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College Dark Phoenix

Here we go with another edition of the College Dark Phoenix. This week we are going to look at a freshmen RB that is the gem of the program, another freshmen RB that is getting to shine because of an injury, and a senior WR that could make an impact at the next level. This is the College Dark Phoenix where we examine players that are rising from the ashes of obscurity and could be making an impact on your fantasy team in the near future.


Darren McFadden - RB - Arkansas Razorbacks
5'10" 200 lbs. - Freshman - 9th ranked high school RB when entering college

Rush / Receiving Stats
Att
Yards
TDs
Rec
Yards
TDs
Versus Mississippi State
21
165
2
-
-
-

Darren McFadden has been committed to Arkansas since he was 15, when he received a scholarship from the Razorbacks. He had a great prep career at Pulaski Oak Grove High School. His junior season he rushed for over 2,000 yards and 19 touchdowns while averaging 9.9 ypc. Before his senior season Pulaski High changed to a 4-A classification and McFadden continued to excel. He had 1,956 yards and 27 touchdowns while averaging 10.7 ypc. He was also recruited by Alabama, Tennessee, Nebraska, Auburn, and Iowa even though he had committed to Arkansas so early in high school. McFadden was the only player from Arkansas to be named a Parade All-American in 2004.

McFadden has all-world ability. He was thought to be a top 5 "athlete" when coming out of high school. He has crazy speed and is regularly and consistently clocked in the 4.3 range. Darren is not just a speed guy with limited moves. He is a very shifty runner that is extremely dangerous in the open field. His vision is topnotch and he is a very instinctive runner, often setting up defenders before reaching the 2nd level. He is known to run through arm tackles and has decent power running between the tackles. He is a young RB and still tries to bounce some runs outside. He also needs to become more patient, which will allow his game to be more consistent.

Mississippi State had their hands full trying to stop Darren McFadden. He was a highly coveted prospect coming out of high school and so far has done an outstanding job for the Razorbacks. He is a true freshmen (and now holds the Arkansas freshman record for rushing yards in a season) and should only get better. He first exploded on the national scene when Arkansas played the ranked (#4) Georgia Bulldogs. In that game he had 190 yards rushing and 2 touchdowns. McFadden is second in the SEC in rushing and has Razorback fans on the edge of their seat every time he touches the ball. He is an electrifying runner that can take it to the house on any carry. Pro scouts are already in love with this prospect, and we are all anxiously waiting for the day he declares for the NFL.


Arian Foster - RB - Tennessee Volunteers
6'1" 211 lbs. - Freshman - 143rd ranked high school RB when entering college

Rush / Receiving Stats
Att
Yards
TDs
Rec
Yards
TDs
Versus Vanderbilt
40
223
2
-
-
-

Arian Foster was an excellent prospect at Mission Bay High School in San Diego. He does compare himself to another San Diego RB, Reggie Bush. Well, Foster doesn't have the speed or moves of Bush, but he is still an intriguing player. While at Mission Bay he was also a star on the basketball team and the track team. He was named to numerous all-star teams while in high school. One of the stellar moments from his senior season saw him rush for 321 yards in a game versus Clairmont. In 2003 he led the county with 2,093 all-purpose yards, 17 rushing touchdowns, and 6 more touchdowns from kickoff returns.

Foster is a young RB that was considered by many as a late bloomer. Tennessee recruited him knowing that he had an amazing amount of unrealized potential. His skill set is similar to that of former Vol/Jaguar/Lion James Stewart. Foster is a very powerful runner that seems to glide down the field. He can lower his shoulder and punish defenders with great effectiveness. He has excellent vision and sees the entire field well. This helps him be a great cutback runner. He has good power and can run through arm tackles with ease. He needs to add some weight to improve his durability and stamina.

Arian Foster is getting his chance because of (another) injury to starting TB Gerald Riggs Jr. Riggs was lost for the season in a game versus Alabama and Foster has stepped in and not missed a beat. He has over 100 yards rushing in every game that he has started in 2005, including a 125 yard performance versus Notre Dame. Foster was redshirted in 2004 and is taking advantage of this opportunity. There are many talented backs in the Volunteer stable, but Foster has moved to the head of the pack with his productivity and toughness. Arian should add around 20 more pounds before leaving college, which would put him right at the ideal size for a NFL RB.


Jovon Bouknight - WR - Wyoming Cowboys
6'1" 191 lbs. - Senior - unranked high school WR when entering college

Rush / Receiving Stats
Att
Yards
TDs
Rec
Yards
TDs
Versus San Diego State
1
6
0
14
143
0

Jovon Bouknight was a 1st team All-City Quarterback at Manual High School in Denver. In addition to calling the signals, he was also a 2nd team All-City performer at the safety position. While in high school he played in a run-and-shoot offense and put up solid numbers. He was recruited by Colorado State, Baylor, Wyoming, New Mexico State, and Oklahoma State. Bouknight was also a great student and finished 10th in the nation for GPA among his class.

Bouknight is a seasoned WR that has become a great route runner through diligent work and a tireless effort. When he first went to Laramie he was a very raw prospect and coaches didn't know exactly where to play him. Because of his amazing athletic ability he has also played as a returner for the Cowboys. Even though his build is slight, Bouknight is a very durable and tough player. He has worked on his upper body strength and thus it has helped him run through more arm tackles.

Not very many players from the University of Wyoming make it in the NFL (Ryan Yarborough anyone?), but Bouknight could be different. He has improved his strength, conditioning, and route running during his time in college. He is an extremely smart player that knows how to get open. He has reliable hands and decent speed which will help him secure a spot at a training camp somewhere. Bouknight is a long shot, but he has the skill, determination, and desire to be successful at the next level.


That'll do it for this week's edition of The College Dark Phoenix. Be sure to check out The Ones 2 Watch and get the lowdown on the top 15 draft eligible players in the country. Of course we give you nothing but the best at Footballguys.com!

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