Louis Rankin: New option in the backfield

Last season's Husky ground attack could be described in a number of ways and chances are, one would have a hard time coming up with anything positive to say about it. Fans and coaches alike were practically begging for someone to step up and assume the "go-to guy" role. This is where a speedster out of Lincoln HS in Stockton, CA by the name of Louis Rankin plans to steps in and give his best shot at returning the rushing attack to its once dominating ways.

Rankin arrived on the scene in Seattle with the rest of the freshmen and found it to be quite pleasant.

"It feels good to be Seattle and to be competing with these guys and having fun," said Rankin. "I thought the weather was going to be colder but I see that the weather is much nicer than what most people told me."

(Oh Louis my friend, wait until February and March rolls by during your freshmen year.)

Nothing is guaranteed in the running game anymore. There has been many shake-ups and changes made so that there really is not a bona fide first-team tailback at this moment. Whether it will be Rich Alexis, Chris Singleton, Kenny James, Shelton Sampson getting the majority of the action or even if Rankin himself will see some measurable time this season is still left to be determined.

Still, Rankin made it clear he is not here to take anyone's job or become any team's savior and is looking to his veteran teammates for support to get through his freshmen jitters.

"I just wanted to come in here and compete with the guys and see what I can do," Rankin said about his backfield colleagues. "They have helped me a lot. They know that I don't know much coming in as a new guy so they help me walk through the plays and learn my assignments.

New Huskies coach Keith Gilbertson was full of praise for Rankin when asked about his progress thus far in his brief Husky career.

"He's an impressive looking young back," praised Gilberston. "He's got a nice looking running style. I think he sees lanes very well."

Still, Gilbertson did not want to give the young man any major labels to live up to so he was quick to remind all that Rankin has only three practices under his belt.

"He's got to go through some things and it's going to get a lot noisier," Gilbertson said. "We'll see how he handles himself when it gets a lot noisier out there."

As far as what this season has in store for himself, Rankin is not quite sure what to expect. We may see him on the sidelines for the entire duration of the season in civilian clothes as a red-shirt, or we may eventually see him suit up and see his first game action sooner than we all expect. All that Rankin knows is that he has a job to do and he has four or five years to do it. And even if he is not out there against the defending national champions in Columbus in a little over three weeks, just helping the team prepare for such a huge assignment is an honor in itself.

"It's a big game," said Rankin. "I really want to play in it, but if I don't, I'll be there to cheer on the team."

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