Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Looking Back at Class of 2003...All-Purpose RB's

Full Schedule by Position

Four Star RB's

1. Maurice (Jones) Drew, UCLA - A star running back at national powerhouse De La Salle (CA) HS, Drew headed to UCLA as the top all-purpose back in the country. He started all 3 years for the Bruins, being named All-Pac 10 punt returner (ahead of Reggie Bush) and 1st team All-American all-purpose back after the 2005 season. He shattered an NCAA record of 25.9 yds/punt return by establishing a new record of 28.5 yds/punt return.

2. Rashaun Grant, Georgia Tech - Named to the Freshman All-ACC team in 2004, Grant's career was repeatedly derailed by injuries. Every season he missed games due to various leg injuries. When on the field, he averaged 4.5-6 yds/carry...but unfortunately he never had more than 94 carries, which occurred during his freshman year. His extensive list of injuries kept him from receiving serious consideration in the 2008 NFL Draft.

3. David Marrero, Stanford - Marrero never had much of an impact for the Cardinal in his 3 seasons at Stanford. He transferred to San Jose State for grad school in 2007 and served as a backup punt and kick returner. He did attend Stanford's 2008 Pro Day but was never seen as a candidate to continue his football career in the professional ranks.

4. Michael Turner, Wisconsin - Out of Dunbar HS in Ft Worth, Turner appears on the Badgers 2003 roster. However, it doesn't look like he ever played a game for the Badgers...or anybody else according to my research. Feel free to leave a comment if you know anything about his playing career.

5. Albert Young, Iowa - Injuries have plagued Young since even he showed up in Iowa City. While a Hawkeye, he was injured during pre-season camp and was redshirted. Knee surgery after 2 games cut his 2004 campaign short. A healthy 2005 produced 1500+ all-purpose yards and 8 TD's. He missed a few games in 2006 due to a sprained knee but was able to start every game in 2007 and have a nice year of 1200 yds and 7 TD's. A fringe NFL prospect, Young was recently invited to the Minnesota Vikings mini-camp that begins today.

Other RB's of Note (edited)

19. Anthony Alridge, Houston - Unheralded out of Denton, TX, Alridge headed south to play for Art Briles (former Texas Tech RB Coach, current Baylor HC) in his first year at the helm in Houston. After his redshirt year in 2003, Alridge sat out the 2004 season and was not enrolled at Houston during that time. Upon his return to the team in 2005, Alridge played primarily as a wide receiver in Briles' wide open offense and averaged 22.7 yds/catch. In 2006, he was shifted into the backfield alongside Kevin Kolb (see #31 on dual-threat QB list) and RB Jackie Battle. They lead the team to a 10-win season and the Conference USA championship. Alridge averaged 10.1 yds/carry on only 95 carries to go along with 19 receptions for 274 yds. As the featured back in 2007, he did a great job in steadying the offense as the Cougars didn't settle on Fr (RS) Case Keenum at QB until later in the season. He churned out over 2000 all-purpose yards (1597 on the ground) and 20 TD's while finishing 2nd-team C-USA. He impressed scouts at the combine by running a 4.36 40 yd dash but concerns about his age (turns 25 in 2008) and size (5'9" 170 lbs) kept teams from drafting him. However, the Denver Broncos quickly signed him after the 2008 NFL Draft and he will begin minicamp this week.

The Tech Factor

Though the prototypical Texas Tech RB is best used as an all-purpose back (see Taurean Henderson and Shannon Woods), the one RB that Tech signed in 2003, JUCO RB Sione Havili, was not labeled as such by Rivals.

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