“Who Are These Guys?” is a series the Good Guys are doing on the Husky football freshman class. We’ll be telling you a little more about the guys who we think will play this year in this series.
Jesse Callier is a little different from all the guys that I’ve featured in this series because he came in early for spring football (more on his spring in a second) and therefore has been in the program longer. Callier came to U-Dub by way of California where he led the state in rushing yards. He had 3,010 yards last year. That stat never ceases to amaze me. Another fun stat: Callier ran for 447 yards in one game. In high school he was very durable and got a ridiculous amount of carries over the season. He’s a shorter guy, 5-10, who has added about 15 pounds since spring ball to get up to 205. Obviously he won’t need to be as durable this year but it’s nice to know that he has that in him.
The Huskies are closer but still not back to their rich, powerful running tradition. They have had 2 players rush for over 1,000 yards in the last 3 seasons but it’s hardly been like the days of Napoleon Kaufman and Corey Dillon. More of this has to do with the offensive line than the running backs but it’s not like the running back has been a position of strength in the last decade. But, the times are changing. With the emergence of the underrated Chris Polk, a very capable backup in Johri Fogerson, exciting freshmen in Deontae Cooper and Callier, the running back position appears to have a strong present and a bright future.
When Chris Polk was out in the spring, the backups showed that they are quality depth. Fogerson looked solid but wasn’t talked about a ton because of the great showing by the freshman. Through 2 weeks the Cooper and Callier were neck and neck with each other. One day Coop would have the better day, then Callier would come right back. They were the highlight of the spring but then Callier got hurt and couldn’t participate in the last week of practice. He also missed the spring game so fans didn’t become so familiar with him.
Now, with Cooper out for the season Callier is thrown into the spotlight. In my opinion, Callier will take the backup position with Fogerson being ta 3rd down back. I don’t think the injury to Cooper hurts the Huskies a ton. Cooper will be a really good running back but I think Callier will be just fine in the backup spot. Cooper is a downhill running back, a lot like Polk, while Callier has more of that lightning type style. He makes guys miss and has the breakaway speed. I think he’ll add the lightning to Chris Polk’s thunder and who knows if we’d gotten to see that if Cooper was healthy.
Now, I could be way off. Playing running back as a true freshman is not an easy task. Playing as a true freshman at any position is not an easy task. But having been here for the spring should help Callier and bringing a change of pace to the running game when he spells Polk should help too. Hopefully, he is one of the best backups in the Pac-10 so we don’t have to hear about all the Ducks’ backups all season. 12 more days until gameday!