San Diego Chargers Fans: Meet Your Newest Stud Running Back, Gartrell Johnson

KyleCorrespondent IApril 26, 2009

DENVER - SEPTEMBER 1:  Gartrell Johnson #5 of the Colorado State Rams carries the ball against the Colorado Buffaloes at INVESCO Field at Mile High on September 1, 2007 in Denver, Colorado. Colorado won 31-28 in overtime. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Gartrell Johnson's dream came true earlier today, when his name showed up on the bottom of his television screen on ESPN.  Johnson, a senior running back out of Colorado State, located in Fort Collins, Colorado, was picked 135th overall in the draft.

Johnson, who came out of Miami Springs High School in 2003, rushed for 1649 yards, and 18 touchdowns his senior season, which is a Dade County record.  He earned both all-conference and all-state awards for his senior season. 

Coincidentally, Gartrell Johnson holds the record over another NFL back who went to the same high school Johnson went to.  His name?  Willis McGahee.  

Gartrell Johnson signed with Colorado State to play football in 2003.  Johnson was red shirted his first year, and barely played his freshman year. 

Johnson started seven games in his sophomore year, thanks to an injury from other Colorado State running back, Kyle Bell.  Bell, who tore his ACL in the preseason of the 2006 season, allowed Johnson to get his foot in the door.  In Johnson's sophomore year, he scored six times, and rushed for 305 yards on 109 carries, a 2.7 average.

His junior year was much better, though.  In 2007, Johnson started seven games, again, but this time he rushed for 957 yards on 181 carries, which translates to a 5.7 average.  He also had two more touchdowns than he had in his sophomore season.

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Johnson's senior year is where he exploded.  In his first year as the outright starter, Johnson rushed for 1476 yards, and 12 touchdowns.  He had the same average as his junior year, but Johnson was running much harder.

Johnson also had nearly twice as many receptions as he had in his junior, sophomore, and freshman years combined. 

Johnson clearly worked very hard between his junior and senior seasons at Colorado State. 

However, the game where scouts really noticed him, was his last at CSU.  In the 2008 New Mexico Bowl, Gartrell Johnson had the greatest game of his career.  Johnson rushed for 286 yards and two touchdowns, and caught five passes for 90 yards.

Johnson sealed the deal with a 77 yard touchdown with 1:46 left in the game.  Colorado State won the game 40-35 over the Fresno State Bulldogs.  Johnson won the Offensive MVP award.

Overall, I really like Johnson.  He's one of the hardest rushers I've ever seen.  He's comparable to Dallas Cowboy's running back Marion Barber III.  If he gets the opportunity to play in the NFL, like he did with CSU, I really think Johnson can have a successful career.

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