as head coach but the game plan won't change: give the ball to Francis.

#3: Hunter Wilkinson, Greenwood
Quarterbacks might get most of the attention for the Bulldogs but the play of Wilkinson as a sophomore in 2018 can't be ignored. He combined for more than 1,100 yards of total offense while finding the end zone 22 times. A full season as the go-to back in the high octane offense, and the fact he's just a junior, Wilkinson could be in for a big time career before it's all over.

#2: Jay Burns, Har-Ber
You can't judge a season off of two games but if you did, Burns would have been the player of the year in the 7A-West. In games against Springdale and Rogers, the Wildcats' back rushed for 679 yards and six touchdowns. A full season of production anywhere near that level and Burns and Har-Ber will be tough to slow down.

#1: Preston Crawford, Bentonville
He might not be the most flashy back you watch on Friday nights but Crawford gets the job done for the Tigers. After rushing for just less than a thousand yards and 11 touchdowns as a junior, big things are expected in 2019. If Bentonville can successfully replace four starters on the offensive line, Crawford should have no issue breaking the 1,000 yard mark.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.