- Todd McShay, Scouts Inc.
Four of the top five rushers from 2005 are gone. DeAngelo Williams, Jerome Harrison, Reggie Bush and Laurence Maroney are headed to the NFL. However, there will not be a shortage of talented rushers on Saturdays this fall. Here are the preseason rankings for the nation's top returning running backs.
1. Adrian Peterson, Oklahoma, JR, 6-1, 215
Peterson's disappointing 2005 campaign was hardly a sophomore slump. While he was limited by injuries, inexperience along the offensive line and dismal quarterback play from first-year starter Rhett Bomar were the bigger factors that contributed to Peterson's reduced numbers. With a far more established supporting cast this fall, Peterson's production should mirror that of his freshman season in 2004, when he ran for 1,925 yards and 15 touchdowns.
With Adrian Peterson, Michael Bush and Marshawn Lynch among the returning players in 2006, the running back position is loaded, writes Todd McShay.