Name: Chris “Beanie” Wells
Weight: 237 lbs.
While starring at Akron, Ohio’s Garfield High School, Chris Wells was declared by many recruiting gurus to be the top prep running back in the country. Soon after arriving in Columbus to play for the home-state Buckeyes, Wells proved the experts were right. A powerful runner who boasts both game-breaking speed and rare durability, Wells has emerged, somewhat quietly, as one of college football’s most intimidating and effective runners. Who better to carry the ball in the fourth quarter than the bruising Wells?
By The Numbers:
After showing great promise during his freshman season -- he averaged 5.5 yards per carry and scored seven touchdowns while sharing time with Antonio Pittman -- Wells took sole possession of the starting job 2007 and quickly established himself as a star. On the season, Wells rushed for 1,609 yards, averaged just under 6 yards per carry, and scored 15 touchdowns.
Wells seemed to get better as the 2007 season wore on, helping carry the Buckeye offense in late October and November with huge rushing days against Michigan State (221 yards), Penn State (133) and Wisconsin (169). But he was at his finest in Ohio State’s season-ending grudge match against Michigan. Wells carried the ball an incredible 39 times for 222 yards and two touchdowns, helping the Buckeyes to a hard-fought 14-3 win and another Big Ten championship.
The 2008 Buckeyes are loaded pretty much everywhere, but if there’s a question mark on this team, it’s at quarterback. Senior Todd Boeckman started strong in 2007 but faded down the stretch, and the fact is, he’s not a gunslinger. He is, basically, the 2008 version of former Ohio State quarterback (and national title winner) Craig Krenzel. So what does this mean for Wells? Simple: A whole lot of carries. Jim Tressel’s offense is built around the running game, with the tailback right at the center, so a 2,000-yard season for Wells is not out of the question —- nor is a run for the Heisman Trophy.