Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Early look: UW's 2014 RB targets
By Mason Kelley
SEATTLE -- When Washington opened fall camp for the 2012 season, the coaching staff expected to have two young running backs -- Jesse Callier and Bishop Sankey -- capable of sharing the snaps.
The Huskies also hoped Deontae Cooper would be able to recover from the knee injuries that plagued his college career.
Before the end of the season’s first game, though, both Callier and Cooper were out for the season. Cooper suffered a knee injury in the season’s first practice and Callier injured his right knee in the season opener against San Diego State.
LaVon Coleman was the only running back in Washington's 2013 class.
Sankey became the featured back and rushed for 1,439 yards and 16 touchdowns. While his breakout season helped the Huskies endure the injuries, it helped show how important depth is at running back.
Washington signed one back in the 2013 class -- Lavon Coleman (Lompoc, Calif./Lompoc) -- so the position will continue to be an important one for the Huskies in 2014.
With some big names on Washington’s radar, here is a look at some of the Huskies’ top targets:
Joe Mixon Oakley (Calif.) Freedom 6-1, 191 pounds There are few prospects nationwide who have landed the type of attention Mixon has recently. A member of the ESPN Watch List, Mixon has piled up 36 offers so far. Washington made an impression early and was one of the first schools to catch Mixon’s attention. Considering high school teammate Darrell Daniels signed with the Huskies, expect Mixon to take a long look at Washington before making his final decision.
Devante Downs Mountlake Terrace (Wash.) 6-2, 240 pounds Washington was the first program to offer Downs a scholarship. With his combination of size and speed, Downs has the potential to become a power back who would complement some of the speedier prospects the Huskies are recruiting. Interest has picked up for Downs, who has seven scholarship offers. Also a talented linebacker, most schools seem to be recruiting him on offense.
Isaiah Brandt-Sims Wenatchee (Wash.) 5-11, 172 pounds After running the 60 meters in 6.64 seconds at the Brooks PR Invitational at Washington’s Dempsey Indoor over the weekend, there is no doubt Brandt-Sims has Division I speed. The Huskies see the junior as a prospect capable of helping the offense in a variety of ways, working both as a running back and a slot receiver. His versatility and speed make him a top target.
Royce Freeman Imperial (Calif.) 6-0, 216 pounds Like Downs, Freeman received his first offer from Washington. After rushing for 2,482 yards and 34 touchdowns as a junior, he has added offers from programs such as Arkansas, Cal and Tennessee.