Fall camp started yesterday for the Huskies and the Good Guys will keep track of any major news that breaks. At this point in time, the only news that would be of major significance is an injury so hopefully we won’t have to update on any of those. I started a series about the Huskies position groups about a week ago, talking about the quarterbacks. Today I’ll move on to the running backs.
The running back position has been filled over the last 3 years by one of the most successful backs in school history, Chris Polk. He ended his career as the second leading rusher in school history and has since moved on to the NFL. This year brings us the first year of uncertainty at tailback in the Sark era. There seems to be plenty of talent available but talent and proven talent are two different things. I’ll order these guys in what I think the depth chart looks like right now.
Jesse Callier (Jr.)
Callier has been Polk’s backup for the last 2 years and has done pretty well in that role. Sark made up ways to get him the ball (the fly sweep is the main way that comes to mind) and he usually succeeded with the ball. The question about Callier is if he’d be able to handle running between the tackles and picking up the tough yards. I tend to think that he can’t but I don’t have a ton of conviction in that thought. Jesse did run in between the tackles in high school and was given an enormous amount of carries (43 in one game). He doesn’t seem to have a huge history of injuries, so it’s not that I don’t think Callier couldn’t handle being the feature back. He hasn’t shown that he can pick up yards after contact and that’s what Husky fans have grown used to. Maybe he can but that’s yet to be seen.
Bishop Sankey (So.)
I’m a little higher on The Bishop. He’s quick, strong and looks the part of a feature back to me. Again, I don’t have a ton of evidence in these thoughts but it’s just what I lean-to. Sankey played sparingly as a true freshman but showed flashes of potential. Sark often put him in when the team ran a toss sweep play. That speaks to Sankey’s speed. He’s short, like Callier, and weighs about 200 pounds so the question of endurance comes up with Sankey.
Deontae Cooper (RS So.)
Matthew wrote about Cooper last night and I don’t have a lot to add. I saw him before his two knee surgeries in almost every practice of the spring and he was every bit the legend that people have conjured up. If he comes back and is that guy, the Huskies will have found their running back for this year and the next 2 years. At this point, that would be close to a miracle. But, it seems like the Huskies are due for a break as far as these things go.
Dezden Petty (RS Fr.)
Remember how the USC Trojans used Lendale White back in their glory days? This was the role Dezden Petty was billed to be in. He’s a large back at 225 pounds and, if the Dawgs go with a running back by committee approach, will probably have some sort of role on this team. I could see Petty coming in during goal line situations and he could also line up at fullback.
Erich Wilson (Fr.)
Wilson is the freshman of this group. He didn’t come in with a bunch of hype and I don’t expect him to make an impact this year. The depth in this group is lacking though, so who knows what could happen. We probably won’t know much about Wilson for another year or two.
I left off Cole Sager and Willis Wilson but they are walk-ons who probably won’t be used outside of special teams and mop-up duty. The group is young, talented and unproven. It will be interesting to watch in camp and see if anyone claims the job.
Thanks for reading,