North Texas will be without one of its top offensive weapons for most, if not all, of the 2021 season.
Running back Oscar Adaway III tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his knee during fall camp and is expected to miss extensive time, a UNT source with knowledge of the situation confirmed to the Denton Record-Chronicle on Sunday night.
Adaway rushed for 572 yards in seven games last season. He was expected to compete for playing time with DeAndre Torrey.
Torrey led UNT with 656 rushing yards in 2020 and will be a fifth-year senior this fall.
Adaway emerged as one of UNT’s most potent offensive weapons after eclipsing the 100-yard mark rushing in each of the Mean Green’s first two games of the 2020 season. He rolled up 118 yards and two touchdowns on just five carries in a season-opening win over Houston Baptist and came back to post 104 yards in a loss to SMU.
Adaway broke his hand in practice a short time later and missed the Mean Green’s next three games. The Arkansas native came back late in the season and continued to pose a threat despite being hampered by the injury.
Adaway posted his third 100-yard game of the year when he rolled up 101 yards on 15 carries in a loss to UTSA. He added 97 yards and one of his three rushing touchdowns on the season in UNT’s loss to Appalachian State in the Myrtle Beach Bowl.
UNT will now enter the season without four of its top five rushers from last year.
The Mean Green also lost Tre Siggers when he transferred to SMU and quarterback Jason Bean when he transferred to Kansas. Running back Nic Smith graduated and left the program after last season.
Siggers rushed for 458 yards, while Bean added 346 yards and Smith 164.
UNT’s depth at running back was a big reason the Mean Green ranked 13th nationally with an average of 230.2 rushing yards per game last fall.
UNT will be forced to look to a host of young players to fill in its depth chart behind Torrey. Sophomore Isaiah Johnson rushed for 68 yards and a touchdown last season.
UNT also has redshirt freshman Ikaika Ragsdale and freshman Keith Jackson on the roster.