Shortly following spring camp, running backs coach, Dan Houle commented about the promising recruits at his position, the battle they will have with veterans for immediate playing time, and the spring camp performance of Dexter Janke.
“All four are good,” Coach Houle remarked about the new backfield recruits. “They’re all talented. These recruits have come out of high school physically developed; they’re working out every day…one of them is working out twice a day. That’s good for us because they don’t need that year to put weight on.” Given that, Houle was asked about whether Huskie fans could see them on the field this year. “You never know, because there are also some veterans playing hard and fighting for roster spots. But there is a lot of opportunity at running back for whoever comes back the fittest, the fastest, and shows us they can play football. I could see one or two of the recruits contributing quite a bit, but that’s up to them, and it’s also up to our other veteran backs to make sure that they’re the guy instead of somebody else competing for the position.”
Coach Houle was asked to tell people a little about what he saw in the four new tailbacks. “Brandon Stewart has good vision on the field; he found a lot of cuts. Once he gets more comfortable with the offence he’ll start hitting the hole harder. He did really well, he’s very smooth. Devin Logan is very good. He’s the prototypical running back; he’s got good running form. Drew Bexson is a great blocker already, which is really tough for high school backs – usually you have to help them a lot with that. Jarvis James is shifty. We’ve got to get him to the hole, and he knows that he has to work on getting to the hole and then making his move. But we don’t want to take his move away either. We’re not going to tell him to go run his head into somebody because that’s not his thing, we want him to use his ability by getting him at the hole, making that one cut, and go.”
The running back likely to receive the most carries is 2nd year back, Dexter Janke. Janke had a solid camp and Houle was asked to respond to the suggestion that Dexter looked 1 year better out on the practice field. “He might be more than 1 year better. He came out and dominated this camp at tailback. He’s physically fit, he’s hitting people, and he’s running hard. He’s not making friends out there on defence, that’s for sure; that’s his job and we don’t want him slowing down. We want him practicing like it’s a game and the defence has to take it from him. He did real well.”
So while spring camp has concluded, there is an important summer of training to take place. It will be interesting to see who enters fall camp and makes the best case for playing time in 2012.