Football Thursday began this past Thursday when I broke down LSU’s quarterbacks for the upcoming season. Today, I will take it a step further and dig into the depth chart further by breaking down the talented and deep LSU running backs.

1A. Keiland Williams


5-11 223 lb junior

Keiland is the most “all-around” guy on the LSU roster, having Scott’s power and Murphy’s speed all put into one package. But throughout Keiland’s career, missed blocking assignments, work ethic and some other little things have kept him from taking the starting job and running away with it. As a result, we have a three-way tie at the top going into this year.

1B. Charles Scott


5-11 221 lb junior

Scott is the power in the backfield, possessing the best upper body strength of all the LSU backs. According to my tastes, Scott was underutilized this past year with Offensive Coordinator Gary Crowton’s decision to spread the offense a little more, but with QB questions this year, I suspect Scott will get a lot more “third and three” carries for LSU.

1C. Richard Murphy


6-1 198 lb sophomore

Murphy is the most slippery of the LSU backs, reminding the casual fan of Reggie Bush when in the open field. But like Williams, Murphy has not progressed into the blocker that the staff would want in an every down back. But Murphy has bulked up greatly in the past two seasons and I suspect he will be in the mix all season for LSU, catching several swing passes and tosses to get him in space for LSU.

Fullback:


1. Quinn Johnson


6-2 238 lb senior

Johnson is a nasty, nasty individual and is the best backfield blocker on the entire LSU roster. His spot as the starter is fairly safe.

2. Stevan Ridley


5-11 209 lb freshman

Ridley’s size and frame have many Tiger fans deeming him “The Next Hester,” and while I do see him serving as a three year starter at LSU, Ridley has a long way to go to fill those steep shoes laid out for him. But let’s not get it twisted, the kid can play and is extremely versatile, possessing great hands out of the backfield.
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Beasley vs. Rose: 2008 NBA Draft


The debate is on. Who should be #1? Rose or Beasley. Hell, if you don’t like either, you can throw in a Mayo a Love, or maybe a Gordon into the discussion, too.

But the Bulls are on the clock and it seems like they have zeroed in on either Rose or Beasley with them leaning towards Rose.

I’m here to tell you that is a mistake. Teams all across the NBA are point guard crazy because they see what home-town Chris Paul is doing and what Utah Jazz guard Deron Williams is doing, but Rose is not either of those guys.

Beasley on the other hand was a force in college both inside and out and is more NBA ready than Sonics forward Kevin Durant, who just so happened to average nearly 20 points per game this past year while winning Rookie of the Year.

I understand the logic, because great point guards are hard to find whereas serviceable, tough SF/PF players can be a dime a dozen, but Beasley is the real deal and the Bulls already have Kirk Hinrich, who isn’t too shabby.

Let us not forget that before the NCAA Tournament when someone said “freshman point guard,” one would go three and four players deep before even thinking about Rose, rather thinking of OJ Mayo and the others, so don’t let your last memories of him influence the whole body of work. Great NCAA Tournament, yes, but great season as a whole? Not really.

This year’s NBA Draft is as deep a draft as we’ve had in years in the NBA. While the bonfide “star-power” may be a little lower than in some years, I think this draft can produce solid players even into the mid-late second round, which kind of muddles me a little more as to why the Hornets would trade out of the first round. But more on that later.

The guys at http://www.nbadraft.net are the best in the business at predicting these things. While this year’s draft is no doubt one of the most unpredictable in years, here is how they have it playing out.

1. Chicago – Derrick Rose PG Memphis
2. Miami – Michael Beasley PF Kansas State
3. Minnesota – OJ Mayo PG USC
4. Seattle – Brook Lopez C Stanford
5. Memphis – Eric Gordon PG/SG Indiana
6. New York – Russell Westbrook PG/SG UCLA
7. LA Clippers – Jerryd Bayless SG Arizona
8. Milwaukee – Joe Alexander SF/PF West Virginia
9. Charlotte – Kevin Love PF UCLA
10. New Jersey – Danilo Gallinari PF Italy
11. Indiana – Anthony Randolph PF LSU
12. Sacramento – DJ Augustin PG Texas
13. Portland – Brandon Rush SG/SF Kansas
14. Golden State – Kosta Koufos C Ohio State

Our hometown Hornets are currently not on deck to have a pick, having traded their only selection, but regardless, much more on this draft tomorrow.
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Okie dokie. Two more athletes to go. After several days of going through my top 10, only two more spots remain. Today’s pick will come from “the world’s sport,” whereas tomorrow’s will be a no-brainer, at least to me, anyway.

So without any more speculation, here is the No. 2 athlete.

No. 2: Pelé

I understand this will be an unpopular pick, especially in Louisiana where soccer is not as appreciated as it is other places, but it is still the most popular sport in the world and Pelé is the best player to ever play the game. In his career, which spanned the 50s, 60s and 70s, Pelé led the Brazilian national team to a 67-11-14 record, including three World Cup wins.

On a professional level Pelé was as dominant as they come, recording 1280 goals in 1363 career games and was named the Athlete of the Century Award from the IOC in 1999 for his life of work in his sport.
Like modern star David Beckham, Pelé’s career also came to an end on American soil as Pelé played for the New York Cosmos from 1974-77, winning the club championship in his final season.

Tomorrow, I will give you my No. 1 athlete of all-time. This list has been fun. The next one I will tackle is the Top 10 football coaches in the SEC. That one will be hard to break down, because the league has so many good coaches now.
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Headlines:

Pacers send O’Neal to Raptors – How the mighty have fallen. Once one of the brightest young stars in the game, Jermaine O’Neal now gets traded for TJ Ford and a mid first round pick. Remember when the Lakers wanted to get him, but Indiana wanted back Andrew Bynum? Well nothing Indiana got back here is even close to that.


Djokovic ousted at Wimbledon
– Wow, I sure can jinx anyone. The man I picked to win it all: Out in Round 2. Maybe next year, I should pick the Cowboys to go 0-16, the Rockets to go 0-82 and LSU to lose to Alabama by 50 points.

Fresno State wins CWS – What a story. Fresno needed to win the WAC Tournament just to get into the dance. Several wins later, they are the national champions. That is the best thing about sports like college basketball and college baseball conference tournaments: every team dictates how their own season will end. Congrats to both Bulldogs as Georgia was no slouch, either.
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That’s all for me. Have a great Thursday and again thanks for all of ya’ll support.

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