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Inside the Pac-12


January 21, 2010 2:27 PM

Former Pac Ten RB's Excel In The NFL

100x75ReggieBush.jpgCalifornia's Jahvid Best and Stanford's Toby Gerhart will be selected in the 2010 NFL Draft. Best will be questioned about his durability and Gerhart will be scrutinized about his 40 time. The perception is that the Pac Ten is a pass happy conference, but there are a number of former Pac Ten RB's that are putting up good numbers in the NFL and their success could influence NFL teams to draft Best and Gerhart in the first two rounds of the 2010 NFL Draft.


Over the last ten years there have been players with big reputations that have come out of the Pac Ten such as Reggie Bush, Lendale White, Marshawn Lynch and Maurice Jones Drew, but RB's like Justin Fargas, Jerome Harrison (286 yards in Week 15) and Justin Forsett have made big contributions to their teams. Justin Forsett was Marshawn Lynch's back up at Cal and this season Justin saw his number of touches increase for the Seattle Seahawks. Forsett had 114 carries for 619 yards and he averaged 5.4 YPC. He was also a big part of the Seahawks passing game finishing with 41 receptions. Marshawn had a down year in 2009 only playing in 13 games, because he was suspended for the first 3 games of the year. In his first two years in the NFL Lynch ran 1,115 yards in 2007 and 1,036 yards in 2008. Marshawn is also a threat catching the football in three seasons he has 93 receptions for 663 yards.

In 2006 the RB from the Pac Ten with the most hype on draft day was USC's Reggie Bush, but the UCLA Bruins Maurice Jones Drew put up better numbers than Bush in their rookie season. In 2006 Jones Drew rushed for 941 yards and caught 46 passes for 436 yards. Maurice finished his first season with 16 total touchdowns. This season Jones Drew at only 5-7 208 pounds carried the ball 312 times for 1,391 yards and 15 TD's. Reggie Bush has not lived up to expectations in the first four years of his career, but he is far from a bust. Bush has not rushed for more than 581 yards in a season yet and for his career he is only averaging 4.0 YPC. Before the 2009 season Reggie averaged 3.6, 3.7 and 3.8 YPC from 2006-2008.Bush has had an effect on games running, catching and in the return game. For his career Bush has 260 receptions, 1,940 rushing yards, 1,934 yards receiving and 4 TD's on punt returns. Bush is also one victory away from a Super Bowl appearance.

Before the emergence of Chris Johnson for the Tennessee Titans RB Lendale White was off to a very solid start. In 2007 White rushed for 1,110 yards and 7 TD's. In 2008 Whit finished the year with 15 TD's. White only carried the ball 64 times this season as he mostly sat and watched Johnson run for 2,006 yards. The former USC RB that has not received a lot of attention is Justin Fargas. Justin rushed for 1,009 yards in 2007 and has 3,369 yards in his career. A conference known for it's QB play has produced a number of productive RB's and Best and Gerhart should add to the number of solid RB's from the Pac Ten that contribute for their teams in the NFL.

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