Talk About Underrated! Mizzou's Derrick Washington Deserves Star Treatment

Peter FleischerSenior Writer ISeptember 23, 2008

Javon Ringer? Yes.

Knowshon Moreno? For sure.

Charles Scott? I'll buy it.

But inspecting the Running Back Power Rankings, there are some people that have absolutely NO business being ranked ahead of Missouri RB Derrick Washington, who is having a whale of season behind Heisman candidate Chase Daniel. 

D-Wash is leading the Big 12 in scoring, has eight TDs in basically three games, and is averaging almost seven yards/carry. So where's the national love and respect?!

His line for the season reads like this:

361 yards on 53 carries (6.8 yds avg.), 79 yards on seven rec. (11.3 avg.), nine total TDs

He's a power back that can break tackles and run over defenders, but at the same time, good luck catching him in open space. Washington is not only a talented runner (he describes himself as "versatile"), he can also catch passes out of the backfield.

He's made fans forget about Tony Temple, a shifty back who rushed for 1,000 yards two straight years.

So where does D-Wash belong in the real RB Power Rankings? Let's break it down.

He belongs after: Knowshon Moreno, Javon Ringer, Donald Brown, Charles Scott, and Jahvid Best.

He belongs before:

- Chris "Beanie" Wells (ranked No. 3 right now): This guy hasn't played since Week One! Yeah, he's a beast, but he hasn't played. I don't get how he could still be at the top of a list that is updated after player's performances each week.

- DeMarco Murray (4): They average the same amount of yards/carry, but D-Wash has five more TDs with only seven more carries. Plus, he's a much better player catching the ball out of the backfield.

- P.J. Hill (10): Washington has more yards/carry, more TDs, and Hill has zero receptions on the year. Not very versatile. The "Wisconsin Winnebago" is a great power runner, but not much else.

- Noel Devine (12): He has yet to get into the end zone this season on offense and hasn't really broken a huge play catching the ball out of the backfield yet. I love this guy, but the numbers just don't justify putting him this high.


After reading my rankings, I realized the audacity of the claims I've made. Washington is the sixth best running back in the nation?! Washington is the best running back in the Big 12?! Well...I guess that is what I'm saying. But the numbers are backing it up too.

I would love to hear what other people think, especially because Washington has gotten almost no love nationally, so it's not likely that people realize how good he really is.