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Larry Rose III Chasing History

By BJ Bennett
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Larry Rose III is already one of just five players in Sun Belt Conference history to reach 4,000 yards rushing.

New Mexico State's Larry Rose III is one of the nation's most-accomplished running backs. Not yet halfway through his senior year, and having missed nearly the first month of his junior season, Rose is already one of just five players in Sun Belt Conference history to reach 4,000 yards rushing. With Rose at 4,015 yards, Tyrell Fenroy's league record of 4,646 yards is well within reach.

Dating back to the start of his college football career, Rose hit the ground running. He carried the football 30 times for 149 yards and a score, adding a touchdown catch, in his next-level debut, ultimately becoming the first Aggie freshman since 1995 to top the 1,000-yard mark on the ground. Rose, making only eight starts, finished third in the league with 1,102 rushing yards.

As a sophomore, Rose recorded a season for the record books. He rushed for 1,651 yards and 14 touchdowns and caught 30 passes for 283 yards and two more scores. Rose's 260 yards and three scores against rival New Mexico stands as one of the great performances in conference history. That fall, Rose, Dalvin Cook and Leonard Fournette were the only backs in the country to reach 1,650 yards with over 6.5 yards per carry; for point of reference, Rose averaged more total yards per game than Ezekiel Elliott and Derrick Henry.

Rose, in a junior year shortened by injury, still managed almost 900 yards and finished with performances like 168 yards at Arkansas State and 170 at South Alabama.   

Entering Saturday, Rose has 17 career 100-yard games and four 200-yard games. As he continues to climb up the conference's all-time rushing charts, Rose will step into the spotlight a number of times; this Saturday, at Appalachian State, he will face a defense that has not allowed a rushing score since week one against Georgia in Athens. The next three opponents on the New Mexico State schedule, the Mountaineers, Georgia Southern and Arkansas State, have all won at least a share of the Sun Belt championship post-expansion.   

An NFL prospect, Rose is chasing more than just records. His current run, however, is one worth watching and one worth remembering. Rose is one of the Sun Belt's best players ever, a distinction he is still earning.

BJ Bennett - B.J. Bennett is's founder and publisher. He is the co-host of "Three & Out" with Kevin Thomas and Ben Troupe on the "Southern Pigskin Radio Network". Email: / Twitter: @BJBennettSports