OXFORD — Ole Miss junior running back Kentrel Bullock is fully aware of the new faces his team added to its running back room this offseason.
The Columbia native knows that former TCU back Zach Evans was a coveted commodity as a five-star recruit and was again highly sought after in the transfer portal this winter. Bullock knows former SMU running back Ulysses Bentley IV has produced at high levels, with 1,559 career rushing yards to his name. And yes, Bullock knows true freshman Quinshon Judkins has been the talk of fall camp thus far.
But for Bullock, it’s just more fuel to the fire.
“It’s outside noise to me,” Bullock said. “But I do go in there and use that as my motivation to do what I do.”
The 5-foot-11, 200-pound Bullock has 19 carries in his college career for 89 yards. But at Columbia High School, Bullock more than showed his ability as a ball-carrier, racking up 4,386 yards and 60 touchdowns over his career. That included a nearly 2,000-yard campaign as a senior in 2019.
Bullock has received some first-team work in the first few weeks of camp, though not at the quantity that Evans, Bentley and Judkins have. Evans ran for 648 yards and five touchdowns with TCU last year on 7 yards per carry; he averaged 7.3 yards per carry in his two seasons with Horned Frogs. Bentley ran for a career-high 913 yards and 11 scores in 2020 and followed that up with 610 yards in 2021 on 6.4 yards per carry.
Head coach Lane Kiffin has never been shy about spreading carries around to multiple running backs. Last season, Jerrion Ealy, Snoop Conner and Henry Parrish Jr. each ran for 550 yards. Ole Miss has ranked 26th and 12th nationally in rushing yards per game the last two seasons.
Bullock isn’t sure exactly what his role will be this fall, but he is ready for whatever it winds up being.
“Honestly, I really don’t think about that type of stuff,” Bullock said. “I just know when it’s my turn, I’m going to go. That’s all I can really say.”
You can help your community
Quality, in-depth journalism is essential to a healthy community. The Dispatch brings you the most complete reporting and insightful commentary in the Golden Triangle, but we need your help to continue our efforts. Please consider subscribing to our website for only $2.30 per week to help support local journalism and our community.