Where Leddie Brown ranks among the best running backs in WVU history

Gold and Blue Nation

Feature back eclipsed 1,000 yards rushing for second season in a row

RB Leddie Brown finds his way to the end zone against Iowa State (Photo: Jamie Green)

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Leddie Brown became just the eighth running back in WVU football history to eclipse 1,000 yards twice in a career on Saturday night.

He did so as he rushed for 156 yards and a touchdown in the Mountaineers’ win in the regular season finale over Kansas.

Brown will likely play his final game in a WVU uniform when West Virginia plays in its bowl game this postseason.

The career that he’s put together, especially since taking over the starting job in 2020, puts him among the best backs in WVU history.

1,000 yards … Twice

The senior tailback joined an elite group of WVU rushers by amassing 1,000 rushing yards for the season second in a row.

“Eight since 1891. That’s pretty good,” head coach Neal Brown said of the accomplishment.

Here’s the list of WVU players to rush for 1,000 yards in two different seasons: Avon Cobourne, Justin Crawford, Noel Devine, Artie Owens, Steve Slaton, Pat White and Amos Zereoue.

Brown joins that list with 1,065 rushing yards (and counting) this year.

All but one of the seven players to previously accomplish that feat are honored in the WVU Sports Hall of Fame.

Brown will leave WVU as one of just 25 players in program history to collect 2,600 or more total yards. He currently sits at 3,492. Brown has rushed for more than 2,800 yards and has just over 600 receiving yards for his career.

2021 season in review

With his performance Saturday, Leddie Brown has had the 21st most-prolific rushing season in program history. He can improve on that in the bowl game.

If Leddie Brown rushes for exactly 100 yards in the bowl game, he will have run for the 14th-most yards in a single season in program history.

The Philadelphia native has also rushed for 13 touchdowns this year. That puts him into a tie for the 10th-most rushing touchdowns in a season. He would tie Whit’s 2007 output with one more rushing score.

If he scores two more touchdowns on the ground, he would tie the great Ira Errett Rodgers for eighth-most in a single season.

This is all possible thanks to Brown’s durability. His 223 rushes so far this year are the 15th-most in a single season, and he’ll likely climb inside the top 10 in that category during the bowl game.

Brown ran for more than 100 yards in five games this year. Four of those performances came in the final six games of the regular season. He also ran for a season-best 161 yards against Virginia Tech in the third game of the year.

100-yard performances

Speaking of going over the century mark, Leddie Brown has rushed for 100 or more yards twelve times in his collegiate career. That’s as many as Rodgers and Major Harris combined.

His twelve 100-yard rushing performances are the seventh-most in program history, and he’s one away from tying Owens for sixth on that all-time list.

Not only that, but if he goes over 100 yards on the ground in the bowl game, it will mark the first time in his career that he’s done so in three-straight games.

Top 8 all-time

Leddie Brown will likely end his career in sixth place on WVU’s all-time rushing yards list.

He has amassed 2,888 rushing yards so far in his career, with the bowl game still to come. That puts his career total above former Mountaineer standouts like Owens, Quincy Wilson and Wendell Smallwood.

He is one of just nine players in WVU history to rush for more than 2,500 yards in his career, as well as one of just six to rush for at least 2,800. He will leave Morgantown having rushed for more yards than at least 14 WVU Sports Hall of Famers.

The fourth-year back has also recorded 27 rushing touchdowns in his collegiate career. That’s seven more than WVU Sports Hall of Famer Fred Wyant (1952-55) and just two fewer than Devine’s total.

Leddie Brown currently ranks eighth on that all-time list, but is just one rushing touchdown away from tying Paul H. Martin (1901-05) for seventh-most.

His 87-yard run against Kansas in 2020 is the fifth-longest in program history.

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