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Steve Slaton

A photo of Steve Slaton.

Steve Slaton (born January 4, 1986 in Levittown, Pennsylvania) is a junior running back for the West Virginia University Mountaineers. Slaton along with teammate Patrick White are both front-runners for the 2007 Heisman Trophy.

Early and personal lifeEdit

Born into a family of six siblings, Steve Slaton is the son of Carl Slaton and Juanita Tiggett-Slaton. He grew up with a hard childhood. Up until first grade, congestion in his ears rendered Slaton completely deaf at times. In fifth grade, Slaton's sister died of leukemia. [1]

Playing for Conwell-Egan Catholic High School in Fairless Hills, Pennsylvania, Slaton made the varsity football team as a freshman. He was the most valuable player of the Philadelphia Catholic League and a four-year all-conference selection. As a senior, he rushed for 1,836 yards and 26 TDs. He was a first team all-state as a junior and senior. He rushed for more than 6,000 career yards and 73 touchdowns, setting five school records. Slaton was invited, however did not participate in the annual Big 33 Football Classic.[2]

Slaton was also a track star in high school. His best times were 7.05 in Trials, 23-3.05 long jump (sixth-best in the U.S.), and then won the 60-yard dash in 7.07, the 200-yard dash in 23.17, and the 400-yard dash in 51.36. [3]

Slaton received offers to go to college from North Carolina, Maryland and Rutgers, but chose West Virginia, but mainly as a defensive back.[4][5] Slaton had originally chose Maryland for his college, but they ended up passing a scholarship on him, instead going with Morgan Green.[6]

Slaton recently had a child, Julian Xavier Slaton, on November 30, 2006.

West Virginia UniversityEdit

2005 seasonEdit

Slaton began his true freshman year as the 4th string running back. He saw his first action in the second game of the season versus Wofford. He carried the ball 8 times for 42 yards and also had a 14-yard reception.

After not getting any carries the next two games, he led the team with 90 yards rushing on eleven carries against then #3 ranked Virginia Tech. Slaton got his first ever start of his career in the next game against Rutgers. Rushing for 139 yards and a touchdown, Slaton helped the Mountaineers to the 27-14 win.

Slaton had one of the most memorable games in WVU football history in the next game vs. Louisville. After trailing 17-0 at Halftime, Slaton and the Mountaineers rallied from a 24-7 4th Quarter deficit to win the game 46-44 in 3 overtimes. After kicking an onside kick that led to the tying score, the Mountaineers headed into overtime with the Cardinals. Slaton finished the game with 188 yards on 31 carries and 5 rushing touchdowns. Slaton also had his first receiving touchdown of the season. His six touchdowns are a WVU and Big East record. He was named the Walter Camp, USA Today, and Rivals.com national player of the week and was also named the Big East player of the week. Slaton added 71 yards on 17 carries in a nationally televised Big East game with Connecticut, while his teammate Pat White upstaged him with 106 pass yards and a score and 63 rush yards and two rushing touchdowns. Slaton left the game early after an injury to his wrist.

Slaton's 17 rushing touchdowns on the season was tied for third most in a season in West Virginia history, while his 1,128 yards rushing is ranked 13th most rushing yards on a season in school history (a record he broke his sophomore season).

Slaton had another outstanding day against Cincinnati, gaining 129 yards on 25 carries and scoring 4 touchdowns. To begin the 2nd quarter, Slaton had a Walter Payton-like diving touchdown over a pile on the goaline, followed by two more touchdown runs. Slaton scored three more touchdowns (two rushing, one receiving) in the next game against Pitt. Slaton had 179 yards rushing on 34 carries as West Virginia beat Pitt, 45-13. In the final Big East game of the season, Slaton had 86 yards on 28 carries and one touchdown against the South Florida Bulls. West Virginia finished the regular season 10-1 and 7-0 in the Big East, earning the school a bid in the Nokia Sugar Bowl, while Slaton finished the season with 1,128 yards on 205 attempts with 17 touchdowns.

Nokia Sugar BowlEdit

WVU earned the automatic bid by winning the Big East and was set to face the Georgia Bulldogs in the 2005 Nokia Sugar Bowl on January 2, 2006. The Sugar Bowl traditionally takes place in New Orleans, Louisiana. However, due to damage to the Superdome from Hurricane Katrina, the game took place at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Georgia. On the third play of the Mountaineers first series, Slaton ran the ball 52 yards to score the first touchdown of the game. With WVU leading 21-0, Slaton scored his second touchdown of the game to give the Mountaineers a 28-0 lead and leave the crowd and everyone watching at home stunned. West Virginia had a slim 31-28 lead entering the 4th Quarter, when Slaton scored his third touchdown of the game on another 52-yard run. With the score 38-35 and just under two minutes to go, punter Phil Brady sealed the West Virginia victory by gaining 10 yards on a fake punt. Slaton was named the Sugar Bowl MVP gaining a new Sugar Bowl record of 204 yards on 26 carries and scoring 3 touchdowns. Slaton's 204 yards were not only a Sugar Bowl record, but the second most rushing yards ever in a BCS game.[7]

2006 seasonEdit

Slaton began the season in the same fashion he finished last season. He recorded his second straight 200-yard performance by putting up 203 yards on 33 carries and two touchdowns against instate rival Marshall. Slaton saw very limited work in the second game of the season against Eastern Washington. Playing only the first two series of the game, Slaton was still able to break 100 yards rushing getting 105 yards on only 8 carries and scoring two touchdowns. He scored on a 49-yard touchdown run on WVU's second play from scrimmage.

In a very meaningful game of revenge, Slaton dazzled a national audience by gaining 149 yards in the 1st Quarter alone against Maryland. Slaton was recruited by Maryland, but his scholarship was eventually withdrawn. Slaton finished the game with 195 yards on 21 carries and added another two touchdowns. Slaton helped the highly ranked Mountaineers to their fourth win of the season by gaining 80 yards on 24 carries against the [East Carolina Pirates]].

The Mountaineers moved to 5-0 as Slaton had a very impressive day against a very good Mississippi State run defense. Slaton finished with 185 yards on 26 carries and scored his 7th touchdown of the season. In the first Big East game of the season, The Mountaineers used a dominating ground game to beat the Syracuse Orangemen 41-17 and remain undefeated. WVU had a total of 457 yards on the ground and 5 touchdowns. Slaton carried the ball 20 times for 163 yards, including a 52-yard touchdown run. On a Friday night game in front of a national audience against the Connecticut Huskies, Slaton carried the ball nineteen times for 128 yards, including a career high 56-yard touchdown run.

In the Big East game of the year vs. Louisville, Slaton was unable to repeat last years performance. After a great first half, Slaton had two costly fumbles on consecutive snaps to start the 3rd Quarter. Slaton sat out the rest of the 3rd because he was unable to grip the ball after taking a helmet to his elbow. He returned in the 4th to help WVU close the gap, but the defense was unable to come up with any stops and WVU lost the game, 44-34. Slaton finished the game with 156 yards on 18 carries and a 42-yard touchdown run. Slaton added another 74 yards on 3 receptions.

In the ninth game of the season, Slaton exploded for runs of 65 and 63 yards to help WVU bounce back and beat Cincinnati 42-24. Slaton finished the game with 148 yards and two touchdowns on just 12 carries. The highlight run of the game came in the 2nd quarter, when Slaton took a draw play around the right corner and outruns the whole Cincinnati defense for a 65-yard touchdown run. In the 99th meeting of the Backyard Brawl, Slaton had one of the most impressive games in WVU history. Although getting off to a slow start in the first half running the ball (7 car., 6 yds.), he became the first Mountaineer to ever have more than 100 yards rushing (215) and 100 yards receiving (130) in the same game. The 215 yard performance came on 23 carries and his 130 yards receiving came on 6 first half receptions, including a 67-yard pass from White that led to West Virginia's first score of the game, off of a Slaton 15-yard run. Slaton added 4 more touchdowns, 2 receiving and 2 rushing. The following week, Slaton has his least productive game of his college career when South Florida held him to just 43 yards on 18 carries in a 24-19 loss.

In the final regular season game, in front of a national audience, Slaton helped lead the Mountaineers, without star quarterback Pat White, to a 41-39 triple overtime victory against Rutgers. Slaton gained 112 yards on 23 carries and scored two touchdowns, including one in overtime. Jarrett Brown, White's replacement, had 244 yards passing with a touchdown and 73 yards rushing and a ground score.

Slaton finished the season with 1,744 yards on 248 carries with 16 touchdowns with a wrist injury all season. Slaton's 1,744 yards was third in the nation, while his average yards per run was ninth and his touchdown total was tied for 8th. His yardage was a West Virginia rushing record for a season, breaking Avon Cobourne's record of 1,710 yards, and was 22nd in West Virginia's record book of most total offense in a season. Slaton's 360 reception yards is the second most in a season by a running back in school history as well, behind legendary fullback Jim Braxton's 565 yards, while his 27 receptions was tied for third most by a back in a season. Slaton's all-purpose yards of 2,104 is a West Virginia season record as well. In the season, Slaton and quarterback Pat White combined for 2,963 yards and 34 rushing touchdowns.

Toyota Gator BowlEdit

Steve Slaton did not see much play time in the game due to a deep thigh bruise. The Mountaineers won the game against the Georgia Tech Yellowjackets, 38-35, mostly in part to Slaton's teammates Pat White, Pat McAfee, and Owen Schmitt. Schmitt filled in for Slaton with 109 yards on 13 rushed with 2 touchdowns. Slaton finished with 11 yards rushing on just 3 carries and 2 receptions for 20 yards.

2007 seasonEdit

Slaton missed spring practice due to connective surgery on his wrist. He took part in conditioning drills during the early summer after rehabbing his wrist.

In the first game of the season against Western Michigan, Steve Slaton struggled rushing early as the Broncos keyed in on him, but was able to catch a 50 yard touchdown pass. Slaton only had 21 yards in the first half, allowing quarterback Patrick White to have a career-day. Slaton burst out in the second half however with a 58 yard touchdown score. Slaton ended with 109 rushing yards and three touchdowns and 61 receiving yards on 2 receptions and a touchdown as the Mountaineers won 62-24.[8]

Slaton is currently third on the West Virginia school history rushing yardage total for a career with 2,981 yards for his career, 2,183 yards behind Avon Cobourne's current record. His 41 career rushing touchdowns is also third most in school history, six away from the current record set by Cobourne. Slaton is also seventh on the most all-purpose yards in a career, 2,126 yards away from Cobourne's current mark. Slaton and quarterback Patrick White have both combined for 5,250 yards and 64 touchdowns rushing in their careers.

Career statisticsEdit

 WVU   Rushing   Receiving   Defense
Season Games Att Yds Avg Lg TD Rec Yds Avg Lg TD Solo Assist Tackle
2005 10 205 1,128 5.5 52 17 12 95 7.9 19 2 0 0 0
2006 13 248 1,744 7.0 65 16 27 360 13.3 67 2 2 0 2
2007 1 16 109 6.8 58 3 2 61 30.5 50 1 0 0 0
Total 24 469 <b>2,981 <b>6.4 <b>65 <b>36 <b>41 <b>516 <b>12.6 <b>67 <b>5 <b>2 <b>0 <b>2

HonorsEdit

2005Edit

  • Named Walter Camp, USA Today, Rivals.com national player of the week and the Big East player of the week for the October 15, 2005 game against Louisville.
  • Named first-team freshman All-America by Rivals.com, second team The Sporting News, Collegefootballnews.com, Scout.com)
  • Named as the Big East rookie of the year, the ECAC rookie of the year, and second team All-Big East his freshman season.
  • Named 2005 Nokia Sugar Bowl MVP after rushing for 204 yards on 26 carries and scoring 3 touchdowns in a 38-35 WVU victory.

2006Edit

  • Named Big East Player of the Week following the Marshall game on Sept. 2, 2006.
  • Slaton was named as a semi-finalist for the 2006 Maxwell Award, which is presented to the Collegiate Player of the Year.[9]
  • Slaton was named as one of ten players to watch for the 2006 Walter Camp Foundation Player of the Year.[10]
  • Slaton was named as a finalist for the 2006 Doak Walker Award.[11]
  • Slaton was named as a Football Writers of America All-American, an American Football Coaches Association All-American, a First Team AP All-American, a The Sporting News All-American, to the Scout.com First Team All-American and All-Big East Team, [12] All Big East First Team,[13] first team Walter Camp All-American, to the ECAC D-I All-Star team, and second team All-American by SI.com[14] for the 2006 season.
  • Slaton finished 4th in the 2006 Heisman Trophy race behind Troy Smith, Darren McFadden and Brady Quinn. Slaton finished with 6 1st place votes, 51 2nd place votes, and 94 3rd place votes for 214 total points.
  • Finished tied for 4th in the AP Player of the Year in 2006.
  • Slaton was named the 2006 Scout.com Big East Offensive Player of the Year.
  • Named the Outstanding Amateur Athlete of the Year by the Philadelphia Sports Writers Association. [15]

2007Edit

  • Slaton was selected for the Playboy, Athlon, and Lindy's All-American team for the preseason. [16]
  • Slaton was a consensus preseason first-team all-Big East selection.
  • SI.com named Slaton one of the most fun athletes to watch, comparing his running style to Walter Payton.[17]
  • Slaton started the 2007 season ranked #2 on ESPN's Heisman Watch list posted on August 13, 2007.[18]

RecordsEdit

GameEdit
  • Most touchdowns scored in a single game by a WVU player - 6 (Oct. 15, 2005 vs. Louisville)
  • Second most points scored in a single game by a WVU player - 36 (Oct. 15, 2005 vs. Louisville)
  • Tied with Willis McGahee with the most touchdowns and points scored by a Big East player - 6 TDs, 36 Pts (Oct. 15, 2005 vs. Louisville)[19]
  • Most rushing yards in a Sugar Bowl game - 204
SeasonEdit
  • Ranks third for freshman rushing in WVU history - 1,128 yards
  • Most rushing yards in Big East history by a true freshman (3rd most by any freshman) - 1,128 yards
  • Finished seventh in points scored (144), sixth in touchdowns scored (19), and sixth in rushing touchdowns (17) in the nation during the 2005 season.
  • Finished forth in rushing yards per game(134.15), second in all-purpose yards per game (161.85), thirds in rushing yards (1,744), ninth in yards per carry (7.0), eight in rushing touchdowns (16), and seventh in touchdowns scored (18) in the nation during the 2006 season.
  • Ranks third (17) and fifth (16) for most rushing touchdowns in a season.
  • Most rushing yards in a season in WVU history - 1,744
  • Ranks first (19) and second (18) for most touchdowns (rushing and receiving) in a season
  • Ranks sixth in WVU history in rushing attempts in a season - 248
  • Ranks second in WVU history for most receiving yards by a running back - 360
  • Ranks third in WVU history for most receptions by a running back - 27
  • Most all purpose yards in a season in WVU history - 2,104
  • Tied for most consecutive 100 yard rushing games in WVU history with six.
CareerEdit
  • Ranks third all-time in rushing yards in WVU history - 2,981
  • Ranks third all-time in rushing touchdowns in WVU history - 36
  • Ranks third all-time in total touchdowns in WVU history - 41
  • Ranks sixth all-time in rushing attempts in WVU history - 469
  • Ranks forth all-time in receiving yards by a running back in WVU history - 516
  • Ranks eighth all-time in receptions by a running back in WVU history - 41
  • Ranks seventh all-time in all purpose yards in WVU history - 3,497

TriviaEdit

  • Big East rival Pittsburgh's linebacker H.B. Blades said of Slaton after the Mountaineer-win 45-27 in Blades' senior year of 2006, "...Steve Slaton, he does pretty much everything."
  • Slaton, QB Pat White, and FB Owen Schmitt were featured on one of the 6 regional covers of the 8/21/06 issue of Sports Illustrated, as part of their "Big Men On Campus" article and their 2006-2007 college football season preview. Slaton was named West Virginia's "Big Man On Campus" in the same issue.
  • West Virginia is 19-2 when Slaton is the starting running back.
  • Slaton has sixteen 100-yard rushing games, including three 200-yard rushing games.
  • Slaton and White had a 60-yard dash to see who was the fastest on the team. Slaton won by one one-hundredth of a second.
  • Slaton became the first Mountaineer to ever have 100 yards rushing (215) and 100 yards receiving (130) in the same game. Also, Slaton and White became only the third tandem in NCAA D-I history to both rush for 200+ yards in the same game. - (Nov. 16, 2006 vs. Pittsburgh)
  • Slaton and Patrick White were featured on the cover of a 2006 and 2007 pre-season Athlon Sports magazine.
  • Slaton was featured on the cover of a July 10, 2007 USA Today Sports Weekly magazine.
  • Slaton was featured on the cover of a Sporting News Big East & ACC college football magazine.
  • Slaton was featured on a 2007 regional pre-season Sports Illustrated magazine.[20]

ReferencesEdit

  1. http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/05303/597355.stm
  2. Steve Slaton. Player Profile. MSNsportsNET.com.
  3. http://www.dyestat.com/3state/PA/4in/feb15pcl.htm
  4. http://www.sportingnews.com/yourturn/viewtopic.php?t=208491
  5. http://web.archive.org/web/20070929124118/http://www.philly.com/dailynews/sports/20070824_COULDNT_BE_PROUDER.html
  6. http://sports.aol.com/fanhouse/2007/07/31/terptv-maryland-tackles-the-small-screen/
  7. "BSC Records", Bcsfootball.org, 2006-07-09. Retrieved on 2006-10-14. 
  8. http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/recap?gameId=272440277
  9. "Two More Semi-Finalists", Scout.com, 2006-10-23. Retrieved on 2006-10-25. 
  10. "Camp Found. Announces 10 "Players to Watch"", Scout.com, 2006-11-13. Retrieved on 2006-11-13. 
  11. "Mozes, Slaton Garner National Honors", Scout.com, 2006-11-21. Retrieved on 2006-11-21. 
  12. "Scout.com All-American Teams", Scout.com, 2006-12-04. Retrieved on 2006-12-04. 
  13. "Big East Conference Announces 2006 Post Season Football Honors", Bigeast.org, 2006-12-06. Retrieved on 2006-12-06. 
  14. "SI.com's All-Americans", SI.com, 2006-12-07. Retrieved on 2006-12-07. 
  15. http://www.msnsportsnet.com/page.cfm?story=10176
  16. http://westvirginia.scout.com/2/642162.html
  17. http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/multimedia/photo_gallery/0706/gallery.most.fun.to.watch/content.9.html
  18. http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/heisman07/index
  19. Big East Records. Individual Records. BigEast.org.
  20. http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/multimedia/photo_gallery/0708/cfb.preview.covers/content.5.html

External linksEdit

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