The best two running backs in the current era of UB football were both guys who little interest from other FBS programs. James Starks came to UB not to be a running back but because Buffalo was the one school which offered him a shot at the QB role. Branden Oliver had no other offers but Buffalo.
Both are not stable on NFL rosters with Starks as the 1-2 guy in Green Bay and Oliver snatching the 3rd back role in San Diego despite being undrafted.
Anthone Taylor spent his junior and senior year totaling more than 2,000 yards on the ground and Jordan Johnson got 800 this past season, the first in which he got a decent workload.
Basically UB has had good backs for the past 9 years. The few years of off production were due to new young backs stepping up.
Next year the backfield looks like it could be Jordan Johnson and Johnathan Hawkins. Next up in the pipeline in Johnathan Lee.
Jonathan Lee is one of the prized recruits of this upcoming year's class. He received offers from Army, Navy, Akron and Air Force, and saw interest from ECU, Kentucky, and Penn State. A 5-11, 190 back, Lee fits the mold of running backs that Matt Simon and the coaching staff love to recruit. He is an all-purpose back that can muscle through the line, but has finesse around the edges.
He is rated as a 0.8410 composite on 247, ranking him the 67th running back in his class.
Watching his highlight tape, there is a good variety of long runs, eluding tacklers in space, and breaking multiple tackles through the middle. They also utilized Lee in the screen pass game with some success. Long story short, if you give him space, he will make the defense pay.
This past season the incoming running back was named dmvelite.com All Maryland and selected to play in Maryland's High School all star game, "The Crab Bowl"
Rivals #30 FB Player in Maryland is comping to UB, hopefully to continue a fine tradition of backs coming out of Buffalo.