Looking at the current roster, with minimal attention paid to the 2012 recruiting class.
Who They Lose
Only Chris Polk, maybe the best running back in UW history. On a play-by-play basis, Napolean Kaufman and Corey Dillon and probably a few others may have been more dangerous, but no one was as consistently dominating, punishing and dependable as Polk. He ran incredibly hard and was the perfect back to run behind a mediocre offensive line. I wish we could have seen what he would have done with some better running room.
Sarkisian has said several times that no one has better embodied the type of program he wants to run than Polk. He was mainly talking about his toughness and physicality, but I think it could be applied to Polk’s personality as well. He’s known as a talker, a little bit brash, but a huge competitor, teammate and leader. He will be sorely missed and remembered as a true Husky Legend.
Who Is Back
Jesse Callier- Junior
Bishop Sankey- Sophomore
FB Jonathan Amosa- Senior
FB Tim Tucker- Junior
There are other running backs on scholarship (see below), but Callier and Sankey are the two who received extensive playing time last year. Callier has received a good number of carries the last two years, mostly as a change of pace to Polk. He gets a lot of end-arounds and runs outside the tackles, and even runs the wildcat (WildDawg!) on occasion. Callier has been solid, if mostly unexciting. He doesn’t seem to quite have the electricity to make up for his apparent lack of physicality that keeps him from being more effective between the tackles. That being said, his chances have been limited and I’ll be curious to see what he can do if he gets more regular carries this year. He was a ridiculously productive high school player. I’m skeptical he can be an above-average starter, but he’s an excellent back-up at worst.
Sankey, about whom much has already been written, mainly due to his spurning of the Cougars, received more carries as 2011 went along and made the most of them. He seemed a bit more effective than Callier at running up the middle, and he showed a good burst of speed to match. Out of the two, he seems more likely to grab hold of the primary job. He did nothing to dampen my hopes for him and probably even raised them a few notches by forcing his way into some playing time. Continue reading