Big Picture: In-Depth Analysis of Huskies RB Recruiting and Scholarship Distribution

Mike Martin

When new Washington offensive coordinator John Donovan declared that he wanted to establish a strong ground game, he might have had new running back commit Caleb Berry in mind. 

At 6-foot-2 and 210 pounds, Berry gives the Huskies another big back. He's the fourth of the past five running backs signed to stand over 6 feet tall. Jay'Veon Sunday is the only one in the past three recruiting classes to fail to reach that height.

Tale of the Tape:

  • 2019 Cam Davis, 6-2, 197 pounds
  • 2019 Richard Newton, 6-foot, 210 pounds
  • 2020 Sam Adams II, 6-1, 194 pounds
  • 2020 Jay'Veon Sunday, 5-11, 215 pounds
  • 2021 Caleb Berry, 6-2, 210 pounds

While the Huskies have had success with 1,000-yard running backs in Myles Gaskin and Salvon Ahmed, and who long with Sean McGrew lean to the smaller side, Washington is moving in the direction of a power run game.

Projected Eligibility Ends:

  • 2020 Sean McGrew
  • 2021 Kamari Pleasant
  • 2022 Richard Newton
  • 2023 Cam Davis
  • 2024 Sam Adams II
  • 2025 Jay'Veon Sunday
  • 2025 Caleb Berry

The Huskies like Berry because he has the ability to use his size to get tough yards when needed. He also demonstrates patience and the ability to bounce plays outside when the primary hole closes.

"He has tremendous footwork for a back of any size," said Trevor Mueller, Husky Maven/Sports Illustrated's high school recruiting analyst. "Once he gets to the second level, he has the vision to set up his blocks on linebackers."

Mueller noted that it usually takes more than one defensive player to stop Berry.

Even with the recent commitments in hand, the Huskies seem willing to accept yet another commitment from another touted running back.

"The Huskies are thought to have five other offers out to running backs; they appear to be in it for Byron Cardwell of San Diego," Mueller said. "He fits the punishing style the Huskies like and he has an extra gear to pull away from defensive backs."

Berry said there were a multitude of factors that led him to commit to the Huskies. He made a connection with running-backs coach Keith Bhonapha and was impressed by the coach's track record for producing NFL running backs.

Bhonapha has built this portion of the roster sos that the Huskies have several interchangeable pieces.  

Projected Depth Chart:

  • Starter: Richard Newton
  • Sean McGrew
  • Kamari Pleasant
  • Cam Davis
  • Sam Adams

Breakout Candidates:

Newton and McGrew have provided glimpses of what they can do. McGrew's leadership through his experience and work ethic will be important. He has excelled whenever called upon to carry the workload. 

As a fifth-year senior, McGrew could be given even more of a chance to run and have breakout season. As a redshirt freshman and a back-up, Newton produced 11 touchdowns, which qualifies as a breakout season.