Scouting The Huskies: Running Backs

By: Thomas Frank Carr
Beat Writer

The Nittany Lions take on the University of Washington in the Playstation Fiesta Bowl on Saturday December 30th, as most Penn State fans have not seen Washington this year, reporter Thomas Frank Carr has studied the film to find out more about the 10-2 Huskies. This week we are looking at the running backs

 

Overall Position Grade: A-

Washington is built on the run. If their offensive line is the bedrock of their offense, the running backs are the basement of the house. The Huskies rushed for 2278 yards in 2017 and are one of the best in the nation at running the ball. They are led by junior tailback Myles Gaskin.  

 

Myles Gaskin

Overall Grade A
5-11, 191
Stats to know: 1322 rushing yards, 6.2 per carry, 21 total offensive TDs

Breakdown:

Gaskin is one of the most explosive backs in college football and is the tip to the spear for the Washington offense. He combines great speed with fantastic feel for running lanes and a natural burst once he plants his foot in the ground and gets downhill. Gaskin runs stronger than his frame at 191 pounds, and is elusive when in the open field. The defining trait of his running style is his visionion. The Huskies use a zone blocking scheme on a regular basis, which allows Gaskin to choose his opening, plant his foot and get upfield. The junior from O’Dea, Washington excels at this and rips off huge runs when given a crease. He does not have the top end power or size to make him a complete back but he is more than enough to be considered a feature back in any offense. The Huskies did not employ him as a receiver very much but he has natural athleticism and could be a weapon out of the backfield if needed.

Completely Arbitrary Individual Positional Skills:

  • Speed: A-
  • Acceleration: A
  • Agility B+
  • Strength C
  • Size: B
  • Forced Miss Tackles: A-
  • Vision: A+

_____________________________________________________________________________

Lavon Coleman

Overall Grade: B-
5’11, 235
Stats to Know: 426 rush, 7 Total TDs

Breakdown:

Coleman is a powerful back who is used as a hammer in the Huskes offense. His downhill and bruising running style is the smash to Gaskin’s dash. Coleman does not have top end physical skills like speed and agility, but he has enough wiggle and movement to be a threat if not bottled up early in the down. Despite his playing style, Coleman is not used more often at the goalline as the short-yardage back. Gaskin is still given the ball in short and goal-to-go situations. It’s Coleman’s job to spell the talented junior and loosen up defenses with his bruising style of running.

Completely Arbitrary Individual Positional Skills

  • Speed: B-
  • Acceleration: B
  • Agility B
  • Strength A-
  • Size: A+
  • Forced Miss Tackles: B
  • Vision: B

______________________________________________________________________________

Salvon Ahmed

Overall Grade: B
 5’11”  189
Stats to Know: 28.8 yards/kick return, 3 rushing TDs

Breakdown:

Ahmed is an electric freshman running back who will likely take over the position next year when Coleman (SR) and Gaskin (JR) move on to the NFL. Ahmed is an exciting freshman back who has incredible burst and speed from the position. He’s used on jet sweeps, gadget plays and out of the backfield as a receiver and as the team’s primary kick returner. While he’s a bit undersized right now, he projects as another fantastic feature back in a long line at Washington.

Completely Arbitrary Individual Positional Skills:

  • Speed: A
  • Acceleration A+
  • Agility: A-
  • Strength: C
  • Size: B-
  • Forced Miss Tackles: B
  • Vision: B-