And with the 12th pick in the NFL Draft, the Denver Broncos blow people away and take Knowshon Moreno!
At Middleton South, Knowshon was coached by the talented Steve Antonucci. He wasted no time vaulting his team to the top - while he was there, they won three state championships. He rushed for a total of 1,629 yards with 28 TDs in 11 games as a senior (his Georgia Bulldogs bio has him at 1,808 yards on 185 carries and scored 43 TDs in 10 games as a senior, but bio pages are notoriously inaccurate - they exaggerate). In all, he would finish his high school career with 6,268 yards, 128 TDs and 1,782 points, the most in New Jersey HS ranks (he is second in all-time yards). In a classic example of boys against men, he rushed for 457 yards in one single game.
"I'll say it like this," he said of Moreno. "Sure, he plays running back, but that's not how the coaches here saw him."We saw him as one of the toughest guys on the team, a guy willing to do anything at any time. So that's what we thought of Knowshon, not in terms of position but in terms of being a football player."
- Named one of three finalists for the Doak Walker Award (was 2nd behind Shonn Greene) and was one of fifteen semifinalists for the Maxwell Award (Tim Tebow won 2007-8)
- In the SEC, ranked 1st in rushing yards per game (107.7), tied for 1st in scoring TDs (18), 1st in all purpose yards (137.8) and tied for 2nd in scoring (8.3 pts/g)*SEC-leading seven 100-yard rushing games this year; 13 in his career, which ranks tied-3rd all-time at UGA
- Became only the second Bulldog in school history to rush for 1,000 yards in two straight seasons (Herschel Walker did it all three of his years at UGA, 1980-82).
- His 2,736 career rushing yards rank 4th at UGA
- Gained 1,400 rushing yards last season behind a starting offensive line primarily consisting of three freshmen and two sophomores
- Gained 1,334 yards in 2007 behind a starting offensive line made up of three freshmen and two seniors
- Named SEC Offensive Player of the Week for performances against LSU (21x163, one TD), Central Michigan (18x168, 3TD's), and against Vanderbilt (23x172, one TD).
- Named Preseason All-America 1st Team by ESPN.com, CBSsports.com, The Sporting News, Lindy's, Athlon, Phil Steele and Blue Ribbon.
- In 2007, Moreno was named SEC Freshman of the Year, First-team Freshman All-America, First-team All-SEC, and SEC All-Freshman team.
- In 2008, Moreno was named Second-team All-American and First-team All-SEC
"He's as good of a running back as I've ever coached. He doesn't have a weakness."
Knowshon Moreno, Georgia - Scouting ReportHeight: 5-11. Weight: 210.Projected 40 Time: 4.44.Combine 40 Time: 4.60.Pro Day 40 Time: 4.60.Benchx225: 25. Vertical: 35.5. Projected Round (2009):2/23/09: Ouch. A 4.60? It should be noted that Knowshon Moreno was one of many running backs who ran a conspicuously slow "official" 40 on Sunday. I get the feeling that the person in charge of getting the official times was either leering at one of the cheerleaders or taking LSD. There's no way everyone was a tenth slower than the unofficial times.3/22/09: Knowshon Moreno once again ran a 4.60 at his Pro Day, so he can't blame Indianapolis' slow surface. I still can't see him falling past Arizona at No. 31, but his chances of going in the top 20 are getting pretty slim.
Moreno exploded onto the college football scene during his freshman season at Georgia in 2007. Invoking memories of legendary Bulldog Herschel Walker, Moreno carried 248 times for 1334 and 14 touchdowns in his first campaign in Athens. Showing skill in the passing attack as well, Moreno caught 20 passes out of the backfield for 253 more yards. He had a good season as a third-year sophomore in 2008, but it was a disappointing one for Georgia and therefore for Moreno as well. He did, however, rack up 1400 yards on the ground and 16 touchdowns. Moreno is naturally blessed with a nice blend of size and speed, but it is his athleticism, vision, and ability to hit the hole that sets him apart as arguably the best running back in this year's draft class. In one of the few instances in which Moreno did not see a place to go against Central Michigan earlier this season, he simply jumped completely over a helpless defender and continued on down the field. Even after the initial hit, Moreno often can get an extra yard or two with relative ease and rarely goes down before getting gang-tackled. His 40 times in the 4.6 area at both the combine and UGA's pro day were a bit disappointing and will most likely keep him out of the Top 10. An All-American on the field, Moreno has never been anything other than a strong example off the field as well. Look for him to go off the board near fellow RB Chris Wells somewhere around 15th or 20th in the upcoming draft.
Pros: All around RB with good size, strength, speed, acceleration and most importantly, desire. Gives 100%, very coachable. Good hands out of the backfield.Cons: Physical runner who will take some punishment (ala Clinton Portis). Not top speed or size.Styg's Broncos "Fit": Easily one of the most dynamic players in the draft, it isn't Knowshon's measurables that elevate his play, but his unwillingness to give up. His measurable s are good enough to aid him in historic production in his efforts to win ball games, and his vision, cutback ability, quickness, receiving and ball handling all grade out at the top. He is no slouch as a blocker and knows how to follow blocks, and he is a smart, confident player who has no trouble absorbing and understanding plays. His athleticism is rare, and for every scout or analyst who tells you that Moreno plays too physical for his size, there will be an offensive line coach who pines after a football player. A can't-miss prospect.
"When the team ran stadium steps, at 6 a.m., Moreno bounded the stairs two at a time, passing his half-asleep teammates and hollering all the way to the top. His intensity caught many teammates off guard and plain pissed off some upperclassmen. But when they realized Moreno wasn't going to back off or slow down, their attitude changed."He works every play at 100%, and eventually that rubs off on you," says fullback Brannon Southerland, a senior. "I'm three years older than Knowshon, and I look at him as a leader."