The NFL has become a passing league, but there are still several running backs out there who can do major damage. One of them is New England Patriots RB Rhamondre Stevenson.
Following a breakout season in 2022 when he ran for more than 1,000 yards, Stevenson has cemented himself as one of the NFL’s best running backs.
Here are six facts you may not have known about the Patriots top rusher.
1. Where is Rhamondre Stevenson from?
Stevenson is from Las Vegas, Nevada. He played his high school football at Centennial High School in Las Vegas where he was the Las Vegas Sun High School Player of the Year in 2015.
After high school, Stevenson played at the junior college level at Cerritos College in Norwalk, California. In two seasons at Cerritos, Stevenson ran for 2,667 yards and 19 touchdowns. That stellar performance earned him a scholarship and roster spot at Oklahoma.
Over two seasons with the Sooners, he scampered for 1,180 yards and scored 13 touchdowns in 19 games.
2. MVP of the 2020 Cotton Bowl
In the 2020 Cotton Bowl, Oklahoma defeated Florida by a score of 55-20 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington. Many top players on both teams chose not to play in order to prepare for the NFL Draft.
Stevenson was given a big-time opportunity, and he capitalized. Stevenson dominated the Cotton Bowl on the ground, rushing for 186 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries. He was named MVP of the game, which finished off Oklahoma’s 9-2 season and helped them earn a top-ten ranking.
3. Missed 2019 Peach Bowl due to suspension
While Stevenson showed out in the 2020 Cotton Bowl, his time at Oklahoma wasn’t always smooth sailing.
Stevenson was ineligible for the 2019 Peach Bowl against the LSU Tigers because of a failed drug test. The Sooners lost the Peach Bowl to No. 1 LSU by a score of 63-28, and Stevenson was suspended five games of the 2020 season.
4. 4th round pick in NFL Draft
Following the Cotton Bowl, Stevenson declared his eligibility for the 2021 NFL Draft. Despite having only six 100-yard rushing games for Oklahoma, he was considered one of the best power backs coming out of college.
At the NFL Combine leading into the draft, Stevenson impressed scouts with his athleticism, and was rated sixth overall in the running back draft class.
In the end, the New England Patriots picked Stevenson in the fourth round, as the 120th overall selection of the 2021 NFL Draft.
5. Threat in the passing game
The sign of a versatile back is not only how well he can run the ball, but how well he can catch the football.
In 2022, Stevenson did something only one player has done for New England in the past four decades: He led the team in rushing yards and receptions.
On the season, Stevenson ran the ball 210 times for 10,40 yards while also hauling in 69 receptions for 421 yards. In addition, he ran for five touchdowns and caught one touchdown pass. If you’re looking to attend a Patriots game at Gillette Stadium this year, he’s definitely a player you’ll want to watch at all times.
6. Shares agents with fellow Patriots RB Ezekiel Elliott
The Patriot backfield is spearheaded by Stevenson, while newcomer Ezekiel Elliott helps New England form a solid 1-2 punch in the running game.
The Pats signed the veteran Elliott this past offseason after he spent the first seven years of his career with the Dallas Cowboys. In his career, Elliott has rushed for 8,262 yards and 68 touchdowns.
“It’s great working with ‘Mondre,” Elliott told reporters early in training camp this summer. “Me and ‘Mondre have the same agents so we’ve known each other for a while. But he’s a back that has a similar running style as me, so I think we’ll be able to complement each other very well.”