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Donnel Pumphrey advances to 29th on all-time NCAA rushing list

Last week, we dared to project where Donnel Pumphrey would land if he rushed for 200 yards in his next game. Then he rushed for 220 against NIU.

California v San Diego State Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Ok, by now if you still aren't a Donnel Pumphrey believer, please allow me to baptize you in the holy gatorade for another minute or two. San Diego State's Pumphrey is the real deal, and sportscasters are scrambling to get up to speed on him and the trajectory by which he is rewriting the NCAA record book. He's beginning to fly by some of the greatest players ever.

As a brief recap, Pumphrey began this season ranked #74 on the all time NCAA rushing list. In his first two games of this season he has rushed for a whopping 379 yards including the 281-yard breakout performance against California. Last week we reported that after his performance he had moved to become the #39 all time rusher, passing former SDSU record holder and NFL Hall-of-Famer Marshall Faulk, and football great Bo Jackson.

During last week's posting we at the Mountain West Connection dared to project that, if Donnel Pumphrey were to rush for 200 yards in his next game, he would conceivably advance to 29th place on the all-time NCAA rushing list.

Lo and behold: against Northern Illinois he rushed for 220 yards for a career total 4871. And yes, that's 599 yards in his first three games.

He moved to 29th place, and he passed football greats Marcus Allen and Thurman Thomas.

With help from the Aztecs offensive line, Pumphrey made mincemeat out of the Huskies' defense- and in front of a home crowd no less. This caused the home team to become increasingly emotionally charged, leading to injuries, personal fouls and (wait for it) dozens upon dozens of penalty yards awarded to the Aztecs.

Looking forward, here is where Pumphrey will find himself after the next 200 yards. He stands to become the #17 all time rusher, and he stands to surpass the following greats:

Rank Player Yds From To School
17 Ken Simonton* 5044 1998 2001 Oregon State
18 Michael Hart* 5040 2004 2007 Michigan
19 Avon Cobourne* 5039 1999 2002 West Virginia
20 Darren Lewis* 5012 1987 1990 Texas A&M
21 Darren Sproles* 4979 2001 2004 Kansas State
22 Dontrell Moore* 4956 2002 2005 New Mexico
23 Trevor Cobb 4948 1989 1992 Rice
24 Michael Turner 4941 2000 2003 Northern Illinois
25 Ray Rice* 4926 2005 2007 Rutgers
26 Melvin Gordon* 4915 2011 2014 Wisconsin
27 Paul Palmer 4895 1983 1986 Temple
28 Lorenzo White* 4887 1984 1987 Michigan

Stay tuned for updates in the weeks to come on Donnel's progress.