2006 Preseason All-Americans - Running Backs
Oklahoma RB Adrian Peterson
Posted Aug 26, 2006

2006 CFN All-America Running Backs

QBs | WRs | TEs | OTs  OGs | Cs | DEs | DTs | LBs | CBs | Ss | PKs | Ps | KRs

2006 CFN Preseason First Team All-Americans
Adrian Peterson, Jr. Oklahoma - 220 carries, 1,104 yards, 5.0 ypc, 14 TD, 9 catches, 50 yards
The best player in college football and the likely number one pick in the draft if/when he decides to come out next season, the franchise back has to stay healthy for a full season. He had problems with an ankle injury during the middle part of last year carrying it a mere 16 times over a four-game span, and then got healthy and ripped up the back half of the season with four straight 100-yard days highlighted by a breathtaking 237-yard performance against Oklahoma State. He's a tremendous mix of 6-2 size, warp speed, and a warrior's mentality. His running style is a bit too upright and he takes a few too many big shots, but that's nitpicking for the NFL types to worry about. Expect him to be used more in the passing game this year.

Steve Slaton, Soph. West Virginia - 205 carries, 1,128 yds, 5.5 ypc, 17 TD, 12 catches, 95 yds, 7.9 ypc, 2 TD
Easily the shocker of the 2005 season, the new West Virginia rushing star was supposed to be top recruit Jason Gwaltney. That changed in a hurry as Slaton took over in the third game of the year and was unstoppable the rest of the way averaging 136 yards per game after seeing time against Virginia Tech. He got on the national map with a five touchdown game in the win over Louisville, but it was his 204-yard, three touchdown Sugar Bowl against Georgia that got everyone talking. He runs far harder than his 5-10, 190-pound size, and there are few better home run hitters.

Preseason 25 Best Running Backs
Adrian Peterson, Jr. Oklahoma
Steve Slaton, Soph. West Virginia
Michael Bush, Sr. Louisville
Kenny Irons, Sr. Auburn
Marshawn Lynch, Jr. California
6. Garrett Wolfe, Sr., Northern Illinois
7. Jamaal Charles, Soph., Texas
8. Tyrell Sutton, Soph. Northwestern
Albert Young, Jr. Iowa
Mike Hart, Jr. Michigan
Darren McFadden, Soph. Arkansas
12. Darius Walker, Jr. Notre Dame

Yvenson Bernard, Jr. Oregon State
Rafael Little, Jr. Kentucky
James Davis, Soph., Clemson
Arian Foster, Soph. Tennessee
Ken Darby, Sr. Alabama
Ahmad Bradshaw, Jr. Marshall
Thomas Brown, Jr. Georgia
Robert Hubbard, Sr. Nevada
Lynell Hamilton, Jr. San Diego State
Antonio Pittman, Jr. Ohio State
Kyle Bell, Jr. Colorado State
Jamario Thomas, Jr  North Texas
Curtis Brown, Sr. BYU

2006 CFN Preseason Second Team All-Americans
Michael Bush, Sr. Louisville - 205 carries, 1,143 yds, 5.6 ypc, 23 TD, 21 catches, 253 yds, 1 TD
Back for what seems like his 13th year in a Cardinal uniform, Bush passed up the chance to be a mid-round NFL draft pick to be on the short list of the nation's top college running backs. He's a freak of nature with good speed and phenomenal power in a 6-3, 250-pound frame. A scoring machine with 38 career touchdowns including 24 last season, he can even play a little quarterback on a halfback option using his skills honed as one of the nation's best high school passers. He also has good hands as a receiver out of the backfield. Staying healthy will be his key thanks to a pounding style that opens him up for some huge shots.

Kenny Irons, Sr. Auburn - 256 carries, 1,293 yds, 13 TDs, 5.1 ypc, 14 catches, 164 yds
The South Carolina transfer ripped it up in spring practice of 2005, but didn't get into the mix until the third game of the season when he tore off 147 yards and two touchdowns in the win over Ball State on just 11 carries. He then went on to be one of the SEC's best players with eight 100-yard days showing off tremendous home-run hitting speed highlighted by a brilliant 218-yard day in the loss to LSU. He's not necessarily a power runner, but he's physical and doesn't go down easily. When he has a sliver of daylight, he'll tear off a huge gain. 

2006 CFN Honorable Mention All-Americans
(in alphabetical order)
Jamaal Charles, Soph. Texas - 119 carries, 878 yds, 7.4 ypc, 11 TD, 14 catches, 157 yds, 11.2 ypc, 2 TD
Overlooked a bit nationally because he played in the same backfield as Vince Young, Charles had an All-America caliber season as one of the nation's most effective backs over the first half of the year. While tall and thin at 6-1 and 190 pounds, he can pack a little bit of a punch around the goal line and is a bolt of lightning in the open (he ran the fastest 110 meter hurdle time in the nation as a high school senior tearing off a 13.69). Even if he doesn't win the starting job, he'll be an often used number two back getting more than ten carries a game.

Mike Hart, Jr. Michigan
- 150 carries, 662 yds, 4.4 ypc, 4 TD, 16 catches, 154 yds, 9.6 ypc, 1 TD
When healthy, Hart is one of the nation's best running backs. He was a bit overused as a freshman getting 274 carries over the final ten games of the season, got dinged up early on against Notre Dame, got healthy enough to run for 435 yards over a three game span, and then got hurt again and was never right the rest of the way. He's a quick 5-9 and 198 pounds with great hands and a combination of quickness and power.

Marshawn Lynch, Jr. California
- 196 carries, 1,246 yds, 6.4 ypc, 10 TD, 15 catches, 125 yds
 It should say how much is expected out of Lynch that he had a slightly disappointing season and still cranked out 1,246 yards, ten touchdowns and averaged 6.4 yards per carry despite missing time and having a few problems with a hand injury. He's a home run threat every time he touches the ball with the size at 223 pounds to power for tough yards. If he can stay healthy he's a Heisman candidate and a legitimate threat to crank out 2,000 yards.

Tyrell Sutton, Soph. Northwestern - 250 carries, 1,474 yds, 5.9 ypc, 16 TD, 44 catches, 396 yds, 2 TD
Sutton took over in the first game of his true freshman season and was unbelievable the rest of the way. Not only was he a workhorse for the ground game with three games with more than 30 carries, and one with 29 carries, he was a reliable receiver highlighted by a ten-catch day against Purdue. He's not all that big at 5-9 and 190 pounds, but he's great at flying through the hole with elusive open field speed.

Garrett Wolfe, Sr., Northern Illinois
- 242 carries, 1,580 yds, 6.5 ypc, 16 TD, 20 catches, 222 yds, 11.1 ypc, 1 TD
The diminutive 5-7, 173-pound senior is quick enough to zip around defenders and strong enough to power his way over bigger ones. He's one of the strongest pound for pound players in the game to go along with phenomenal instincts and a burst of speed when he gets into the clear; he's simply one of the game's most dynamic backs. What gets lost is his workhorse ability. He carried the ball 107 times over the final three games of the year, including the MAC title game against Akron, for 724 yards and nine touchdowns. Had he not suffered a knee injury midway through the season forcing him to miss three games, he likely would've been a lock for 2,000 yards and well over 20 touchdowns. While not used all that often as a receiver, he has nice hands.

Albert Young, Jr. Iowa
- 249 carries, 1,334 yds, 5.4 ypc, 8 TD, 24 catches, 244 yds, 10.2 ypc
 One of the nation's top unsung rushers, Young returned from a leg injury that cost him all of 2004 to run for eight 100-yard games while rushing for 1,002 yards in Iowa's eight Big Ten games. He blends decent power with tremendous speed and great hands. He has the ability to tear off yards in chunks, but his longest run last season was only 36 yards. Expect that to change. The scary part is that he's even faster after being a year removed from the injury.