No. 78 Ronney Jenkins – Running back – 1996, 1998
Ronney Jenkins, like so many other running backs probably was a lot better than the stat books will show, but because he played for BYU, a team that almost didn’t believe in running the ball during the late 1900’s, it is tough to know his full potential.
In fact, looking at the BYU rushing leaders during the Lavell years, eleven of the seasons where he was the head coach, BYU’s leading rusher had less than 600 yards which is ridiculously low for a team that often scored 50 points or more in a game. In the last 18 years since he left, there has only been three seasons where that has happened, and one of those years was when Taysom Hill and Jamaal Williams were splitting the rushes.
Ronney Jenkins was not only able to break to the 600 yard mark twice, he to this day holds one of the best single season rushing records in BYU history.
In 1996, Jenkins was the second string halfback, but it wasn’t like you may think. He was more of a one-two punch alongside Brian McKenzie and Jenkins was the second punch. The fact that he only played two seasons hurts his impact, but against Utah in 1996 he scored three touchdowns on 29 carries showing that not only was the he featured back, but he was the player who controlled that game going for 186 yards. The Cougars won that game by 20 points and the game would have been a lot more questionable if Jenkins didn’t have the game he had.
Jenkins rushed for 733 yards his first season and 1,307 yards his last season. He also added 24 touchdowns and averaged a career 5.38 yards per carry. Jenkins also played well as a receiver out of the backfield catching 46 passes for 501 yards and a 10.89 average, which is really high for an out of the backfield player. The only statistic that hurts him is the stat that is hurting so many other players this far down on the list and it is DNP, which Jenkins had two seasons which was because he struggled with the honor code and had to sit out the 1997 season and then was disciplined again following the 1998 season.
Memorable Moments C-
The 5.38 yards per carry is a really good average and I remember watching him and thinking that everytime he got the ball, there was a good chance the pile was going to keep moving forward. The 24 career touchdowns is impressive by itself, but the fact that it happened in only two seasons is even more remarkable. Unfortunately, this ranking is brought down heavily because of the honor code issues that Jenkins had with the Cougars. He sort of like Brandon Davies and the basketball team is often seen as a piece of “what could have been” had he stayed on the team.
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22 down, 78 to go! If you missed any of our other articles be sure to come back later as we bring you the recap of 79-89 and then the 89-100 which has already been published.