Pleasant Dreams: Husky Senior Running Back Looks to Go Out Strong

Dan Raley

Recruiting letters filled a table. Correspondence from Michigan, Notre Dame, USC, Oregon, Washington and others came into view as the camera panned the pile of opened mail. 

Posted on Christmas Day 2015, Kamari Pleasant narrated his personal journey on a slick video that lasted three and a half minutes, leading up to his college commitment.

He led everyone on a tour of his parents' home, discussing his motivations and inspirations, showing himself in pensive moments.

At the end, Pleasant simply said, "I want to be great — Arizona State." Sun Devils graphics followed. And it was over.

Or was it?

A few weeks later, Pleasant de-commited from ASU. Three days later, he pledged to Washington. 

As is often the case with recruits, they commit and then receive a better offer. In Pleasant's case, ASU wanted him as a cornerback, his primary position. The Huskies said come be a running back, and he couldn't pass up that option.

Now four and a half years later, the questions persist: Realistically, should he have played for Arizona State? Should he have stayed at cornerback?

This is the 48th profile of a returning Washington football player, each of whom can be found on the site by scrolling back. While spring practice was canceled, Husky Maven/Sports Illustrated offers continuous coverage of the team.

Pleasant has started just once for the Huskies, when they came out with a three-tailback formation against UCLA in 2018, while contributing steadily as a special-teams performer.

College football players will tell you sometimes it's all about being in the right place at the right school to climb up the depth chart.

As for Pleasant the running back, he played behind Myles Gaskin and Salvon Ahmed initially and then more recently behind Richard Newton and Sean McGrew. Now a 6-foot, 221-pound fifth-year senior, he's faced with giving up minutes to redshirt freshman Cam Davis and incoming freshman Sam Adams II, too.

"I just take what I can get — any opportunity," said Pleasant, showing off his personality in a Rose Bowl moment on the video.

Coming out of Etiwanda High School in Rancho Cucamonga, California, he's proven himself to be a physical player. He's been used primarily as a lead blocker and a Wildcat runner. He's reliable in those roles.

However, his overall rushing stats are modest. In his best season, he ran for 214 yards on 42 carries and touchdowns against North Dakota and Colorado in 2018. He also dealt with a shoulder injury that season.

"I feel like I'm a balanced runner," Pleasant said. "I've got power behind me."

Unfortunately, he has Newton, McGrew and maybe Davis ahead of him on the depth chart. His challenge will be to add to his minutes or at the very least maintain what he has.

He will need to remind his coaches that he's still around, that he wants to go out with a flourish. 

Maybe Pleasant should make another video. He's powerful on the screen.

SUMMARY: The California back has been a steady performer but relegated to a limited role. He's got 268 career yards. A season goal for him should be to exceed that total.

GRADE ( 1 to 5): Pleasant gets a 2.5. He's been a role player. Somebody has to do it.

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Comments (2)
No. 1-2

I did not realize; or had forgotten, that Pleasant was first committed to Arizona State. I find it interesting, being a defensive back, that he wouldn't have wanted to pursue that position at DBU (Washington). He might be on his way to the League right about now. I hope that Kamari has a great 5th year.

Dan Raley
Dan Raley


Fate plays a big role in football, especially when the talent level is so high