Height: 6-2 Weight: 229 Age: 26
Born: 8/7/1988 Akron , OH
College: Ohio State
Selected By: Arizona Cardinals
Pick (Overall): 31 (31)
Regarded by many as the most powerful tailback in college football, that title came with a hefty price for Wells during his three years at Ohio State. Even though he suffered from a rash of injuries - a left ankle sprain, a right wrist sprain and a thumb fracture in 2007; a right foot sprain, turf toe, a hamstring strain and a concussion in 2008 - he only missed three games while compiling enough rushing yardage to rank fourth on the school career record list.
Following in the footsteps of Archie Griffin, Keith Byars and Eddie George, Wells had big shoes to fill and lots of veteran depth to move past on the roster before he was given his opportunity. Being one of 11 children, he was used to being patient waiting for his time to come.
Wells was just the seventh player in school history to rush for more than 3,000 yards in a career (3,382). His average of 93.94 yards per game rushing was the third-best mark in Buckeyes annals. He tied Keith Byars (1982-85) for third on OSU's all-time record chart with 17 100-yard rushing performances. In his first season as a starter, he amassed 1,609 yards on the ground in 2007, the fourth-best season total by an Ohio State running back.
At Garfield High School, Wells was a Parade All-American and named the nation's top running back as a senior, rushing for 2,134 yards and 27 touchdowns on 223 carries (9.6 avg) in 2005. As a junior, he rushed for 1,939 yards and scored 20 touchdowns. The 2005 National Player of the Year scored three touchdowns on his way to being selected Most Valuable Player of the U.S. Army All-America Bowl.
Wells was Ohio State's first commitment to its 2006 recruiting class, enrolling at the university in time to compete in 2006 spring practice. He rushed for game-high 48 yards on 11 carries in the spring game, but found himself listed behind Maurice Wells and Antonio Pittman on the depth chart entering the season.
Despite playing as a reserve in all 13 games, Wells finished second on the team with 576 yards on 104 carries (5.5 avg) and seven touchdowns. Fumble issues saw his playing time decrease as the season progressed.
As a sophomore, Wells took over the tailback position, starting all 13 games despite battling a nagging ankle sprain all campaign. He was also hampered by a late-season fractured bone near his thumb that would require surgery after the season. The second-team All-American still produced the fourth-best season in school history, as he amassed 1,609 yards on 274 attempts (5.9 avg), finding the end zone 15 times.
Hoping to become more mobile, Wells shed more than 10 pounds from his frame before the 2008 season opener, but was limited in his off-season training program and missed the bulk of spring drills while recovering from thumb surgery. In the season opener vs. Youngstown State, he was carted off the field with a right foot sprain (also suffered from turf toe) and would miss OSU's next three contests. Upon his return, he was forced to wear an offensive lineman's high-top cleats, but called them "cement shoes," as they hampered his cutting ability.
Later in the season, Wells had a hamstring issue to deal with and later missed a portion of the Fiesta Bowl with a concussion. He still led the team in rushing with 207 attempts for 1,197 yards (5.8 avg) and eight touchdowns, as his average of 119.7 yards per game ranked sixth among the nation's running backs. He also more than doubled his receiving output, catching eight passes for 47 yards (5.9 avg).