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January 7, 2006
Wells tops on offense
Chris Wells showed the nation why he's the top running back in the country on Saturday at the U.S. Army All American Bowl. Wells is on top of our list of the Top 15 offensive players due to his three touchdown, MVP performance.SAN ANTONIO, Tex. - Ohio State fans get ready, the next great running back for the Buckeyes is coming. Akron (Ohio) Garfield bruiser
"This was my Super Bowl, the highlight of my high school career," said the 6-foot-1, 228-pounder. "I've always wanted to play in this game and to be named MVP is a great honor."
1) RB Chris Wells -- Wells ran for three touchdowns and was dominant inside and outside in the running game. His massive size allowed him to gain tough yards in between the tackles and his quickness allowed him to bounce things outside. Wells also threw a great crackback block on Percy Harvin's electrifying reverse. Watch out Big Ten, Wells is coming.
2) OL Andre Smith -- Offensive linemen never get enough credit, but in this case we're not going to overlook Smith. He was awesome on the day, dominating defensive end Eddie Jones from the West, opening holes for Wells and even pancaking 6-foot-4, 330-pound Al Woods on a play.
3) RB Michael Goodson -- Goodson didn't have great rushing numbers, but he was key in the passing game and had that one huge 51-yard screen pass late in the game. He reaches top speed so fast and has great cutting ability.
4) WR Deon Beasley -- Beasley is super quick and tough despite his lack of size. His opening kickoff return and subsequent gain a couple of plays later on a catch were both called back due to penalties. Beasley beat East cornerback Steve Brown down the sidelines on his touchdown catch and was dangerous on specials.
5) WR Vidal Hazelton -- Hazelton's 58-yard catch in front Jai Eugene on third down from the shadow of the East's goalline was a huge play. Credit Hazelton for coming back on the ball and not giving up when his quarterback scrambled. Hazelton also came within a shoelace of a great touchdown grab over Eugene.
6) QB Tim Tebow -- Tebow started slow, but made a lot of plays the East needed, including the aforementioned pass to Hazelton. On that play he avoided the rush of Gerald McCoy and got the ball off on the run just as Butch Lewis was slamming into him. Tebow also ran the ball effectively and managed the game well.
7) QB Jevan Snead -- The West quarterbacks were running for their lives all night because their offensive line was outmatched and seemingly soft. Snead showed excellent mobility, accuracy on the run and toughness. His touchdown pass to Terrence Austin was perfectly thrown and on time. He's going to be a good fit for the Texas offense.
8) WR Terrence Austin -- Austin beat Myron Rolle twice on the day, the first time drawing a holding call when his jersey was grabbed and then on his touchdown catch from Snead. On the TD, Austin got his head around a little late but still caught the pass with excellent reaction time. Austin is quick and gets in and out of his cuts well.
9) WR David Ausberry -- Ausberry dropped an easy pass, but still averaged 24 on the two he hauled in. He adjusts to the long ball very well and can turn and find it when thrown over the wrong shoulder. His size helps him shield off corners.
11) RB Stafon Johnson -- Johnson played quite a bit on defense during the week, but he was the most consistent runner for the West on Saturday. He showed good power up the middle and a nice burst.
12) WR Chris Bell -- Bell did his damage on special teams showing deceptive speed because of his long stride. He caught one pass but dropped another for a touchdown, so as a receiver he had an up-and-down day. But he made the West pay for kicking away from Harvin.
12) WR Percy Harvin -- Harvin didn't catch a pass in the game and ran two reverses for 22 yards. He also fumbled a punt. So how does he crack the top 15? His reverse in the first quarter was the most exciting play of the game and showed start and stop ability akin to Reggie Bush. However, it was disappointing he didn't get more touches.
13) FB Jarrell Miller -- For a guy playing out of position, Miller did a great job lead blocking for Wells and others and even showed soft hands on a 15-yard pass from Tebow.
14) OL Carl Johnson -- How'd you like to snap center for the first time in a live game on national television? Much less in a shotgun offense? Johnson struggled all week when Daniel Wenger was injured here and there, but he did excellent in the game.
15) OL Justin Boren -- The run game for the East worked well on the left side and Tebow was able to roll out successfully because of Smith and Boren at tackle and guard.
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