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10 Most Important Returning Jayhawks for 2022: No. 6

Devin Neal

Kansas v Texas Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

Devin Neal

Position: Running Back

Height: 5-foot-11

Weight: 210

Hometown: Lawrence, KS

High School: Lawrence High School

247Sports Composite High School ranking: 3-star (2021)

- No. 414 nationally

- No. 27 running back

- No. 1 in the state of Kansas


Devin was a high composite 3-star, and 4-star by 247Sports, running back, from Lawrence High School in Lawrence, KS, and the number 1 high school recruit in the state of Kansas. During his senior year, he rushed for over 1,300 yards and 20 touchdowns. During his freshman season at KU, he ran for 707 yards and 8 touchdowns.

Why 6?

From the 247Sports evaluation of Devin while in high school:

Impressive build at running back. Muscled up and athletic with prototype size. Easy accelerator. Good contact balance with the ability to run through arm tackles. Plays with good pad level in traffic. Smooth pass catcher out of the backfield. Efficient runner. Elusive but decisive and direct. Plus burst and long speed. Patient and probing on slow-developing runs.

The evaluation describes what KU needs from its running backs. With the wide zone running attack, the ability of a back to read where a hole is developing and burst into and through it is what the running backs are relied on to do when they have the ball.

While KU has made really nice additions to the running back room this cycle with Ky Thomas and Sevion Morrison, and the return of ​​Daniel Hinshaw, Jr from injury, Devin is the one with the talent and experience in the current system to lead and elevate the offense better than any running back on the roster. With more depth in the group, Devin will be pushed by his teammates unlike he has been at any time in his past. The competition should lead to a much-improved KU running attack behind a veteran offensive line. The running back position is probably the most talented position group on the team and Devin Neal is the leader of the group.

The List:

#7: Jason Bean

#8: Malcolm Lee

#9: Caleb Sampson

#10: Lawrence Arnold