Indiana Football: Five Best Running Backs in School History

Indiana has had its fair share of running backs. These are the five best.

Anthony Thompson
Anthony Thompson / Jonathan Daniel/GettyImages
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Indiana University's throwback helmet sits iin an endzone before the start of the Indiana versus
Indiana University's throwback helmet sits iin an endzone before the start of the Indiana versus / Rich Janzaruk/Herald-Times / USA TODAY

5. Mike Harkrader

When Ohio native Mike Harkrader's career at Indiana was over, he was second all-time in rushing yards. Harkrader was the first freshman in Big Ten history to gain over 1,000 yards in 1976. Also, he led the Hoosiers in rushing in 1979, one of Indiana's finest seasons.

Before the 1979 season, Indiana had not been to a bowl game since they lost the 1967. They also hadn't had a winning season since 1968. The Hoosiers and a young, virtually unknown coach named Lee Corso won eight games, defeating the BYU Cougars in the Holiday Bowl. The Hoosiers finished the season ranked 19th. It would be another ten seasons before they finished a season ranked.

Harkrader, along with Lonnie Johnson, combined for over 1,300 yards and 12 touchdowns. Harkrader led the team in rushing, while Johnson led the team in rushing touchdowns. In addition, he was tied for second on the team in receptions with 17.

Harkrader finished his career at Indiana with 3,186 rushing yards, 273 receiving yards, and 18 total touchdowns. He was inducted into the Fenwick (Ohio) High School Hall of Fame in 1995 and the Butler County Sports Hall of Fame in 1992.