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Well they're talking about prospects. Barry Sanders was a little on the small side so I can see why he isn't included in the best RB prospects ever. But good mention of Herschel Walker. People forget how dominate he was in college. Just absolutely destroyed the competition; Size and speed to dominate. Even though he did fairly well in the pros, he was considered a disappointment considering how high he was rated.
I don't know if Earl Campbell would be considered the best RB prospect ever, but he was a damn beast, and one of my favorite running backs ever. Watching Earl highlights is just so entertaining. The guy just destroyed people. I think there's a youtube video if him at Texas basically picking up a Rice defender and carrying him about 5 yards into the endzone.
I just dusted off an old SPORT mag from '89 in the basement, the 1989 draft issue that was the greatest 1st round draft in NFL history(!!), producing current and future HOFers Barry Sanders, Troy Aikman, Derrick Thomas, Deion Sanders, and Steve Atwater plus a host of guys who were flat out BEASTS in college, ( Nebraska DE/OLB Broderick Thomas, Tony Mandarich, Florida safety Louis Oliver,Georgia RB Tim Worley), and guys who were all-pros and among the best at their positions like Andre Rison, Eric Metcalf, Andy Heck, and former LSU and Cardinals LB Eric Hill.
The measurables for some of these guys were off the charts and guys like Oliver, Hill, Sanders, Derrick and Broderick Thomas and Eric Hill were considered and still are seen as prototype athletes for their positions.
However, there is one RB who came out that year from Florida State who blew my mind as a kid and the reason I used to watch FSU whenever they were on TV.
RB Sammie Smith was chosen with the 9th pick in the '89 draft by the Dolphins. He was 6'2, 226#, and ran a sub 4.4. Even today I think Bowden would say he was the best RB prospect he ever coached. Too bad he liked to toot the nose candy and compounded it by being selected to play pro ball in South Florida.
There was a time when being the starting RB at Penn State seemed to automatically make a guy a top RB prospect. Curt Warner, Blair Thomas, Ki-jana Carter and Curtis Enis were all top 5 picks. Only Warner actually lived up to his billing.
Again. Barry Sanders was considered undersized coming out, so probably not in the conversation, but christ, the guy had some amazing balance and sick cuts. Some Barry from the Okie State days..............
Since Barry Sanders is a big part of this thread I'm gonna take the opportunity to show people just how awesome his Heisman season really was. I don't feel most people truely realize just how dominant he was.
In an 11 game season he rushed for 2,628 yards. A record that still stands as the most rushing yards in a season, despite the fact that teams play 12 game regular seasons now. If you count the Bowl game he rushed for 2,850 yards in 12 games. Thionk about that for a sec. If he played a 13 or 14 game schedule, as teams often do today, he would have easily gone well over 3,000 yards. Wow.