Brian Mann, Ferrum College’s decorated running back, suffered through an injury-plagued senior campaign, one in which he missed four games and half of a fifth, but despite his absences, he still finishes his career as one of the state’s best college rushers.
In fact, Mann ranks third on a list that was researched by Randolph-Macon College radio broadcaster Marty Wilson.
Mann, who surpassed the 1,400-yard mark as a freshman, the 1,500-yard mark as a sophomore and the 1,600-yard mark as a junior in becoming Ferrum’s career-leading rusher, has 5,013 yards to his credit and is one of only three running backs to surpass the 5,000-yard mark according to the list.
The top 10 is comprised of players representing NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (FCS), Division II and Division III schools.
Former Virginia Military Institute (VMI) star Thomas Haskins, who completed his career in 1996, ranks first with 5,349 yards, followed by 2019 contemporaries Tre Frederick (5,240) of Randolph-Macon and Mann.
Andre Braxton (4,989) of Virginia Union (4,989), who completed his career in 2000, is fourth and Greg Thomas (4,692) of The University of Virginia’s College at Wise, who finished in 1996, are fourth and fifth.
Ranked sixth through 10th are Alonzo Coleman (4,648) of Hampton University, Jonathan Grimes (4,541) of The College of William & Mary, Remon Smith (4,276) of Randolph-Macon, Warren Marshall (4,168) of James Madison University and Oliver Jordan (4,059) of Emory and Henry College.
Coleman, a former Halifax County prep star, finished his college career in 2006. Grimes finished in 2011, while Smith finished in 1987, Marshall finished in 1986 and Jordan finished in 1999.
Thomas Jones, the career-leading rusher for the University of Virginia, and Cyrus Lawrence, the career-leading rusher for Virginia Tech both rank outside the top 10 with more than 3,900 and 3,700 yards.
Virginia and Virginia Tech are the state’s top NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) programs.