The first month of the 2006 college football season has come and gone. Enough games have been played to fairly compare players' performances to their preseason expectations. Here's a look at what I've seen so far:
Deserved the hype
These five highly touted talents have delivered so far this season:
Calvin Johnson, WR, Georgia Tech
Johnson is a human highlight reel. Everyone in the stadium knows where the ball is going yet Johnson finds a way to separate and make the play in traffic. He will never rank among the nation's elite in catches per game, but Johnson's 426 yards and seven touchdowns on 25 receptions is evidence of his big-play capability. The 6-5, 235-pound receiver finished with 115 yards and two TDs on six catches in the Yellow Jackets' 38-27 win at Virginia Tech on Saturday. Imagine what Johnson's numbers would be if he had a more efficient passer than Reggie Ball at the helm and if Georgia Tech had other weapons to draw some attention away from him?
Adrian Peterson, RB, Oklahoma
Despite an injury-riddled 2005 season and the Rhett Bomar debacle this summer, expectations were ridiculously high heading into Peterson's junior campaign. Through four games it's safe to say AD is walking the walk. The 6-1, 225-pound "bell cow" has carried the Sooners with 783 total yards and eight touchdowns in 2006. Even in the controversial loss at Oregon, Peterson's 211-yard rushing performance was the biggest reason the Sooners had a chance to pull off the road upset. Peterson deserves to be on the short list of Heisman Trophy candidates. A top-10 pick in the 2007 draft awaits him should Peterson elect to bolt Norman after this season.