Very quietly, San Diego State has produced one of the productive running backs in FBS history. And, no, we’re not referring to the great Marshall Faulk.
Donnel Pumphrey, who earlier this season surpassed Faulk as the football program’s all-time leading rusher, ran for 220 yards in a win over Fresno State Friday night to give the senior 5,383 for his career. Pumphrey passed a total of time players on the NCAA’s all-time rushing list with that performance, including Georgia’s Herschel Walker, South Carolina’s George Rogers and Wisconsin’s Montee Ball.
At this point in time, Pumphrey is now 10th on the career rushing list for FBS players. He began the season 74th on that list.
Through six games, Pumphrey, the nation’s leading rusher, is averaging 185 yards per game. If he keeps up the current pace through the remainder of the regular season and a bowl game, he would pass TCU’s LaDainian Tomlinson (5,387), Texas’ Cedric Benson (5,540), Ohio State’s Archie Griffin (5,589), Miami of Ohio’s Travis Prentice (5,596), Memphis’ DeAngelo Williams (6,026), USC’s Charles White (6,245), Texas’ Ricky Williams (6,279) and Pittsburgh’s Tony Dorsett (6,526) for No. 2 all-time behind Wisconsin’s Ron Dayne (7,125).
In order to surpass Dayne, Pumphrey would need to average 249 yards in those seven games. Or, if the Aztecs were to play in the MWC championship game as well, he’d need to average nearly 218 per game.
And, yes, I’m fully aware that a handful of the players he’s passing only played three seasons collegiately. And that pre-2002 players don’t have their bowl numbers added for some inexplicable reason. That said, it doesn’t make his under-the-radar career any less impressive.