Running backs are the odds-on favorite to lead virtually any football team in touchdowns, and the 2021 Washington Huskies were no exception. Sean McGrew scored eight times, twice as many as WRs Rome Odunze & Terrell Bynum. In the shortened season of 2020, it was also McGrew leading the way with four TDs. In 2019, Richard Newton and Salvon Ahmed both reached the endzone 11 times. That takes us back to the Myles Gaskin era, where the workhorse back from Lynnwood scored 14, 11, 24 & 13 touchdowns a year from 2015-2018.
Gaskin led the team in TDs in three of those four seasons, finishing third behind John Ross (19) and Dante Pettis (17) during Jake Browning’s 43 TD season in 2016.
Looking back at Kalen DeBoer/Ryan Grubb offenses the past few years, WR Jalen Cropper led Fresno State with 13 TDs in 2021, with running backs Jordan Mims (10 TDs) and Ronnie Rivers (7) also productive. In the shortened 2020 season for Fresno (6 games), Rivers led the way with nine scores, and Cropper hit paydirt five times. In 2019 at Indiana, RB Stevie Scott III had 11 touchdowns, while no WR had more than 5.
What does this tell us? It will probably be a running back, but it might also be a receiver.
Helpful, we know.
Wayne Taulapapa is poised to see a ton of playing time for the Huskies, and the versatile running back from Laie, HI has shown the ability to get in the endzone. At Virginia, Taulapapa scored 20 touchdowns in three seasons, highlighted by 12 scores his sophomore year. Of the 20 touchdowns, 19 have come on the ground.
Cameron Davis has just two touchdowns in his Husky career spanning 12 games. Of the returning running backs, Davis has the most experience and is the most likely to see playing time, especially around the goal line. Davis has been limited in practice so far, and we will have to wait for the season to begin to see how serious his injuries are.
Sam Adams II, a redshirt frosh from Eastside Catholic, is another running back who fits the DeBoer/Gubb mold of an all-purpose back. Adams has been plagued by a long-term shoulder problem, and his health is another thing to keep an eye on when the season begins.
Neither Rome Odunze nor Jalen McMillan found the end zone in the four-game 2020 season, but both emerged as potential superstars last season. The sophomore tandem led the Huskies in receptions last season, with Odunze scoring four times, and McMillan grabbing three passes for touchdowns.
Ja’Lynn Polk flies a bit under the radar for most Husky fans, after being injured in the 2021 season opener, and ruled out indefinitely with a chest injury. The Huskies wouldn’t get the 6-foot-2, 190-pound Texas Tech transfer back until the second-to-last game against Colorado, when he caught two passes, including a 55-yard touchdown. Polk is looking to supplant Taj Davis as UW’s #3 wideout. While Davis is listed above Polk on Monday’s official(ish) depth chart, Polk is still the more explosive player, and the “starter” designations at a position where five or six guys will rotate is not that important.
Who will lead the Huskies in Touchdowns?
This poll is closed
Sam Adams II