Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Countdown to UGA-GSU: 24 Days

#24 Knowshon Moreno, TB
5-11, 207, Belford NJ (Middletown South HS), RS Soph.
Coming out of New Jersey in 2006, Moreno was considered a strong prospect, a top 10 national recruit at running back, and the #3 prospect in the state of New Jersey (FYI - Florida State DB Myron Rolle, and former Southern Cal and now Maryland DB Antwine Perez were the two players considered a cut above Knowshon in NJ by the recruiting services.) Still, Moreno was very highly recruited, choosing the Dawgs over Maryland, Michigan, Virginia, Virginia Tech and Florida (the Gators were on him HARD late in the game, and it was probably down to Georgia and Florida when Moreno made his decision.) The Dawgs had a slew of running backs at their disposal in 2006 (Lumpkin, T. Brown, Ware), so UGA could afford to redshirt Knowshon in his first season. However, there was no denying that he was as talented a back the Dawgs had on the roster, even though he spent that first year on the scout team. He entered the 2007 season as the backup to Thomas Brown, but even getting limited touches was very productive early in the season. He posted a 100 yard rushing effort in only his 2nd collegiate game vs South Carolina with 104 yards. (You'll recall that there were times in that game when he was unstoppable, then inexplicably the coaches forgot he had dressed out and decided to stop running the ball altogether, which led to what turned out to be a devastating loss.) When Brown went down prior to the Vanderbilt game, Moreno was thrust into his first start, and responded with 157 yards on 28 carries. The following week in Jacksonville he made himself known to the world, with 188 yards on 33 carries in the big win over the Gators. (As a result, he has managed to make himself Public Enemy #1 in Gainesville, an honor which I'm quite certain he relishes.) Moreno finished the season with 1,334 yards and 14 TDs, easily the 2nd best season in UGA history for a freshman running back. He wound up a 1st team All-SEC performer, and made everybody's Freshman All-American list. He enters the 2008 season as a 1st team All-American selection by most publications, and right at the top of everybody's Heisman watch list. He's probably the most electrifying and exciting offensive player to wear the UGA uniform in 16 years, but to be honest he has almost unbelievable expectations to live up to this season. If anybody can handle it, you have to think it is Moreno, but fact is he is going to be the focus of every defense he sees in 2008 (Stafford's development aside.)
Depth Chart Analysis: The Man at tailback. The Dawgs have alot of talent that can spell Knowshon when he needs it, but Moreno is the lifeblood of the offense.


Anonymous said...

"but even getting limited touches was very productive early in the season"

WRONG. He had 20 carries in the opener. His touches certainly increased in the three game stretch when T Brown was injured, but from game 1 he was getting touches. 20+ touches.

JJ said...

Anonymous @ 8:34: His touches were "limited" by the presence of the guy playing in front of him. Give it a rest buddy. You're getting to predictable lately.

Mike said...
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Bop said...

I can't help but remember watching Stafon Johnson pick USC over UGA on ESPN. Now Johnson is good, and just might live up to his 5 star hype, but I sure am glad Georgia had to settle for the '10th best' RB recruit in '06.

Remember how jacked he'd get on the sidelines during his redshirt year? My wife used to ask who the player on the sidelines was that kept hitting our players so hard in excitement was.

JJ said...

Bop, I remember the Auburn game in '06 when Moreno had to be physically restrained from injuring poor little Tra Battle after he picked Brandon Cox for the 14th time in the 1st half. Without ever having watched him carry the ball in a game, something just told me he was going to be special from watching him get fired up on the sidelines.