The fullback position at Washington under Ty Willingham kind of disapeared as Washington spent a lot of time running in single back sets. That didn't mean there wasn't talent at the position.
Paul Homer and Luke Kravitz were a powerful duo who were pretty evenly matched. Kravitz spent last season in Willingham's doghouse after going abroad to study for winter quarter. I would really liked to have seen what he could have done catching the ball out of the backfield last season. Now we will never know what he was capable of.
Paul Homer enters his final season at Washington as a throwback to a different era. Homer is a great blocker and special teams leader. He also showed that when he has a hole he can pick up important yards in short yardage situations. We really never got to know him as a receiver because Washington seldom threw the ball in his direction. The reason for that is simple. He was usually in the backfield trying to protect Jake Locker and Ronnie Fouch from getting creamed.
Homer is a step too slow to ever be able to be a threat running the ball outside of short yardage situations. His hands are a bit suspect according to observers but then again it may be a question of not getting enough opportunity.
Under the offense Steve Sarkisian is bringing to Washington the FB is more prominent and it should give Homer more touches to show what he can do in 2009.
Austin Sylvester will be backing up Homer this season with the graduation of Luke Kravitz. Austin played right away once he arrived at Washington from Prep School on special teams. His play at FB has been extremly limited due to the depth ahead of him. It will be interesting to see what he can do with the opportunity this spring.
Like Homer.... Sylvester is a step too slow and may even be slower than Homer. We haven't had an opportunity to see him catch the ball yet so this spring will be make or break for him as far as regular playing time goes at FB.
The wild card at the fullback position could be one of the current TB's. Terrance Dailey and Willie Griffin could be candidates for playing time between the twenties next season. We all know that Homer and Sylvester are not great offensive threats and are best suited to blocking. Incoming freshmen Kimo Makaula and Tim Tucker are also potential possibilities for the position.
Blocking is important, but Sarkisan may be looking for someone who can get some big yards on the ground and be able to catch some balls over the middle this spring. With a log jam at TB expect some experimentation this spring to bring a little more firepower over to the the FB position.