Huskies RB Sankey is 'second coming of Emmitt Smith'
TribLIVE Sports Videos
University of Washington junior Bishop Sankey has simplified the art of playing running back.
Sankey runs north and south as if he's navigating Interstate 95, while bouncing off tacklers like a Emmitt Smith throwback.
“A lot of times the defense will jump out of their gaps, and the holes are there for me,” said Sankey, who is second nationally with 131 carries and fourth in the country in rushing with 146.4 yards per game. “As a running back, you have to get a feel for it.
“You're designed to go to a certain hole. I run with my eyes up and hit the hole as hard as I can. If it gets cluttered up, you bend it backside or try to bounce it outside. You'll start seeing holes that you didn't see when the defense was fresh.”
In No. 16 Washington's 31-13 win over Pac-12 rival Arizona two weeks ago, Sankey rushed a school-record 40 times for 161 yards and a touchdown. It took more than three defenders to bring down Sankey on 30 of those carries.
The 5-foot-10, 203-pound Sankey will slide a little to the left or cut to the right on occasion. But he never drifts too far off his north-south compass.
“He's the only franchise running back in college football this year,” said Dave-Te Thomas of Scouting Services Inc.
Thomas, who is under contract to 27 NFL teams, recently met with the St. Louis Rams to discuss his 180-page scouting report on Sankey for the 2014 Draft.
“I'm trying to tell people this is the second coming of Emmitt Smith. He has a low center of gravity,” Thomas said of Sankey, who averages 5.6 yards per carry and has four 100-yard games this season. Asked to compare Sankey to a current NFL running back, Thomas replied, “Think Ray Rice (of the Baltimore Ravens).”
“Bishop has a great deal of patience when he runs the football,” Washington coach Steve Sarkisian said. “He has excellent balance and the unique ability to explode and make cuts in tight quarters. He's got a great deal of comfort in the schemes that we run, and he's in great physical condition. The end result is you wouldn't be able to tell the difference between his first run of the game and his last run of the game.”
Sankey, who scored the first touchdown in Washington's new stadium in the opener against Boise State, will be tested Saturday against Oregon. A big rushing game for Sankey against the No. 2 in team in the nation could enhance the upset hopes of Washington, which lost, 31-28, at No. 5 Stanford last week.
“It's working pretty good for us, moving the ball on the ground and through the air,” Sankey said. “It's something we're going to continue to get better at. I try to get the most out of each carry. I take what the defense gives me.”
John Harris is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at email@example.com or via Twitter @JHarris_Trib.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Penguins notebook: Malkin picture muddy
- NFL notebook: Raiders name Sparano interim coach
- I-79 line painting begins Thursday
- Animal Friends receives $1.5 million state grant
- Steelers film session: Harrison on the field often
- Steelers notebook: Tomlin bringing officials to practice
- Public station WQED cutting staff in face of financial woes
- Virginia kicker says parents preached commitment
- Pittsburgh rallies for second year of Pirates magic
- Multisport athletes help Derry cross country find success
- Steelers are vowing to fix the costly penalties, lack of self-discipline