Jaylan Knighton ACC eighth most productive returning running back

Nov 20, 2021; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 20, 2021; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports /

Jaylan Knighton is the eighth-most productive returning running back in the ACC according to 247Sports.Com. Knighton became the first-team Miami RB about halfway through the 2021 season after missing the first four games. Knighton had 561 yards rushing, eight touchdowns and 20 receptions for 280 yards and three TDs.

Jaylan Knighton was seventh in the ACC among RBs last season with seven plays from scrimmage of 30 yards or more. The accomplishment is notable for Knighton because he played at least four fewer games than the six players in front of him. Miami will need Knighton to continue to be an explosive player again in 2022.

Knighton will not have to carry as much of the load at RB as he did in 2021. Miami returns rising sophomores Cody Brown and Thad Franklin. Don Chaney Jr. who signed with Knighton in 2020 is back from a season-ending knee injury. Miami signed TreVonte Citizen in the 2022 class and added Mississippi transfer, Henry Parrish.

Parrish could be the biggest challenger to Knighton as Chaney recovers from his injury. In two seasons at Mississippi, Knighton ran for 816 yards and five TDs and added 28 receptions for 232 yards without a TD. Franklin was strong at the end of last season finishing with 172 yards and one TD. Knighton was profiled by 247.

"8. JAYLAN KNIGHTON, MIAMIIn his second season with the Hurricanes…led Miami in rushing. Knighton carried 145 times for 561 yards (3.9 average) and scored eight touchdowns. Like Mitchell at Louisville, Knighton will have competition to defend that title in 2022.Miami added transfer running back Henry Parrish from Ole Miss, who totaled 553 yards and three touchdowns on the ground while averaging 5.3 yards per carry. The Hurricanes lost their second-leading rusher, Cam’Ron Harris, to the 2022 NFL Draft.”"

The versatility that Knighton has will be an asset for new Miami offensive coordinator Josh Gattis and RB coach Kevin Smith. Parrish followed Smith from Mississippi to Miami. The Hurricanes will have one of its deepest RB corps in many years. Knighton will likely enter spring practice as the first-team RB.

Next. Miami projected spring running back depth chart. dark

The RB depth Miami has in 2022 will be important for Knighton. At 5’10, 190 pounds there have been doubts by some analysts. Brown, Chaney and Franklin are bigger RBs. Parrish will be a versatile RB as a receiver and runner. Chaney should help Miami at RB later in the 2022 season.