Top USFL Running Backs 2023: Matt Colburn, Alex Collins, Darius Victor, and Others

On the verge of another USFL season, let's give our best assessment of the top USFL running backs across every team.

The USFL is returning for another season. We’ve scoured every team’s roster, the most recent draft, preseason reports, and other insights to assemble the following list of the top USFL running backs heading into the 2023 campaign.

Top USFL Running Backs in 2023

In our weekly USFL running back rankings, performances from game to game will be taken into account in addition to each player’s pedigree and overall career résumé. For now, we’re going off of what we know, which admittedly is part evidence-based and part conjecture because depth charts remain heavily in flux.

1) RB Reggie Corbin, Michigan Panthers

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Reggie Corbin earned membership to the 2022 USFL All-Offense team, thanks in part to the most efficient running (5.5 yards per carry) of any starting running back. Keep an eye on his receiving work. He only caught six passes last year but showed some promise in this area as a junior at Illinois. If he can become the most complete RB in the league, he could easily finish with back-to-back All-Offense honors.

2) RB Matt Colburn, Philadelphia Stars

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How good will the Stars’ offense be? These rankings assume “very good” or perhaps “great.” Matt Colburn is one of the keys. The 25-year-old bounced around the NFL, CFL, and XFL before landing in the USFL last year, where he racked up 600+ all-purpose yards while playing a complementary role for much of the season.

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His two lost fumbles are concerning. Some folks might drop him in the rankings because of it. But I think his upside outweighs his downside, and his three-down-back abilities should keep him in elite company as long as he can hold onto the ball.

3) RB Alex Collins, Memphis Showboats

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Yes, this is the same Alex Collins of NFL fame. Does he still have what it takes at 28 years old? We’re about the find out. The good news for him is that he seems to have the Showboats’ backfield all to himself — or at least, mostly to himself. He ran well enough for the Seahawks in 2021 to suggest he can make a sizable impact in the USFL.

4) RB Anthony Jones, New Orleans Breakers

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Admittedly, this might come back to bite me. I believe in the Breakers’ offense, and I also believe Anthony Jones will prove better than backfield teammates Ezra Gray and Wes Hills. Jones ran decently in a limited role last year. Assuming he can be no worse than the 1A back, he should garner 120+ touches, which should make him a top-five RB.

5) RB Mark Thompson, Houston Gamblers

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Mark Thompson anchored Houston’s backfield in 2022, racking up a respectable 463 yards on 114 carries. He also enjoyed four TDs — two on the ground and two through the air. If he remains an offensive centerpiece for the Gamblers, he’ll remain one of the most productive RBs.

6) Darius Victor, New Jersey Generals

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How did the New Jersey Generals finish 9-1 in last year’s regular season? For starters, they had the league’s best backfield duo. I’m giving Darius Victor the edge over Trey Williams, but only for vaguely sensible reasons. Victor is 29 years old. Williams is now 30. And although Williams technically started each game, Victor collected more carries.

7) Trey Williams, New Jersey Generals

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See above. Also, Williams netted 4.9 yards per carry last year — one of the USFL’s top marks. Simply put, this is a tough pair to slow down.

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One advantage for Williams is his usage in the passing game, where he caught 24 balls (compared to 15 for Victor). Of course, this could shift in Year 2. But for now, expect 10+ touches for Williams alongside a similarly utilized Victor.

8) Darnell Holland, Philadelphia Stars

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We didn’t see a lot of Darnell Holland last season, as he mostly backed up the elite Matt Colburn. But keep tabs on Holland’s usage in what could be a high-powered USFL offense because he ran brilliant last year: 5.3 yards per carry on 27 attempts.

This followed a similarly impressive 2021 stint in the Spring League (the precursor to the rebooted USFL), where Holland also averaged 5.3 yards per carry.

A strong 4.48 40-yard speed rounds out the picture. Holland might not be the starter, but he will factor into the Stars’ plans. I’d rather bet on Holland than a lukewarm starter in a subpar offense.

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