Offensive Newcomers to Watch: No. 2

As we continue our look at some of the top newcomers on the offensive side of the ball, today we focus on RB Bishop Sankey who saw reps as a true freshman last season, but with the departure of Chris Polk to the NFL, he will likely be an huge part of the offense this fall...

Scouting Report - Coming out of Gonzaga Prep in Spokane, Sankey had spent a lot of time running out of a "Wing-T". He has natural vision and the quickness and acceleration to make people miss in the open field, but one of the knocks on him coming out of high school was his lack of, yes that dreaded phrase, "top end speed".

While Sankey is quick and he has good speed, enough to run away from most defenders, he isn't a home run threat in the truest sense of the word. Honestly, he's a lot like Polk was when he was at Washington, a grind-it-out guy who will make his hay between the tackles and then exploding into the second level.

Two areas that will determine how many reps he gets this fall will be how he handles his blocking assignments as well as how he catches the ball out of the backfield.

This spring, running backs coach Joel Thomas lauded his improvement in the blocking arena and Sankey has always had soft hands, so he is on track to see plenty of playing time this fall.

The competition - It shouldn't be a shock that junior Jesse Callier is Sankey's main competition for reps this year.

Callier is more of a jitterbug type whereas Sankey is more of a slasher. Callier is also a great receiver so it isn't like Sankey has the edge in that area either.

Deontae Cooper could also take some reps if he can stay healthy and the coaches have raved about the abilities of incoming freshman Erich Wilson. Also, Dezden Petty, Psalm Wooching and very possibly Ryan McDaniel could also figure to see reps at tailback as well.

In the end, I see Sankey ending up with the most carries by the end of the season and, as long as he stays healthy, he should end up with at least four or five games that see him rush for over 100 yards and he could easily approach 1,000 yards and 15 touchdowns when it's all said and done.
This is his year - Polk's departure means that Sankey has a chance to establish himself as the next great Husky tailback and hold the starting spot for at least the next two years if not three.

He has the ability to be an every-down back and that will be a big reason why he will see a majority, albeit a small one, of carries this year.

Quoteable - "I see with reps, Bishop is starting to become a stronger, more confident tailback. Jesse, like I said, he brings the wily veteran leadership to the group. He's a guy that's taken a lot of reps, he knows what is going on and the little details and everything. Right now between those two, those would be the guys that would be 1A and 1B and I'll let you guys decide that is at that point between the two. But it's been a competitive battle, I really like the energy and the effort they bring every single day. They are serious about taking the job over. One of them is going to do it, and it may be a 55-45 deal, 60-40, I don't know, I don't have a crystal ball until we get to next season." -- Thomas on Sankey and how carries may end up being split

"Bishop is starting to become a stronger, more confident tailback." -- Thomas on Sankey's improvement

"And he's just playing really well, to his credit. He's running the ball well. He's catching the ball out of the backfield extremely well. From a pass-protection standpoint, he's doing an excellent job." -- Husky head coach Steve Sarkisian on Sankey's improvement during the spring

"He's a quick guy, and he wants to go make the run and make the play, and working on his patience and allowing the blocking to take place before making that cut is where we've seen the biggest strides in him running the ball." -- Sarkisian on what Sankey brings to the table

"I just try to go out there each day of practice and do what's asked of me, control what I can control and just try to get better every day." -- Sankey on his focus every day Top Stories