Top College Running Back to Play his First Pro Game for the Oakland Raiders

Ryan SCorrespondent IMarch 27, 2008

The Oakland Raiders will have a college superstar running back playing his first game in the NFL this season.

As a junior, this phenom rushed for 1,143 yards and 23 touchdowns on only 205 carries. In his last performance, he rushed for 128 yards and three the first half! You can't forget about the tight spirals and touchdowns being thrown while he was playing quarterback either.

He's 6-foot-2, 245 lbs, and has some of the quickest feet of any player in the country. Wait a minute. Those numbers don't match up to Darren McFadden. As a matter of fact, he already has a number.

So who is this player?

His name is Michael Bush. His last game was the first game of the season versus Kentucky, where he had the infamous right tibia break during his third touchdown run at the beginning of the second half. That was supposed to be his Heisman season.

Luckily for the Raiders, this sure lock of a top 15 pick dropped to the fourth round at pick number 100. He's a product of the Male High School Bulldogs, where he played quarterback, cornerback, safety, running back, linebacker, defensive end, and wide receiver. He played quarterback in the state championship game against fellow Louisville teammate Brian Brohm, and threw for 468 yards, six touchdowns passing, one touchdown running, and another 116 yards on the ground.

His solid frame and quick feet have him drawing comparisons to Jamal Lewis. In the hole, the short, choppy steps that are taken to find the proper lane and then be gone, are the ones that separate these two backs from the likes of others.

Except Michael Bush has an insane amount of explosiveness. His initial burst and sudden change of lateral movement to elude and then power over not only defensive backs, but linebackers, make him a rare find. Coming out of the backfield, his hands are exceptional on the swing pass.

We already have Justin Fargas, who isn't a "home-run hitter," but can always find the right lane, and gained 1,000 yards in only eight starts. Don't forget about the veteran Dominic Rhodes either. LaMont will be cut on the first of June, so I do not need to include him on this. If it wasn't for Denver and Kansas City in serious running back trouble, LaMont would've been gone and we could've got an insight on Bush then.

Unlike McFadden, who runs through gaps, Bush makes gaps. Ask anyone, especially Reggie Bush. Those holes in the college level aren't there in the NFL.

In the zone blocking scheme, you patiently wait, then make the hole and break through the hole. Those short, choppy steps that grind through opposing defenders, make him inevitably a threat to change direction at any time with fantastic reflexes. He fits our zone system better then any running back in the draft.

I don't know about you, but I've never seen McFadden go anywhere except through a gaping hold in the middle or run to the outside then just run on a straight line. That is not our system my fellow Raider fans. Let's stick with the runner who can break a tackle.