Justin Forsett #21 RB
Height: 5-8 Weight: 194 Age: 28
Born: 10/14/1985 Lakeland , FL
Experience: 7th season
High School: Mulberry HS [FL]; Grace Prep Acad. [Arlington, TX]
Selected By: Seattle Seahawks
Pick (Overall): 26 (233)
With the success that Jacksonville had with Maurice Jones-Drew and the production that San Diego has received from Darren Sproles, NFL teams are no longer shying away from using draft picks on height-challenged running backs.
Enter Justin Forsett -- a one-year starter whose ability as a change-of-pace runner made him Cal's third-leading all-time rusher with 3,220 yards.
Despite starting just 17 games during his career, Forsett ranks fourth in school annals with 26 touchdowns on the ground. He is also tied for second in Cal history, running for at least 100 yards in 15 games.
Forsett led Grace Prep Academy to back-to-back state championships in the Texas private school division, earning Class 4A first-team All-State and Most Valuable Player honors. He was a member of the Dallas Morning News' All-Area Top 100 team and participated in the Texas All-Star Game, earning MVP accolades in that contest.
The explosive running back scored 63 touchdowns and rushed for nearly 5,000 yards during his last two seasons. He darted for 2,560 yards and 38 scores, leading the team to a 12-1 record in 2003. As a junior, he amassed 2,365 rushing yards and 25 touchdowns, as he led the squad to an 11-2 mark. He also lettered in basketball and track at Grace Prep after spending his freshman and sophomore semesters at Polk County (Mulberry, Fla.) High School.
Forsett enrolled at California in 2004, seeing action mostly as a gunner on the special-team coverage units. He gained 49 yards with a touchdown on 11 carries (4.5-yard average) and had an 11-yard kickoff return. He also recovered a blocked punt in the end zone for a score.
As a sophomore, Forsett served as Marshawn Lynch's backup, starting three of 12 games. He grabbed seven passes for 68 yards (9.7-yard average) and gained 70 yards on four kickoff returns (17.5 avg). He rushed 132 times for 999 yards (7.6 avg) and six touchdowns, falling one yard short of joining Lynch (1,246 yards) in becoming the 38th running back tandem in NCAA history to both rush for over 1,000 yards in the same season.
In 2006, Forsett managed two more starting assignments while appearing in all 13 games. He collected 626 yards with four touchdowns on 119 attempts (5.3-yard average) and caught 12 passes for 116 yards (9.5 avg), including one score. He also recorded three tackles (two solos) and gained 81 yards on five kickoff returns (16.2 avg).
Forsett was an All-Pac-10 Conference first-team choice as a senior. He earned multiple team honors including the Bear Backer Award as the team's offensive MVP and the Stub Allison Award (Most Inspirational). He set the Cal record with 305 rushing attempts and ranks second on the school list with 1,546 yards on the ground (5.1-yard average), as he scored 15 rushing TDs. He added 202 yards on 22 receptions (9.2 avg) and recorded one solo tackle.
In 49 games at California, Forsett started 18 games, including 13 as a senior. He ranks third in school history with 3,220 yards rushing and fourth with 26 touchdowns on the ground, as he carried 567 times (5.7-yard average). He caught 41 passes for 386 yards (9.4 avg) and a score, adding 162 yards on 10 kickoff returns (16.2 avg) while recovering a blocked punt for a touchdown. He also recorded seven tackles (six solo) on special teams.