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AFL/NFL 1,000 Yard Rushers State by State Rank and Washington, DC and Non-U.S. born 1,000 Yard Rushers: Installment 4

Updated on November 27, 2014
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Larry Rankin analyzes sports, with an especially strong penchant for statistical breakdowns.

The perfect gift for any sports nut

Installment 4 of this database gives detailed lists of 1,000 yard rushers born in states ranking between 21-34 on the per capita scale, as well as detailed lists of non-U.S. born and Washington, DC born 1,000 yard rushers.

For those of you more interested in an overview of state by state per capita rankings and overall production ranking for all states with 1,000 yard rushers, a link to an overview in installment 1 can be found in the text box to your right.

For those of you interested in other installments for 1,000 yard rushers, links can also be found in the text box to your right and at the end of this installment.

For those of you interested in other state by state rankings, links can be found by clicking on the Larry Rankin profile in the top right-hand corner of this page or via links at the bottom of this page.

References:

The following database was compiled using NFL.com, Profootballreference.com, and Wikipedia for reference.

If you find any information to be inaccurate in any way, not only would the author not mind your comments, he would appreciate them.

Source

21. California

Per Capita Score: 128

1,000 Yard Rushing Performances: 49

California has more people than any state in the U.S., and though they rank high on most overall rankings done so far, on a per capita scale they haven’t fared as well.

Among the many great backs to come out of California: O.J. Simpson, Marcus Allen, Ricky Williams, and Terrell Davis.

Obscure Stats: Most sports fans know that O.J. Simpson was the first back to have 2,000 yards in a season, but most people don’t realize that his 2,003 yards in 1973 is still arguably the best single season rushing performance. Yes, his mark has been surpassed a number of times, but 1973 was a 14 game season, and his 143 yards a game is still the high mark.

Obscure Stats: Marcus Allen finished his career with over 12,000 yards, a truly elite accomplishment. He is one of the best total backs to ever play the game: good at running, receiving, and scoring, but he also has the dubious distinction of being the only career 10,000 yard rusher to have only 3 thousand yard seasons.

There are a number of reasons for this: conflicts with Raiders owner Al Davis, splitting his time both running and catching the ball, injuries, and a very long and consistently solid career.

California 1,000 Yard Rushing Performances

Year/Team
Name
Pos
Yds
Car
Avg
TD
Lg
1998 Den Broncos
Terrell Davis
RB
2,008
392
5.1
21
70
1973 Buf Bills
O.J. Simpson
RB
2,003
332
6.0
12
80
2002 Mia Dolphins
Ricky Williams
RB
1,853
383
4.8
16
63
1998 Atl Falcons
Jamal Anderson
RB
1,846
410
4.5
14
48
1975 Buf Bills
O.J. Simpson
RB
1,817
329
5.5
16
88
1985 LA Raiders
Marcus Allen
RB
1,759
380
4.6
11
61
1997 Den Broncos
Terrell Davis
RB
1,750
369
4.7
15
50
2010 Hou Texans
Arian Foster
RB
1,616
327
4.9
16
74
2011 Jax Jaguars
Maurice Jones-Drew
RB
1,606
343
4.7
8
56
2012 Sea Seahawks
Marshawn Lynch
RB
1,590
315
5.0
11
77
1996 Den Broncos
Terrell Davis
RB
1,538
345
4.5
13
71
1976 Buf Bills
O.J. Simpson
RB
1,503
290
5.2
8
75
2012 TB Bucs
Doug Martin
RB
1,454
319
4.6
11
70
2012 Hou Texans
Arian Foster
RB
1,424
351
4.1
15
46
2009 Jax Jaguars
Maurice Jones-Drew
RB
1,391
312
4.5
15
80
1987 LA Rams
Charles White
RB
1,374
324
4.2
11
58
2003 Mia Dolphins
Ricky Williams
RB
1,372
392
3.5
9
45
2010 Jax Jaguars
Maurice Jones-Drew
RB
1,324
299
4.4
5
37
2013 Sea Seahawks
Marshawn Lynch
RB
1,257
301
4.2
12
43
2013 SD Chargers
Ryan Mathews
RB
1,255
285
4.4
6
51
1972 Buf Bills
O.J. Simpson
RB
1,251
292
4.3
6
94
2001 NO Saints
Ricky Williams
RB
1,245
313
4.0
6
46
2011 Hou Texans
Arian Foster
RB
1,224
278
4.4
10
43
2011 Sea Seahawks
Marshawn Lynch
RB
1,204
285
4.2
12
47
1984 LA Raiders
Marcus Allen
RB
1,168
275
4.2
13
52
1974 Buf Bills
O.J. Simpson
RB
1,125
270
4.2
3
41
2009 Mia Dolphins
Ricky Williams
RB
1,121
241
4.7
11
68
1995 Den Broncos
Terrell Davis
RB
1,117
237
4.7
7
60
1996 Mia Dolphins
Karim Abdul-Jabbar
RB
1,116
307
3.6
11
29
2007 Buf Bills
Marshawn Lynch
RB
1,115
280
4.0
7
56
2011 SD Chargers
Ryan Mathews
RB
1,091
222
4.9
6
39
1993 NE Patriots
Leornard Russell
RB
1,088
300
3.6
7
21
1967 KC Chiefs
Mike Garrett
RB
1,087
236
4.6
9
58
2011 Mia Dolphins
Reggie Bush
RB
1,086
216
5.0
6
76
1995 Chi Bears
Rashaan Salaam
RB
1,074
296
3.6
10
42
1988 Cin Bengals
Ickey Woods
FB
1,066
203
5.3
15
56
1996 Atl Falcons
Jamal Anderson
RB
1,055
232
4.5
5
32
1978 KC Chiefs
Tony Reed
RB
1,053
206
5.1
5
62
1991 Den Broncos
Gaston Green
RB
1,037
261
4.0
4
63
2008 Buf Bills
Marshawn Lynch
RB
1,036
250
4.1
8
50
1972 SD Chargers
Mike Garrett
RB
1,031
272
3.8
6
41
2008 NY Giants
Derrick Ward
RB
1,025
182
5.6
2
51
2000 Atl Falcons
Jamal Anderson
RB
1,024
282
3.6
6
42
1977 NE Patriots
Sam Cunningham
FB
1,015
270
3.8
4
31
1983 LA Raiders
Marcus Allen
RB
1,014
266
3.8
9
19
2007 Oak Raiders
Justin Fargas
RB
1,009
222
4.5
4
48
2013 Det Lions
Reggie Bush
RB
1,006
223
4.5
4
39
1997 Atl Falcons
Jamal Anderson
RB
1,002
290
3.5
7
39
2000 NO Saints
Ricky Williams
RB
1,000
248
4.0
8
26
Source

22. Ohio

Per Capita Score: 121

1,000 Yard Rushing Performances: 14

Hall of Famer Larry Csonka is probably the most notable name on Ohio’s list. He broke the 1,000 yard mark 3 times in the early 70s for the Dolphins, and he did it as a true fullback. He was also a ferocious blocker whose most notable trait was his toughness.

Robert Smith also had a notable career. Though he didn’t carry the ball that often, he was an elusive back who often averaged over 5 yards a carry.

Ohio 1,000 Yard Rushing Performances

Year/Team
Name
Pos
Yds
Car
Avg
TD
Lg
2000 Min Vikings
Robert Smith
RB
1,521
295
5.2
7
72
1997 Min Vikings
Robert Smith
RB
1,266
232
5.5
6
78
1988 LA Rams
Greg Bell
RB
1,212
288
4.2
16
44
1998 Min Vikings
Robert Smith
RB
1,187
249
4.8
6
74
1989 LA Rams
Greg Bell
RB
1,137
272
4.2
15
47
1972 Mia Dolphins
Larry Csonka
FB
1,117
213
5.2
6
45
1984 Buf Bills
Greg Bell
RB
1,100
262
4.2
7
85
1975 Stl Cardinals
Jim Otis
FB
1,076
269
4.0
5
30
1971 Mia Dolphins
Larry Csonka
FB
1,051
195
5.4
7
28
2011 Ari Cardinals
Beanie Wells
RB
1,047
245
4.3
10
71
1997 Chi Bears
Raymont Harris
RB
1,033
275
3.8
10
68
1999 Min Vikings
Robert Smith
RB
1,015
221
4.6
2
70
1973 Mia Dolphins
Larry Csonka
FB
1,003
219
4.6
5
25
1975 Atl Falcons
Dave Hampton
FB
1,002
250
4.0
5
22
Source

23. Illinois

Per Capita Score: 116

1,000 Yard Rushing Performances: 15

Michael Turner of the Falcons was a formidable force for a few years in the NFL, and Mike Pruitt was a quality back for the Browns.

Illinois 1,000 Yard Rushing Performances

Year/Team
Name
Pos
Yds
Car
Avg
TD
Lg
2008 Atl Falcons
Michael Turner
RB
1,699
376
4.5
17
70
1974 Den Broncos
Otis Armstrong
RB
1,407
263
5.3
9
43
2010 Atl Falcons
Michael Turner
RB
1,371
334
4.1
12
55
2011 Atl Falcons
Michael Turner
RB
1,340
301
4.5
11
81
1979 Cle Browns
Mike Pruitt
FB
1,294
264
4.9
9
77
2010 Pitt Steelers
Rashard Mendenhall
RB
1,273
324
3.9
13
50
2004 Den Broncos
Reuben Droughns
RB
1,240
275
4.5
6
51
2005 Cle Browns
Reuben Droughns
RB
1,232
309
4.0
2
75
1983 Cle Browns
Mike Pruitt
RB
1,184
293
4.0
10
27
2009 Pit Steelers
Rashard Mendenhall
RB
1,108
242
4.6
7
60
1981 Cle Browns
Mike Pruitt
FB
1,103
247
4.5
7
21
2004 Ten Titans
Chris Brown
RB
1,067
220
4.9
6
52
1949 GB Packers
Tony Canadeo
RB
1,052
208
5.1
4
54
1980 Cle Browns
Mike Pruitt
FB
1,034
249
4.2
6
56
1976 Den Broncos
Otis Armstrong
RB
1,008
247
4.1
5
31
Source

24. Washington

Per Capita Score: 115

1,000 Yard Rushing Performances: 8

Corey Dillon is another one of those backs that people seem to forget about for some reason. What did he do in his career? He just rushed for over 11,000 yards and 82 touchdowns.

Washington 1,000 Yard Rushing Performances

Year/Team
Name
Pos
Yds
Car
Avg
TD
Lg
2004 NE Patriots
Corey Dillon
RB
1,635
345
4.7
12
44
2000 Cin Bengals
Corey Dillon
RB
1,435
315
4.6
7
80
2001 Cin Bengals
Corey Dillon
RB
1,315
340
3.9
10
96
2002 Cin Bengals
Corey Dillon
RB
1,311
314
4.2
7
67
1999 Cin Bengals
Corey Dillon
RB
1,200
263
4.6
5
50
2009 Car Panthers
Jonathan Stewart
RB
1,133
221
5.1
10
67
1998 Cin Bengals
Corey Dillon
RB
1,130
262
4.3
4
66
1997 Cin Bengals
Corey Dillon
RB
1,129
233
4.8
10
66
Source

25. Kentucky

Per Capita Score: 114

1,000 Yard Rushing Performances: 5

Shaun Alexander scored a lot of touchdowns over a short period of time. He also rushed for a lot of yards. Injuries shortened his career, but during his period of elite performance, he was among the very best.

Kentucky 1,000 Yard Rushing Performances

Year/Team
Name
Pos
Yds
Car
Avg
TD
Lg
2005 Sea Seahawks
Shaun Alexander
RB
1,880
370
5.1
27
88
2004 Sea Seahawks
Shaun Alexander
RB
1,696
353
4.8
16
44
2003 Sea Seahawks
Shaun Alexander
RB
1,435
326
4.4
14
55
2001 Sea Seahawks
Shaun Alexander
RB
1,318
309
4.3
14
88
2002 Sea Seahawks
Shaun Alexander
RB
1,175
295
4.0
16
58
Source

26. Iowa

Per Capita Score: 97

1,000 Yard Rushing Performances: 3

Roger Craig is one of those backs who probably should be in the Hall of Fame one of these days but never will be. No, his stats aren’t that crazy, but during his career he ran and received for 1,000 yards in the same season, ran for over 1,000 yards 3 times, and was a cornerstone on many of the 49ers Super Bowl teams.

This coupled with the fact half his career was spent at fullback, a less statistically fruitful position, is more than enough evidence as to why he should be enshrined.

Iowa 1,000 Yard Rushing Performances

Year/Team
Name
Pos
Yds
Car
Avg
TD
Lg
1988 SF 49ers
Roger Craig
RB
1,502
310
4.8
9
46
1989 SF 49ers
Roger Craig
RB
1,054
271
3.9
6
27
1985 SF 49ers
Roger Craig
FB
1,050
214
4.9
9
62
Source

27. Tennessee

Per Capita Score: 62

1,000 Yard Rushing Performances: 4

Tennessee comes in at 27th on our per capita list. James Stewart of the Lions accomplished the feat twice in the early 2000s. Terdell Middleton did it once for the Packers in 1978 and Reggie Cobb for the Bucs in 1992.

Tennessee 1,000 Yard Rushing Performances

Year/Team
Name
Pos
Yds
Car
Avg
TD
Lg
2000 Det Lions
James Stewart
RB
1,184
339
3.5
10
38
1992 TB Bucs
Reggie Cobb
RB
1,171
310
3.8
9
25
1978 GB Packers
Terdell Middleton
RB
1,116
284
3.9
11
76
2002 Det Lions
James Stewart
RB
1,021
231
4.4
4
30
Source

28. New York

Per Capita Score: 61

1,000 Yard Rushing Performances: 12

New York has a short list of thousand yard rushers, especially when you consider the state is populated by almost 20 million people.

Ray Rice tops the list for 1,000 yard performances with 4, and John Brockington surpassed the 1,000 yard rushing barrier 3 times at fullback for the Packers in the early 70s.

New York 1,000 Yard Rushing Performances

Year/Team
Name
Pos
Yds
Car
Avg
TD
Lg
1997 GB Packers
Dorsey Levens
RB
1,435
329
4.4
7
52
2011 Bal Ravens
Ray Rice
RB
1,364
291
4.7
12
70
2009 Bal Ravens
Ray Rice
RB
1,339
254
5.3
7
59
2009 GB Packers
Ryan Grant
RB
1,253
282
4.4
11
62
2010 Bal Ravens
Ray Rice
RB
1,220
307
4.0
5
50
2008 GB Packers
Ryan Grant
RB
1,203
312
3.9
4
57
1973 GB Packers
John Brockington
FB
1,144
265
4.3
3
53
2012 Bal Ravens
Ray Rice
RB
1,143
257
4.4
9
46
1971 GB Packers
John Brockington
FB
1,105
216
5.1
4
52
1972 Oak Raiders
Marv Hubbard
FB
1,100
219
5.0
4
39
1999 GB Packers
Dorsey Levens
RB
1,034
279
3.7
9
36
1972 GB Packers
John Brockington
FB
1,027
274
3.7
8
30
Source

29. Massachusetts

Per Capita Score: 45

1,000 Yard Rushing Performances: 3

Fullback Mark van Eeghen’s 1,000 yard campaign in 1977, his third such performance, marks the last time a Massachusetts born player rushed for over 1,000 yards.

Massachusetts 1,000 Yard Rushing Performances

Year/Team
Name
Pos
Yds
Car
Avg
TD
Lg
1977 Oak Raiders
Mark van Eeghen
FB
1,273
324
3.9
7
27
1978 Oak Raiders
Mark van Eeghen
FB
1,080
270
4.0
9
34
1976 Oak Raiders
Mark van Eeghen
FB
1,012
233
4.3
3
21
Source

30. Wisconsin

Per Capita Score: 35

1,000 Yard Rushing Performances: 2

Wisconsin hasn’t produced many 1,000 yard rushers, but they produced perhaps the most fascinating 1,000 yard rusher story.

Rocky Bleier played one year in the NFL before being drafted into Vietnam. He was wounded in combat, and came back with shrapnel in his lower leg. He received a Purple Heart, but was told he would never play football again.

Not only did he play again, he gained over 1,000 yards in 1976 for the Pittsburgh Steelers. He ended his career with 4 Super Bowl rings.

Wisconsin 1,000 Yard Rushing Performances

Year/Team
Name
Pos
Yds
Car
Avg
TD
Lg
2002 Min Vikings
Michael Bennett
RB
1,296
255
5.1
5
85
1976 Pit Steelers
Rocky Bleier
RB
1,036
220
4.7
5
28
Source

31. Indiana

Per Capita Score: 30

1,000 Yard Rushing Performances: 2

Indiana has only produced two 1,000 yard performers in the state’s history, both of which accomplished the feat once.

Indiana 1,000 Yard Rushing Performances

Year/Team
Name
Pos
Yds
Car
Avg
TD
Lg
2000 Mia Dolphins
Lamar Smith
RB
1,139
309
3.7
14
68
1996 Carolina Panthers
Anthony Johnson
RB
1,120
300
3.7
6
29
Source

32. Connecticut

Per Capita Score: 28

1,000 Yard Rushing Performances: 1

Floyd Little is at the beginning of the list and at the end of the list for Connecticut.

Connecticut 1,000 Yard Rushing Performances

Year/Team
Name
Pos
Yds
Car
Avg
TD
Lg
1971 Den Broncos
Floyd Little
RB
1,133
284
4.0
6
40
Source

33. Colorado

Per Capita Score: 19

1,000 Yard Rushing Performances: 1

Colorado’s only 1,000 yard performer is LenDale White, who had 1,110 yards in 2007.

Colorado 1,000 Yard Rushing Performances

Year/Team
Name
Pos
Yds
Car
Avg
TD
Lg
2007 Ten Titans
LenDale White
RB
1,110
303
3.7
7
28
Source

34. Arizona

Per Capita Score: 15

1,000 Yard Rushing Performances: 1

Arizona is at the bottom of our list for qualifiers. It has been a common place for them in the state by state rankings so far, but at least they made the list, an accomplishment that has yet to be garnered by 16 states.

Arizona 1,000 Yard Rushing Performances

Year/Team
Name
Pos
Yds
Car
Avg
TD
Lg
1968 Cin Bengals
Paul Robinson
RB
1,023
238
4.3
8
87

Washington, DC

1,000 Yard Rushing Performances: 3

Washington, DC has had produced a number of athletes over the year. If a list was done for most impactful football cities, they would probably perform quite well. Though Washington, DC is in the U.S. and is our Nation’s capital, it is its own entity and not technically a member of any of our states.

Washington, DC 1,000 Yard Rushing Performances

Year/Team
Name
Pos
Yds
Car
Avg
TD
Lg
2007 Phi Eagles
Brian Westbrook
RB
1,333
278
4.8
7
36
2006 Phi Eagles
Brian Westbrook
RB
1,217
240
5.1
7
71
1999 Den Broncos
Olandis Gary
RB
1,159
276
4.2
7
71

Canada

1,000 Yard Rushing Performances: 1

Reuben Mayes is the only Canadian to have had over 1,000 yards rushing in a U.S. professional league. Canada is not a state without Football culture. They have a professional league of their own.

Canada 1,000 Yard Rushing Performances

Year/Team
Name
Pos
Yds
Car
Avg
TD
Lg
1986 NO Saints
Rueben Mayes
RB
1,353
286
4.7
8
50

Honduras

1,000 Yard Rushing Performances: 2

One of the NFL’s 1,000 yard rushers was born in Honduras, of all places. Hall of Famer Steve Van Buren rushed for over 1,000 yards twice in the late 1940s.

He wound up in the U.S. after being orphaned as a child and subsequently was sent to live with relatives in Louisiana.

Honduras 1,000 Yard Rushing Performances

Year/Team
Name
Pos
Yds
Car
Avg
TD
Lg
1949 Phi Eagles
Steve Van Buren
RB
1,146
263
4.4
11
41
1947 Phi Eagles
Steve Van Buren
RB
1,008
217
4.6
13
45

Nigeria

1,000 Yard Rushing Performances: 2

Christian Okoye, the Nigerian Nightmare, was one of the biggest and strongest running backs to ever play in the NFL. On top of this, he was fast. Needless to say, he was a force of nature. Had it not been for injuries, he probably would have appeared on our list at least a few more times.

Nigeria 1,000 Yard Rushing Performances

Year/Team
Name
Pos
Yds
Car
Avg
TD
Lg
1989 KC Chiefs
Christian Okoye
FB
1,480
370
4.0
12
59
1991 KC Chiefs
Christian Okoye
FB
1,031
225
4.6
9
48

Those Not Making the List:

There are 16 states yet to have a 1,000 yard rusher: Alaska, Delaware, Hawai’i, Idaho, Maine, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, and Wyoming.

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    • Larry Rankin profile image
      Author

      Larry Rankin 3 years ago from Oklahoma

      FlourishAnyway: There are lots of high schools that churn out great talent to the college and pro ranks. Here in Oklahoma Jenks and Union in Tulsa are two of the top programs. I would love to do an overview, but the scope of high school and even college sports is so widespread, the research would be very difficult for something comprehensive. It would have to be a much more general article. I may do one one of these days, but it is on the back burner for now.

      Samoa is also of interest for non-US areas. They've done a wonderful job in recent decades of producing football talent per capita.

      Thanks so much for the feedback and the ideas.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Great work here, Larry in combining sources. Maybe in the future you could do a shout out to any excellent high schools who seem to churn out more than their fair share of NFL players. I know our local high schools are very proud to have had NFL players. Maybe another hub?