Chris Polk, 5-11, 210, RS Soph.- Polk had a fantastic year in 2009. He set the Husky freshman record for rushing yards with 1,113. This is no small feat considering UW’s young and under-developed offensive line last year. Polk was a tough runner all year and fought for every single yard he got. Polk may not have breakaway speed but before he’s done at Montlake I think he’ll be one of the best running backs ever to put on the Husky uniform. He played most of last year hurt with a shoulder injury and also suffered an injury his first season. This is one of the few flaws people can find in his game.
What Polk needs to improve on this spring: Polk can’t improve anything because he won’t be practicing (in the last report I’ve heard anyway). He had off-season shoulder surgery for the injury he suffered this season and will still be in rehab through the Spring. Polk will be back in time for Fall camp at full strength.
Johri Fogerson, 6–1, 200, Jr.- Fogerson was a very good receiver out of the backfield last year. His screen-pass reception on the first drive against LSU was a thing of beauty. About midseason Fogerson got sick and this really took away from his playing time. By the end of the year he wasn’t much of a factor.
What Fogerson needs to improve on this spring: The simple answer is his running ability. Obviously the coaches didn’t feel that comfortable with Johri running the ball last year, only inserting him on passing downs. If Fogerson can become a viable threat on the ground he could become a very good player for the Huskies. I sometimes wonder if Johri should have stayed at safety, where he was his true freshman year, but he may develop into a very good running back.
Demitrius Bronson, 5-10, 206, Soph: Bronson got some carries last year. He became the backup when Fogerson became ill. From what I’ve seen Bronson is similar to Polk. He runs hard and right into people. Last year he had a little trouble holding onto the ball.
What Bronson needs to improve on this spring: Bronson is a good running back. He came in last spring and impressed the coaches but he’s not going anywhere unless he stops fumbling. Demitrius needs lots of carries this spring and needs to get knocked around a little, this will help him improve in protecting the football. Bronson is a very capable backup that I think will progress in the spring.
Curtis Shaw, 5-10, 186, JR: Shaw has had an interesting career. Two years ago he left the team to deal with some family issues and last year he cam back only to play sparingly. He is a speedster who just never broke into the rotation last year because Polk played so well. From the times I’ve seen Shaw in practice he looks to be a very exciting player. He lacks the grind it out mentality that Polk and Bronson have but has the potential to break a big run every time he carries it.
What Shaw needs to improve on this spring: This spring is very important for Shaw. If he doesn’t play well he could be left in the back of the rotation and may transfer. I like what Shaw brings to the Husky offense but he needs to become more consistent if he wants to play. He’s also had trouble holding on to the ball in his playing time, carries this spring will help that.
Deontae Cooper, 6-0, 191, FR: This will be our first look at Cooper. He is supposedly a straight ahead back with a little speed. Lots of people are pretty high on Cooper, saying that he could become Chris Polk’s backup this year. I’m excited to see what he can do.
What Cooper needs to improve on this spring: Cooper needs to adjust to the speed of the college game. Like any incoming freshman, the speed of the game may overwhelm Cooper. Carries this spring will counter that.
Jesse Callier, 5-11, 186, Fr: Callier is the other freshman running back coming in with this class. He has a lot of speed and led the state of California in rushing last year. Some think Callier may end up as a defensive back before it’s all said and done.
What Callier needs to improve on this spring: Callier has to show that he belongs on offense. The coaches are giving him the opportunity on offense but moving him to defense is an attractive option. If Callier comes in and has a nice spring those thoughts will go away.
Position Overview: This is a solid position for the Huskies. It could turn into a great position if a good backup emerges out of the group. This is a very deep group and some attrition could occur along with some position changes. It’s nice to see the UW have a good stable of backs that could lead to a dominant Husky running game over the next few years. With the development of our offensive line, the future is bright for this position. I think we’ll start to see that this spring.
I’ll get to fullbacks in a few days. Thanks!