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.