Monday, November 27, 2006

Danny Woodhead : The Best Running Back and Best "Little Guy" in NCAA College Football 2006

The best running back in college football 2006 is...
you guessed it...
the best running back in Nebraska...
and that is the Cornhuskers I-Back?...
no...he does not play for the Huskers...
Solich did not want him...Callahan did not want him...
it is Chadron State's unsung hero...
what team was that?...
Chadron State...
and who is running?...
Danny Woodhead.

Danny Woodhead - photo linked from
The Chadron Record

Woodhead is a junior at Chadron State (an NCAA Division II football team). .

Danny Woodhead - photo linked from
The Durango Herald

Here is what Dirk Chatelain, staff writer at the Omaha World Herald, October 29, 2006, writes at Woodhead a 'freaky good' running back:

"Just read what Mike Kramer says.

"I'm just going to tell you right now: If he was at Nebraska, he'd be the starting tailback," Kramer said. " ...

Kramer is the head football coach at Division I-AA Montana State. His team shocked Colorado in September, then got blown out by Chadron State a week later. Woodhead ran for 215 yards on Kramer's Bobcats, 109 more than Colorado's entire offense.... [Montana State just beat Division I-AA 8th-ranked Furman 31-13 in the playoffs and will play Nr. 1 ranked Appalachian State on Dec. 2. Note that the label I-AA disappears in December.]

"I'm not just jumping on the wagon now," Kramer continued. "This kid's been doing this for a long time. I've been around. I've seen a lot of players. This guy is freaky. He's freaky good.

"What he's accomplishing right now, in the realm of college football, is going to stand in the record books for a heck of a long time."

Woodhead is on pace - you ready for this? - to rush for more yards than anybody who's ever played NCAA football at any level."

Danny Woodhead is one of the great mysteries of the crass failings visible in college football recruiting by Division I-A schools and he is especially a specific failing of then Nebraska Cornhusker head coach Frank Solich, who did not find Woodhead worth recruiting, even though Woodhead graduated from high school as Nebraska's Class A (the highest class) leading all time rusher, and more (see below). Since no one wanted him because of his small size, Woodhead wound up going to NCAA Division II Chadron State, even though his high school credentials were as prolific as his current performance:

"If Woodhead maintains his 2006 pace, he will break the all-time Division II rushing record in the fourth game of 2007. By the fifth game, he will break the all-time rushing record for any NCAA school.

Woodhead could become the first player in NCAA history to surpass 8,000 yards or 100 touchdowns.

Eye-popping numbers are not new for Woodhead.

He's the Nebraska high school Class A all-time leading rusher. He led Class A basketball with 26 points a game in 2004. He led his soccer team in scoring. He ran the 100 meters in 10.5 seconds and won the indoor 55 meters at last spring's Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference track meet.

But there's an asterisk tethered to Woodhead. Always has been.

He's 5-foot-8 and 200 pounds...."

At Chadron State, Woodhead this year has already set the NCAA single season rushing record and more is in store, as Chadron State is still alive in the Division II football playoffs. After running for 252 yards on 35 carries in Chadron State's November 25, 2006 43-17 Division II playoff win over West Texas A&M:

"The junior from North Platte now has carried 328 times for 2,740 yards and 34 touchdowns this fall. No other back in college football annals has reached the 2,700-yard milestone in a season."

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