Running Backs (By Year)
Coleman needed to finish work on his degree before he could take advantage of a fifth year, so he took care of that during this spring. He ran for 852 yards on 114 carries - a 7.5 ypc average - and seven touchdowns last season, and he lost five pounds in the off-season, so he's more than ready to get back to action once he's graduated to take full advantage of his post-grad year.
The senior-to-be walk-on from Shelton rushed four times for 15 yards in the Spring Preview. He also had one catch for eight yards. Kinne has always been a very steady presence in the running back group for a few years now.
Gaskin rushed four times for 24 yards in the Spring Preview. He also had two catches for 14 yards, with a long of eight. He was the Offensive MVP of spring, leading by example and showing up to give max effort during a time where the running backs are always limited with contact.
The walk-on sophomore from Newport rushed three times for one yard in the Spring Preview. A new face on the scene, Wells garnered some early oohs and ahhs as the media was getting familiar with him, but as the spring wore on became another number in the crowd.
McGrew rushed six times for 31 yards and had the only offensive score during the Spring Preview. He also had one catch for 12 yards. The redshirt freshman-to-be gained seven valuable pounds in the off-season, adding to his sturdy frame. As Chris Petersen pointed out a couple of times during spring, if you judge McGrew solely on his height you are missing the boat. He has tremendous feet and vision, and showed it off with the extra turns he got while Coleman was busy finishing up school.
Pleasant rushed nine times for 40 yards in the Spring Preview, and also had one catch for minus-two yards. The other redshirt frosh-to-be didn't pop out this spring like McGrew did, but he definitely had his moments. He lost eight pounds in the off-season, sliming down his frame to get even faster.
The fullback walk-on from Portland could most often be seen in blocking situations this spring.
Where does the Running Back group stand heading into the summer?
All things equal, the Washington running back group is in a great place to make another off-season jump. Coleman is absolutely fresh and raring to go, ready to make his final year at Montlake a memorable one. You always know what you're going to get with Gaskin, and that's max effort to go with his prodigious talent.
The two redshirt freshmen got a ton of work in Coleman's absence, and maybe that will turn into a bit of a godsend for UW Running Backs Coach Keith Bhonapha. He would like to have at least three strong running backs to shoulder the majority of carries. Last year that meant 77 percent of all rushes (Jake Browning had 12 percent by himself).
Gaskin accounted for about 40 percent, and Coleman 20 percent. That means Bhonapha needs McGrew and Pleasant to combine for roughly 55 carries this coming season if the numbers hold true. That's very doable.
And then there's the incoming frosh Salvon Ahmed. Will he throw a wrench into the works? Or will Bhonapha be able to redshirt him like he was able to redshirt McGrew and Pleasant?
Still questions to be answered when it comes to the running backs, but only good problems to be had here.
Running Back Depth Chart
9 Myles Gaskin (5-10, 191, Jr.)
22 Lavon Coleman (5-11, 223, Sr.) (out for spring finishing degree)
25 Sean McGrew (5-7, 177, RFr.)
24 Kamari Pleasant (6-0, 191, RFr.)
40 Ralph Kinne (5-10, 220, Sr.)*
48 Paul Wells (5-9, 170, So.)*
45 Mike Petroff (6-0, 228, RFr.)*
* = walk-on