It’s officially Summer of 2013 in the major sports world and time to try to hold serve until the Fall gets closer and we can really start looking forward to the football season again. Football and basketball recruiting is in full swing and we’re going to cover every aspect of it here at ACU.
Today we delve into the running back targets on Washington State’s offers list and where coach Jim Mastro’s position group currently stands.
- Joe Mixon
Freedom HS, Oakley, CA – 6’0″, 195 lbs
- Nick Wilson
Central High East Campus, Fresno, CA – 5’11”, 195 lbs
- Demario Richard
Palmdale HS, Palmdale, CA – 5’10”, 200 lbs
- Calvin Green
Burbank Luther HS, Sacramento, CA – 5’10”, 175 lbs
- Tre Watson
Centennial HS, Corona, CA – 5’10”, 185 lbs
–The running back position at Washington State, under Mike Leach is more of a featured position than it’s given credit for. In fact, some people have gone so far as to ask why a running back is even necessary in the offense, but if you’re paying attention, you understand what running backs do within the offense; catch a ton of footballs. At least that’s the idea in the Air-Raid.
Connor Halliday and even Jeff Tuel struggled to really grasp the concepts last season underneath and the backs never really took off for big numbers because of it. Carl Winston put together a decent Apple Cup with a 3 touchdown effort on the ground, but didn’t do much during the season in either the receiving or passing games. Teondray Caldwell and Leon Brooks return and both are competent, but neither has really shown ‘elite’ flashes out of the backfield in the receiving game. Theron West stepped up a little bit in the Spring game and figures to be a small player in the rotation, but he’s not the answer either.
The incoming trio of transfer Daniel Jenkins, Jamal Morrow and Gerard Wicks are in my estimation ready to take the position by storm this season. I don’t think Caldwell will move totally out of the rotation, as there should be space for him in some two-back split sets and maybe even as a motion man into the slot, but I do think he’ll have a reduced role and may be bumped out of the starting position by week 3 or 4.
Moving forward, a grayshirt of super-back Olito Thompson and maybe another running back should more than suffice for the WSU roster. As you can see, Leach has gone after some pretty good candidates, but I expect Green and Watson to look harder than anyone else. I think it’s imperative that Leach and his quarterbacks give the backs plenty of opportunity this season to showcase the position in space by throwing the the ball often. It would really help more backs be interested in coming on board.