The Grove Report is breaking down each position group on the Ole Miss football team leading up to spring drills for the Rebels, and this series continues with a look at the running back room. You can read the preview of the quarterback situation here.
Ole Miss is losing Jerrion Ealy and Snoop Conner to the NFL Draft, and Henry Parrish Jr. departed Oxford in the transfer portal, now suiting up for the Hurricanes of Miami. Throw in quarterback Matt Corral's departure for the NFL as well, and that's 2,582 rushing yards and 32 touchdowns that will have to be replaced in 2022.
That's the bad news for Rebel fans. The good news? Lane Kiffin and staff have tried to reload instead of rebuild.
TCU's Zach Evans chose the Rebels early in the transfer portal cycle (sometimes easy to forget given the quarterback drama that ensued afterwards), and Quinshon Judkins was a high school signee in this installment of the Ole Miss recruiting class. The Rebels also return Columbia, Miss., native Kentrel Bullock who, despite limited touches behind the aforementioned backs, has shown flashes of success and athleticism.
Here's what the primary faces in the running back room will look like this spring.
Kentrel Bullock signed in Ole Miss' 2020 recruiting class, and although he hasn't seen much action behind Ealy, Conner and Parrish, he will likely see more playing time now in their collective absence.
Bullock had a net yardage of 78 in 2021 and no touchdowns, but he was talented enough in high school to garner some attention, and former Rebel RB coach Kevin Smith helped seal the deal.
Bullock may not be the biggest name in the running back room this season, but if Ole Miss hopes to replicate its three-headed backfield in 2022, he will likely see some touches.
Zach Evans and Quinshon Judkins. You should get used to those names if you haven't already.
Evans had quite the recruitment in high school, but he eventually settled in Fort Worth playing for TCU last season before entering the portal and heading to Oxford after an injury. Now, his talent will be on display under Lane Kiffin and Charlie Weis Jr. at Ole Miss.
Prior to his season-ending injury, Evans put up 648 rushing yards and five touchdowns for TCU.
He will be joined by high school newcomer Quinshon Judkins who put on a show in his senior year of prep ball in Alabama. SI All-American's John Garcia Jr. has covered Judkins' final days of high school, and he had this to say about the talented back:
Sometimes a player stands out and it’s just obvious. The way he moves, the way he takes to coaching instructions, his energy, the way he moves during a tough drill; all of those aspects of competition are a good representation of running back Quinshon Judkins.
In his high school career at Pike Road (Montgomery, Ala.), Judkins racked up 4,220 rushing yards and 71 total touchdowns while averaging 100 YPG. Not bad.
All-in-all, replacing three talented running backs won't be easy for Lane Kiffin, but if these three can live up to the hype, it may not be that insurmountable of a task, and spring drills will be our first look at what some of these names bring to the table.
Courtesy of Quinshon Judkins
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John Macon Gillespie is the publisher of The Grove Report and has been on the Ole Miss beat for five years.


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