Washington football is losing their all-time leading rusher to the NFL, who will step in to replace him?
Myles Gaskin left a lasting impact at the running back position for Washington football, but his four years are up and he’s off to the NFL, so who’s the next man up in the backfield? Having Jacob Eason will help ease the burden of losing Gaskin, but he can’t throw the ball every time and having a back that can take 15-20 carries a game will help the offense in a huge way.
The favorite for the job will probably be junior Salvon Ahmed, who has 996 yards and 10 touchdowns through his first two years on campus. He doesn’t look to be built to take the brunt of the carries, but he’ll definitely have a much bigger role in the offense this season. Expect him to be involved in the passing game, and take the majority of the carries, at least early in the season.
Someone to keep an eye on that looks like he has the potential to be a true bell-cow back is Kamari Pleasant. He averaged 5.1 yards per carry during his sophomore season, totaling 214 yards and two touchdowns. He was impressive during his time on the field, and expect him to take a much bigger role on early downs and close to the goal line.
Sean McGrew is another player who’s bound to see some more touches, whether it be through the run game or as a receiver. McGrew, the Gatorade California State Player of the Year in 2015, is a shifty player with a lot of upside. He had 336 yards and a touchdown on 56 touches in 2018, and should find a way into the rotation in Chris Petersen’s offense.
Four-star freshman Cameron Davis is a player to watch who could find his way into the depth chart with a strong showing during summer camp. He has the ability to play right away, but with the abundance of backs in front of him, it wouldn’t be a surprise if he doesn’t play much, or at all this season.
The last player to watch is redshirt freshman Richard Newton. Newton sustained a shoulder injury last fall and should be back to full strength by the time spring camp rolls around. He’ll be looking to show the coaching staff what he can do, and could carve out a role for himself with a strong spring and summer.
When the Huskies get into the meat of their schedule, expect the feature back to be Pleasant, with a healthy mix of Ahmed. The Huskies are at their best when Ahmed can have at least 15 touches a game, his speed is a game changer and with his ability to move around in the formation, it’ll be tough to defend.