Kelly Kline/Icon SMI
"That's what people do. They leap, and hope to God they can fly, because otherwise you just drop like a rock, wondering the whole way down, why in the hell did I jump?"
-- Alex "Hitch" Hitchens (Will Smith), Hitch
College football loves its fads. The spread, hip-bump and personalized eye black stickers are everywhere. But the most entertaining of trends to take over the game lately is all about daring, timing and basically demoralizing an opponent. It's The Leap. It's been around, but after Michigan freshman running back Sam McGuffie took over YouTube with his Gummi Bears-like exploits, it seems everyone has added the move to their repertoire. The Tenth Power has sorted through the film, both grainy and HD, and come up with the 10 best leaps of '08.
1. Knowshon Moreno, RB, Georgia. Moreno delivered this jaw-dropping leap against Central Michigan and then trumped it with a flight from four yards out against Arizona State that would traumatize Ted Striker.
2. Chris "Beanie" Wells, RB, Ohio State. Beanie's first entry against Minnesota was impressive, but his leap over and Illinois cornerback Donsay Hardeman is arguably the run of the year. What bum toe?
3. LeGarrette Blount, RB, Oregon. Jumping over one guy not enough? Blount hurdled both a Boise State player and one of his own linemen on a TD run. He also a pair of leaps over one defender (ho-hum) against Purdue and Washington State.
4. Chase Coffman, TE, Missouri. Coffman gets this spot for volume alone -- and for being the only non-RB. At 6-foot-6, he can almost step over a defender going low for a tackle and he has leaps against Illinois, Southeast Missouri State and Texas.
5. Roy Helu, RB, Nebraska. Two guys from the Big 12 North? Yes, there is life in the conference's other division. The Cornhuskers' Mr. Electric is having a breakout season that's included a pair of leaps in back-to-back weeks against Oklahoma and Kansas (at the 4:07 mark).
6. C.J. Gable, RB, USC. We can't have a list of Leaps without a Trojan, can we? We'll call it the Reggie Bush Rule. Speaking of Bush, Gable's leap against Stanford (1:51), looked sort of familiar, didn't it?
7. Andre Brown, RB, North Carolina State. Brown's leap wasn't the most impressive, but it was all about the timing. He hurdled a East Carolina defender (0:42) on a 16-yard run in overtime, then scored the game-winning TD a play later.
8. John Clay, RB, Wisconsin. The Badgers' other bowling ball running back could barely keep his balance after his entry against Ohio State, but still, he delivered there's no discounting it was a rare highlight for Wisconsin this season.
9. Ryan Mathews, RB, Fresno State. Anyone (UCLA), anywhere (the Rose Bowl), anytime (the third quarter), as Mathews jumped over a Bruins defender for a 49-yards touchdown. Score one for the San Joaquin Valley.
10. Gartrell Johnson, RB, Colorado State. Leaps don't always go as planned. Johnson went airborne, was hit and did a face-plant against UNLV. Hey, it's 10th on the list for a reason.