Myles Gaskin and Lavon Coleman formed a potent 1-2 punch in 2016. Can the 5-foot-7 McGrew find a niche in the UW offense?

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To count down the start of the Huskies’ spring football on March 27, we’ll offer a primer of each position unit, assessing what happened in 2016 and expectations for 2017.

Today: Running backs

Projected depth chart:

Myles Gaskin, jr., 5-10, 191
Lavon Coleman, sr., 5-11, 223
Sean McGrew, rs-fr., 5-7, 177
Kamari Pleasant, rs-fr., 6-0, 191
Ralph Kinne, sr., 5-10, 220
Logan Hurst, so., 5-10, 182*


2016 review: For the second year in a row, Gaskin rushed for more than 1,300 yards — 1,373 last fall, with 10 touchdowns — and earned first-team all-Pac-12 recognition. Coleman’s emergence was a pleasant surprise — he and Dante Pettis were the most improved players on the team — and his 7.47 yards per carry ranked second in the Pac-12 (while averaging just 8.1 carries per game). Against conference opponents, the Huskies ranked second in the Pac-12 with 230.0 yards rushing per game, first with 5.68 yards per carry and first with 22 rushing touchdowns. Gaskin and Coleman are back in 2017, and so are four starting offensive linemen, which should make the ground game a strength for UW’s offense again.

2017 outlook: There’s great depth here — even with junior Jomon Dotson, the No. 3 running back last fall, shifting to defensive back. (Dotson ran the team’s fastest 40 during the Husky Combine last Saturday.) Gaskin and Coleman are the unquestioned top two backs — there’s little for them to prove during the spring — but it figures to be a wide open competition for the third-string job. The 5-foot-7 McGrew, up seven pounds, to 177, since last fall, will be perhaps the most intriguing player on the field this spring. The former California state player of the year is one of the fastest on the team — with a 4.45-second 40 last week — and he had 85 career touchdowns for Southern California power St. John Bosco. Because of his size, it’s fair to wonder how much of a workload he could handle against Pac-12 competition, but for this spring, at least, he ought to get plenty of opportunities to showcase himself. Pleasant should have the chance to do the same this spring. Come this summer, Juanita High’s touted back, Salvon Ahmed, will add another intriguing option to the backfield.