Sean McGrew didn't need to come back.
He'd put in five seasons with the University of Washington football team.
Started at running back.
Rushed for more than 100 yards — twice.
Played against Alabama and Ohio State in bowl games.
Yet he found a reason.
"I just wanted to come back and win a Rose Bowl and a Pac-12 championship," McGrew said, "so there really wasn't much to decide."
He's played in Pasadena; now it's time to win that game.
In return, the 5-foot-7, 180-pounder from Torrance, California, has been asked to provide leadership for a large group of scholarship runners, seven in all.
He playfully patted much-discussed teammate Richard Newton on the top of the helmet when the junior finally got cleared to participate after false negative virus tests kept him out of practice.
McGrew has made ebullient redshirt freshman Jay'Veon Sunday feel welcome, which runs contrary to a host of defensive players who despise his high-stepping, finger-waving antics at practice.
"He's definitely a character and I love that guy," McGrew said. "We call him a 'Little Tazmanian Devil' out there. As soon as he gets the ball, he wants to run into people. It's awesome."
Where each Husky runner stands out in some manner — Newton prefers to run over people while Cam Davis has a couple gears and Sam Adams is the son of an NFL player — McGrew sees a collection of talent that adds up to a lot of firepower.
"We've all got a little different running styles," McGrew said. "Some of us are power backs and some of us are speed and finesse. We all just do different things and we're good at different things."
Good enough, hopefully, to win a Rose Bowl.
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