Big-play threats are hot commodities for college football teams.

Players who can catch deep balls or make chunk rushing plays are the most obvious big-play threats.

So for this ranking, we looked at wide receivers and running backs. To put together the list, we perused who had the most impressive stats, including long scrimmage plays (10- or 20-plus yards), yards per catch and yards per carry.

Last season, we said goodbye to a number of explosive playmakers such as Michigan State's Kenneth Walker III, Iowa State's Breece Hall and Alabama's Jameson Williams.

But there are a number of talented returning players who are threats to make big plays. (Incoming freshmen were not considered.) Let's rank the top options in college football for 2022.


8. Wisconsin RB Braelon Allen

Since some of the most explosive running backs from last season—Iowa State's Breece Hall, Michigan State's Kenneth Walker III and Missouri's Tyler Badie—won't be returning in 2022, the running backs here are part of a younger group.

That includes Wisconsin's Braelon Allen. As a true freshman, Allen rushed for 1,268 yards and 12 touchdowns, ranking 13th nationally in yards per game. He averaged 6.8 yards per carry, which also ranked 13th.

Allen also set a program record for freshmen with seven consecutive games of 100 rushing yards. In eight games last season, Allen averaged no less than 5.2 yards per carry. He had nine totes of 30 yards or more, which tied for fourth nationally. His longest touchdown run was a 71-yarder against Nebraska.

The 6'2", 238-pounder was actually supposed to join Wisconsin in 2022 but graduated early to be able to play last season. And since the Badgers will get three offensive linemen back, Allen could be even more explosive this year.


7. Ohio State RB TreVeyon Henderson

TreVeyon Henderson was on Bleacher Report's 2021 list before he played a snap, so it's only fitting he is back. As a true freshman last season, Henderson proved he has a big career ahead.

The Ohio State running back tied for third nationally in rushing plays of 40 or more yards and had 13 carries that went for 20-plus yards as well, which tied for 13th nationally. His 6.8 yards per carry ranked 13th too.

Per David M. Wheeler of Land-Grant Holy Land, Henderson broke freshmen program records long held by Archie Griffin and Maurice Clarett. His best runs included a 68-yarder against Penn State, a 57-yard touchdown versus Purdue, a 54-yarder against Tulsa and a 44-yard score at Rutgers.

Henderson is a threat in the passing game, as well. Last season he had 27 receptions for 312 yards and four touchdowns, averaging 11.56 yards per catch. 

Henderson will be in a great position to have an even better season in 2022. Heisman Trophy finalist quarterback C.J. Stroud is returning for the Buckeyes as well as three starters along the offensive line. And new offensive line coach Justin Frye may implement more outside runs, per Wheeler, which could make Henderson even more explosive.

Don't be surprised if the 5'10", 215-pound Henderson surpasses the 15 rushing touchdowns he scored.