The sophomore running back knew he wouldn't get the 20 to 25 he needed, so his father bought enough for the extended family. That is because it will be a homecoming for McGrew, who was the Gatorade California Player of the Year in 2015 out of St. John Bosco High in Bellflower a suburb of...
Sean McGrew didn’t even ask his Husky teammates if they had tickets to spare for Saturday’s game against UCLA at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.
The sophomore running back knew he wouldn’t get the 20 to 25 he needed, so his father bought enough for the extended family. That is because it will be a homecoming for McGrew, who was the Gatorade California Player of the Year in 2015 out of St. John Bosco High in Bellflower, a suburb of Los Angeles.
UCLA was on McGrew’s short list of college choices before becoming a Husky.
“It would mean a lot, being back home, having some friends on the other team and being in front of my family,” McGrew said of getting carries this week. “I should be out there a little bit, and it will just be cool being in the Rose Bowl, after growing up in L.A. and dreaming about the (L.A.) Coliseum and the Rose Bowl. It’s going to be pretty fun running out of the tunnel. Even though I am not in a UCLA jersey, playing against UCLA is like a childhood dream and playing in the Rose Bowl is awesome.”
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McGrew, 5 feet 7 and 174 pounds, was highly recruited after running for 1,852 yards and 27 touchdowns on 200 carries as a senior, and for 5,762 yards and 76 touchdowns in his career while averaging 9.1 yards per carry.
McGrew, who finished second in the state in the 100 meters as a senior in high school with a time of 10.56 seconds, has had to be patient for playing time at UW. After redshirting in 2016, he rushed for 59 yards last season and returned eight kickoffs (22.3 yard average).
This season, Myles Gaskin and Salvon Ahmed are getting the vast majority of the carries, but McGrew is getting some chances. He had three carries for 9 yards last week in the 35-7 win over Brigham Young and caught one pass for 5 yards. He has 39 yards rushing for the season on eight carries, and has two receptions for 14 yards.
“You come in and you work hard, and you’ve just got to find your role on the team,” McGrew said. “I found my role and I’ve just got to stay patient. I’ve got good dudes ahead of me. I can’t complain. I’ve had two NFL guys in front of me – Myles (Gaskin) and Lavon (Coleman, now on the Seahawks’ practice roster) – and Salvon is very good as well. We all help each other and try to become the best solid group as possible. Regardless of who is out there on the field, we are all supporting each other.”
Washington offensive coordinator Bush Hamdan said it’s important for McGrew to be involved with the offense.
“I think it’s important to give him reps,” Hamdan said. “I think that’s what we’ve done and gotten him in games. His role is as important as anybody’s. He understands that it’s a deep (running back) group that we’ve got right now, but he is extremely valuable.”
Washington quarterback Jake Browning was the 2014 California Player of the Year from Folsom High School, one year before McGrew received the honor. This is what his advice would be to McGrew:
“Just be patient and realize that you’ve got a really good running back right in front of you to learn from,” Browning said. “Find your role right now and get on the field any way you can, special teams and all that. And when your shot comes, be ready.”
Browning likes what he sees from McGrew.
“He’s got good vision and is obviously very fast – that was pretty well documented coming in – but I think he’s pretty patient,” Browning said. “He and Myles have a similar patience of just waiting and seeing the hole and attacking it.”
McGrew hasn’t had many opportunities, but he doesn’t get too amped when it’s his turn to run.
“I’ve always been a really calm person,” he said. “Going out there in front of a full Husky Stadium – to most people it would be nerve-wracking. But to me, it is just exciting and I love it.”