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Washington Huskies Football 2017 Preview Better/Worse/Neutral: Rushing Offense

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In the latest edition of our Better/Worse/Neutral series, we take a look at the rushing game, which returns virtually the entire group from last year’s unit.

Washington v Oregon Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

Losses

LG Jake Eldrenkamp (NFL)

Additions

TB Sean McGrew (RFr), TB Kamari Pleasant (RFr), TB Salvon Ahmed (Fr)

In short, there’s no reason that Washington’s ground game should be any less successful than it was last year. The Huskies return their top two rushers from 2016 in Myles Gaskin and Lavon Coleman, who tallied a combined 2,225 yards and 17 touchdowns, and presumably four of five starting linemen in center Coleman Shelton, left tackle Trey Adams, right tackle Kaleb McGary and right guard Nick Harris. Gaskin and Coleman’s 351 attempts last year represent 85 percent of carries by Husky running backs, meaning that veteran experience will be available on virtually every play in 2017.

On top of the already-proven Gaskin and Coleman, running backs coach Keith Bhonapha will likely have three new weapons in the back field this fall in Sean McGrew, Kamari Pleasant and Salvon Ahmed. McGrew and Pleasant spent the 2016 season on the sidelines and enter this year as redshirt freshman, while Salvon Ahmed was one of the breakout stars of fall camp thanks to his reported 4.3-second 40-yard-dash. While the backfield will be crowded with more experienced players ahead of him, Ahmed’s athleticism and playmaking ability will no doubt make it very difficult to keep him sidelined all season. Husky fans should expect to see him get a non-trivial amount of carries in the season’s early going, especially during the non-conference portion of the schedule when garbage time opportunities should be nothing less than abundant.

Poll

Will the rushing game be better, worse or neutral in 2017 compared to 2016?

This poll is closed

  • 92%
    Better
    (1219 votes)
  • 0%
    Worse
    (11 votes)
  • 6%
    Neutral
    (82 votes)
1312 votes total Vote Now