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Rivals Crossover Series: No. 1s in 2006, Greg Oden vs. Percy Harvin

The Rivals Crossover Series is a weeklong look at some historic figures in football and basketball, merging our two sports into one storyline.

In this piece, national football recruiting director Mike Farrell and national basketball analyst Eric Bossi look at the No. 1 player from each sport and compare their national influence and success. Here we look at the class of 2006.



The top 10 football-basketball combo prospects

The top 10 football-basketball combo schools
No. 1 vs. No. 1 (2003): LeBron James vs. Ernie Sims

No. 1 vs. No. 1 (2004): Dwight Howard vs. Adrian Peterson

No. 1 vs. No. 1 (2005): Gerald Green vs. Derrick Williams


Basketball: Greg Oden  


Bossi’s take: All through high school in Indiana, Oden looked like he may be a generationally great big man. At 7 feet, he was a graceful athlete with strength, toughness and incredible shot-blocking ability. He wasn’t too bad offensively, either. During his lone season at Ohio State he led the Buckeyes to the national championship game and had 25 points and 12 rebounds in a loss to Florida. He was taken No. 1 overall by the Portland Trail Blazers, but was rarely healthy and played just 105 games during three seasons.



Football: Percy Harvin  

Farrell’s take: Harvin was a dominant high school player who is a legend in Virginia for his playoff performances. His career at Florida was a great one, he was a first-round pick, and had it not been for migraines and other issues, he would have been an NFL star. In his eight-year NFL career, he played 10 games or more four times and reached his only Pro Bowl as a rookie. He’s still the fastest player around the corner I’ve ever scouted.

And the winner is ... 

Had either of these guys been able to stay consistently healthy it could have been one heck of a battle. But, Harvin is a relatively easy call over Oden. After all, he was a Rookie of the Year and was among the most dangerous players in football for a three-year stretch to begin his career.