Sports

The Best Illinois Fighting Illini Running Backs of All Time 

Ranker College Football
973 votes 229 voters 2.3k views 30 items

List Rules Vote based on college careers only.

College football fans, we’re ranking the best Illinois Fighting Illini running backs of all time. It includes every starting running back throughout Illinois Fighting Illini history, including current running backs and past ones. This Illinois football roster has famous All-Americans, Illinois running backs in the NFL, and Fighting Illini players in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Featuring some of the greatest college running backs of all time, the best Illinois RBs include Robert Holcombe, Jim Grabowski, Mikel Leshoure, and Pierre Thomas.

Who are the greatest running backs in Illinois Fighting Illini history? Add your favorites if they’re not all on this list of University of Illinois football players who have played as running back. 

list ordered by
1
Rashard Mendenhall is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Illinois Fighting Illini Running Backs of All Time
Rashard Mendenhall

2005 - 2007

2
Antoineo Harris is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Illinois Fighting Illini Running Backs of All Time
Antoineo Harris

1999 - 2002

3
Pierre Thomas is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Illinois Fighting Illini Running Backs of All Time

2003 - 2006

4
Howard Griffith is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Illinois Fighting Illini Running Backs of All Time

1987 - 1990

5
Robert Holcombe is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Illinois Fighting Illini Running Backs of All Time
Robert Holcombe

1994 - 1997

6
Jim Grabowski is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Illinois Fighting Illini Running Backs of All Time
Jim Grabowski

1963 - 1965

7
Rocky Harvey is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Illinois Fighting Illini Running Backs of All Time
Rocky Harvey

1998 - 2001

8
Mikel Leshoure is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Illinois Fighting Illini Running Backs of All Time

2008 - 2010

9
Reggie Corbin is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Illinois Fighting Illini Running Backs of All Time
Reggie Corbin

2015 - 2018

10
Ty Douthard is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Illinois Fighting Illini Running Backs of All Time
Ty Douthard

1993 - 1996

11
Josh Ferguson is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Illinois Fighting Illini Running Backs of All Time
Josh Ferguson

2011 - 2015

12
Chubby Phillips is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Illinois Fighting Illini Running Backs of All Time
Chubby Phillips

1973 - 1976

13
Thomas Rooks is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Illinois Fighting Illini Running Backs of All Time
Thomas Rooks

1982 - 1985

14
Bill Brown is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Illinois Fighting Illini Running Backs of All Time

1958 - 1960

15
Calvin Thomas is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Illinois Fighting Illini Running Backs of All Time

1978 - 1981

16
E.B. Halsey is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Illinois Fighting Illini Running Backs of All Time
E.B. Halsey

2003 - 2006

17
Lonnie Perrin is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Illinois Fighting Illini Running Backs of All Time
Lonnie Perrin

1972 - 1975

18
Keith Jones is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Illinois Fighting Illini Running Backs of All Time

1985 - 1988

19
Daniel Dufrene is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Illinois Fighting Illini Running Backs of All Time
Daniel Dufrene

2007 - 2009

20
Mike Holmes is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Illinois Fighting Illini Running Backs of All Time
Mike Holmes

1979 - 1980

21
Donovonn Young is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Illinois Fighting Illini Running Backs of All Time
Donovonn Young

2011 - 2014

22
James Coleman is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Illinois Fighting Illini Running Backs of All Time
James Coleman

1975 - 1977

23
Jason Ford is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Illinois Fighting Illini Running Backs of All Time
Jason Ford

2008 - 2011

24
Steve Havard is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Illinois Fighting Illini Running Backs of All Time
Steve Havard

1995 - 1999

25
Rich Johnson is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Illinois Fighting Illini Running Backs of All Time
Rich Johnson

1966 - 1968