2008 CFN All-Americans & Top Players - RBs
Pitt RB LeSean McCoy
Pitt RB LeSean McCoy
Posted Aug 17, 2008

CFN 2008 All-Americans and Top 25 Players - Running Backs

2008 CFN All-Americans

Running Backs

CFN 2008 All-Americans and Top 25 Players
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2008 CFN Preseason First Team All-Americans

RB Chris Wells, Ohio State
Is he the No. 1 pick in the 2009 NFL draft? That might be getting way too ahead of the game, but he has the skills to be a franchise back at the next level. Size? He's 6-1 and 237 pounds. Speed? Check out the touchdown run in the loss to LSU and the 52-yard scoring run against Michigan in 2006. He's a star the loaded Buckeyes offense will work around. Outside of an injury, the only thing keeping Wells from being a Heisman favorite will be the workload. The Buckeye backfield has several great rushers.

Knowshon Moreno, Soph. Georgia
Considering the jaw-dropping array of running back talent to roll through Athens, it should say something when a player is being compared to the best of the best of them. Moreno originally was seen as a nice option for down the road after showing a good flash and nice power in 2007 spring ball, and then he turned into the main man with 1,334 yards and 14 touchdowns averaging 5.4 yards per carry. It's a stretch to say he carried the Bulldogs over the second half of the season, but yeah, he sort of carried the Bulldogs over the second half of the season, or at least he provided an attitude and an identity, running for 100 yards or more in five straight games before getting stopped by Georgia Tech. At 207 pounds, he can run between the tackles, but he's at his most dangerous when he gets a little room to move highlighted by an 80-yard touchdown dash against Troy. He's also a nice receiver with 20 catches for 253 yards, fourth on the team, but he wasn't used as much as a pass catcher once he became more involved in the running game.

Preseason Top 25 RBs
1. Chris Wells, Jr. Ohio State
2. Knowshon Moreno, Soph. Ga.
3. LeSean McCoy, Soph. Pitt
4. Damion Fletcher, Jr. So. Miss
5. Javon Ringer, Sr. Michigan State
6. James Davis, Sr. Clemson
7. Mike Goodson, Jr. Texas A&M
8. Ian Johnson, Sr. Boise State
9. C.J. Spiller, Jr. Clemson
10. P.J. Hill, Jr. Wisconsin
11. Marlon Lucky, Sr. Nebraska
12. Joe McKnight, Soph. USC
13. Noel Devine, Soph. West Va
14. Javarris James, Jr. Miami
15. DeMarco Murray, Soph. Okla
16. Arian Foster, Sr. Tennessee
17. Tyrell Sutton, Sr. Northwestern
18. Luke Lippincott, Sr. Nevada
19. Eugene Jarvis, Jr. Kent State
20. Mike Ford, Soph. USF
21. Justin Anderson, Jr. No. Illinois
22. Tyrell Fenroy, Sr. UL Lafayette
23. Aaron Brown, Sr. TCU
24. Reggie Arnold, Jr. Arkansas St
25. Rodney. Ferguson, Sr. N Mex

2008 CFN Preseason Second Team All-Americans

Damion Fletcher, Jr. Soph. Southern Miss
While Southern Miss is going to throw more than in the past, the running game will not be ignored. It can’t be as long as the 5-10, 175-pound Fletcher is on campus. The program’s best offensive player two years running, he’s rushed for almost 3,000 yards and 26 touchdowns over that time, adding 47 catches for 369 yards and all-conference recognition. A classic slasher with outstanding vision in the hole, he’s always moving forward and rarely gets tackled behind the line of scrimmage.  In the new offense, his soft hands as a pass catcher will make him doubly dangerous.

LeSean McCoy, Soph. Pitt
Pittsburgh gave birth to a new star last fall when it took the wraps off its prized recruit, and McCoy rushed for 1,328 yards and 14 touchdowns and caught 33 passes for 244 yards and a score. Already a complete back at 5-11 and 210 pounds, he can pick up the tough yards between the tackles, or bounce outside and make people miss in the open field. He set the Big East freshman rushing record with no help from the passing game and a less than thorough knowledge of the playbook. With a season of experience under his belt, he’ll be even more dangerous as a sophomore.

2008 CFN Honorable Mention All-Americans
(in alphabetical order)

James Davis, Sr. Clemson
Davis returned to school after strongly considering early entry into the NFL Draft. In three productive seasons, the All-ACC first teamer has rushed for 3,130 yards and 36 touchdowns, putting him within range of school marks held by Raymond Priester and Travis Zachery, respectively. A tough, 5-11, 210-pound north-south runner, he hits the hole hard, never loses yards, and has a nose for the end zone. Think Emmitt Smith in terms of running style.

Mike Goodson, Jr. Texas A&M
Finally, Goodson will be used like the star running back he's supposed to be. The 6-0, 196-pounder was third on the team with 711 yards and four touchdowns, and has rushed for 1,558 career yards with eight scores, but now he's going to be the featured back in the attack. A good receiver, he finished second on the team with 36 catches for 361 yards and four touchdowns, and now he'll be used even more in space to show off his next-level speed and get him in positions where he can succeed. If he's not the team's fastest player, he's No. 2, but he only averaged 4.6 yards per carry last season and his longest gain was just 34 yards. That'll quickly change. He has to get over a neck injury suffered this spring, but he has the potential to be a breakout star on a national scale.

P.J. Hill, Jr. Wisconsin
Hill might be considered a Heisman candidate after following up a 1,569-yard, 15 touchdown freshman season (after missing all of 2005 with a broken leg) with a 1,212-yard, 14 touchdown sophomore campaign, but with so much talent in the Badger backfield, he has to fight to secure his starting spot. Message received as he came in this spring a slimmed down and tight 228 pounds on his 5-11 frame and is now even quicker. Overused over the last two years as a sledgehammer of a workhorse, he broke down with a neck and shoulder problem as a freshman and missed almost all of the final three games of the 2007 regular season. When he's 100%, he's the type of back who can crush a team's spirit be getting yard after hard yard on late drives, averaging 5.2 yards per crack last year, and he's tremendous around the goal line. With good hands, he can be used as an outlet receiver catching 32 passes for 286 yards and two touchdowns over the last two seasons.

Ian Johnson, Sr. Boise State
How good is Johnson? He ran for 1,041 yards and 16 touchdowns, averaged five yards per carry, and caught 25 passes for 312 yards and a touchdown yet had what was considered an off season. After tearing off 1,713 yards and 25 touchdowns as a sophomore, yeah, he was a bit down, but he was also hurt last season missing time in two games with a bruised kidney and wasn't quite back to form for a week after coming back. It turned out to be a problem in the bowl game getting just four carries in the loss to East Carolina. After bulking up a little bit, he's hoping to be able to take more of a pounding. The 5-11, 195-pounder, when he's right, has tremendous burst, is a great workhorse, and is automatic around the goal line.

Javon Ringer, Sr. Michigan State
Last year, Ringer set 'em up, and Jehuu Caulcrick knocked them down. The 5-9, 202-pounder ran for 1,447 yards and six touchdowns averaging 5.9 yards per carry, but he deferred to the bigger Caulcrick, who scored 21 touchdowns, around the goal line. Ringer is getting over a shoulder issue, and he suffered a knee injury a few years ago, but he has the toughness to go along with his 4.4 speed. Along with being a good runner, with seven 100-yard games last year and only going under the 80-yard mark twice, against Ohio State and Penn State, he's a great receiver finishing second on the team with 35 catches for 295 yards.

C.J. Spiller, Jr. Clemson
Spiller, compared to running mate James Davis, is the homerun hitter of the ground game and the Tigers’ leader in all-purpose yards. At 5-11 and 190 pounds, he’s lethal with a combination of blazing speed and shake-and-bake moves that make him impossible to corral in the open field. In just two seasons his 10 touchdowns of at least 50 yards have already established a new school record. Last year he ran for 768 yards, caught 34 balls for 271 yards, and was the Tigers’ most dangerous return man.