Arizona State has been home to some truly exceptional running backs including Whizzer White who we put on our second team but there are two who stand above the rest. So, without further adieu, here are the All-Sun Devil first team running backs.
In the pantheon of great Arizona State running backs there is one name that stands above the rest. That name is Woody Green.
Green was the star player in three of the most successful years of Sun Devil football from 1971 to 1973.
From the get-go Green was a difference maker. In his freshman season Green made an immediate impact on coach Frank Kush's offense, rushing for 1,310 yards and 12 touchdowns. Behind Green, Arizona State would go 11-1 and defeat Florida State 45-38 in the Fiesta Bowl.
But 1971 was merely a warm up for what was to come.
In 1972 Green would have the best year of his Sun Devil career. Rushing for 1,565 yards and 19 touchdowns, Green would lead the Sun Devils to their second consecutive Fiesta Bowl victory, a 49-35 win over Missouri. In the process, Green earned the first of his two consensus All-American honors.
Although his 1973 campaign would be a statistical step back, it was nonetheless impressive. Green ran for 1,313 yards and 12 touchdowns that year, leading the Sun Devils to their third consecutive Fiesta Bowl victory and his second straight consensus All-American honor. Green also finished eighth in the Heisman Trophy voting that year.
Green holds Arizona State records for both career rushing yards (4,188) and career rushing touchdowns (43) and those are more impressive when you consider that he only played for three years. He also holds the record for career 100-yard games (21).
Green would go on to be the first round pick (16th overall) of the Kansas City Chiefs in the 1974 NFL Draft. However, Green's NFL career would never live up to that of his time at Arizona State. He would only play three seasons in the NFL before knee issues forced him to retire.
Running, catching, returning, J.R. Redmond did it all for the Sun Devils and it showed. He was a candidate for both the Heisman Trophy and Doak Walker awards in his time at Arizona State. He started his career in 1996 rushing for 327 yards and two touchdowns spending the majority of his time learning behind running backs Michael Martin and Terry Battle. Although he flashed great ability, Redmond wouldn't get his chance to show how special he was until the 1997 season.
That year, Redmond would rush for 915 yards and seven touchdowns and earned All-Pac 10 first team honors as a return specialist and honorable mention honors at tailback.
Redmond had shown he was indeed a threat anytime the ball was in his hands but his best years were still in front of him.
In 1998 and 1999, Redmond would rush for 883 yards and 1,174 yards, and 11 and 12 touchdowns respectively. He earned AP second team All-American honors and first team All-Pac 10 honors as a tailback and specialist in 1998. Redmond also earned first team All-Pac 10 as an all-purpose player and second team honors as a tailback in 1999.
Redmond finished his time at Arizona State as one of the school's best running backs. He is third all-time in career rushing yards (3,299) and fourth in career rushing touchdowns (32).
As a pro, Redmond's greatest accolade was catching three passes in the New England Patriot's game-winning drive in the "Snow Bowl" game against the Oakland Raiders. He would win Super Bowl XXXVI while with the Patriots.