UW Huskies Insider

Sankey switches to Washington; good fit for Sark?

Post by Todd Milles / The News Tribune on Jan. 26, 2011 at 9:23 am with 15 Comments »
January 26, 2011 9:48 am

For weeks, coaches on the Washington State football staff had reportedly grown skeptical about the hot-and-cold oral commitment of Gonzaga Prep’s Bishop Sankey.

Sankey is the best running back in the state of Washington, and was the Cougars’ first commit for 2011 a year ago.

But on Tuesday night, when UW coach Steve Sarkisian made an in-house visit in Spokane, Sankey changed his mind and gave the Huskies an oral commitment.

Is this a huge get for the UW? It is a crippling blow for the Cougars?

Based on the ratings of the popular recruiting services, Sankey is quite the catch. He was named the No. 4 recruit in the state of Washington (the UW has now five of the top six), and is a top 25 running back nationally.

Despite being 5-foot-10 and 190 pounds, he is a workhorse – capable of toting the ball 30-35 times a game, even at the collegiate level.

What kind of impact will he have in the Pacific-10 Conference?

Longtime followers of Spokane football estimate Sankey will be a solid – not great – player in college. He has jiggle, but his record-breaking numbers in the Greater Spokane League were as much about the vulnerable back end of defenses in the league as it was about Sankey breaking free on long runs.

One FBS recruiter I spoke to said while the lack-of-playmaking criticism has merit, it is something that likely would be fixed by a college weight-lifting program.

OK, but where does he fit in at the UW?

The Huskies will get tailback Chris Polk for another season. Jesse Callier is the change-of-pace back, and he’ll be likely utilized heavily in the game plan next season as well. Deontae Cooper, who appeared on his way in earning the No. 2 running back role in fall camp before suffering a season-ending knee injury, should return to full-health status, and will be in the mix.

And don’t forget about fullback Zach Fogerson and his upside in short yardage at running back?

Assuming Sankey can upstage the likes of the Fogerson boys (Zach and Johri), he could end up as the fourth-string running back when the season opens against Eastern Washington. He also could be a redshirt candidate.

But after Polk leaves, Callier becomes a junior and Cooper enters his sophomore season, anyone think Sarkisian and his staff won’t be mining California for another top-flight talent to become his new rushing-game toy?

My fear for Sankey is that he becomes more of an example than a contributor. It’s no secret the UW hasn’t had a real presence in Spokane in a few years. Sarkisian wants that to change, so why not lift arguably that region’s most visible prospect to showcase that?

And, while we’re at it, let’s put a dagger in the side of our cross-town rivals (by the way, the UW folks are still a little steamed about the endless rain of snowballs that pelted injured defensive tackle Semisi Tokolahi while be taken off on a cart in the Apple Cup … so, how about that “snowball”?).

I firmly believe a better fit for Washington would have been Curtis High’s Rahmel Dockery (oddly enough, another WSU recruit), who has better skills in the special teams return game right now than anybody on the UW roster. Why not take a chance on him, even if he is a non-qualifier candidate?

Leave a comment Comments → 15
  1. fbergford says:

    He reminds me of Tryee Clowe from Central Valley in 1998…best RB in the state went to Idaho and never saw the field!

  2. Resonance88 says:

    This is really poor journalism and frankly a poorly considered column. As a Washington resident and Husky Fan I am offended and angry.

    It is a slur against Sankey’s ability and Sarkisian’s ethics. I read this in ESPN Insider quoting your article on how Sarkisian was taking Sankey to gain a foothold in Spokane and hurt WSU. It reflected very badly on the program and Coach Sarkisian.

    Sure Sarkisian wants a foothold in Spokane and to dent WSU’s recruiting, but with limited scholarships and no other running backs in this class there is no way he would give a scholarship to a player that is not going to be a contributor.

    Rivals said, “He could end up being an all-conference performer.”

    Both Rivals #19 and Scout #17 running back in the country ahead of Bigelow.

    This is the final comment from the scouting of ESPN on Sankey’s evaluation:
    “this guy has the makings of a productive every-down back at the BCS level.”

    Who the heck are you to say that Sankey is a token pick up that will not be a major contributor. The use of unnamed sources to knock the kid is disgusting.

    Have you watched his film? It is outstanding and he had offers from all over the country.

    The article was in poor taste, poorly researched and a real slur against the UW program, Sarkisian and this really good running back.

  3. superdeluxe says:

    Why is a coog writing posts for the UW ‘insider’. We can see your bias a mile away.

  4. chowhoundtoo says:

    He’s J.R. Hasty…
    Agreed that as much as anything he was a turf war recruit and I can tell you WSU wasn’t putting up much of a fight to re-recruit him. They instead went a different direction and have been recruiting what they are missing and that is a speedy back which they just got last week in Marcus Mason. Sankey wasn’t feeling the attention from WSU since he went against his commitment and said a month ago that UW was recruiting him the hardest. He had to be wondering, “where are the other big time BCS offers?” Vanderbilt, NC State, Maryland, Hawaii…..Here’s to hoping he delivers on his hype.

  5. bonuswagna says:

    Todd, Todd, Todd…first time writing a recruiting article?
    You load up on the most talent you can, at any position. You don’t know for sure who will be lost to injury, attrition, etc…The best college programs stockpile as much talent as possible, every single year.
    “Longtime followers of Spokane football estimate Sankey will be a solid – not great – player in college.” Oh by all means, let’s hire these guys quickly, as they have bottled the secret to forecasting player’s futures.
    Don’t poo poo aggressive recruiting, it’s the only way you get to where you want to be as a program…even if your a coug in Dawg’s clothing.

  6. “Assuming Sankey can upstage the likes of the Fogerson boys (Zach and Johri), he could end up as the fourth-string running back when the season opens against Eastern Washington. He also could be a redshirt candidate.”

    Zach is a fullback – different position. UW hasn’t run their FBs much in the last few years, mostly using them as blockers (hopefully that changes).

    Ideally you want at least four healthy tailbacks going into the fall season and you don’t want a huge drop in talent between #1 and #4 when you’re breaking in a new Pac 10 QB and trying to establish a run first/pass second offense.

  7. The author of this tripe is a kewg, Explains a lot.

  8. Patches_Pal says:

    This kind of biased editorial might be appropriate in a college newspaper but it is completely inappropriate in a regional newspaper.

    Sankey was one of the top 6 players in the state and a top 25 running back. Enough said! Isn’t he entitiled to a scholarship offer from the states top university? I think he earned it no matter how good a player he turns out to be. Do you even mention his major? Why condemn the kid to a single choice of universities just because he lives in Spokane?

    And as for Sark stealing him from the Cougs, perhaps you should focus more of your article on Wulff’s inability to talk the local recruits into staying close to home.

  9. fbergford says:

    hahaha all you dawg fans are tarded! Getting your panties all bunched up because this reporter doesn’t have purple tinted glasses on! Go ahead and keep him! We didn’t want him anyways!


    ps – sorry for partying too much and being out in the boonies! LOL

  10. Dear Todd Milles,

    As REAL University of Washington Husky fans, we the people, ask you to resign from your “UW Insider” position… There is no way we can take you seriously being that you are a WSU Cougar and your biased articles clearly show that.

    Maybe apply at WSU? I bet there will be a position open at Head Coach pretty soon?

    Thank You,
    The 206, 253, 360, 425, & the rest of Husky Nation

  11. JebDot2D says:

    Is this a real column? This just seems like sour grapes from a kewg. WTF? Am i wrong here?

  12. drewhandy says:

    Wow, Milles.

    You are going to give Sark recommendations about what recruits would better fit his program…that’s laughable. Your lack of expertise in that area is why you make $45k per year as a journalist and he makes nearly $2 million per year to judge talent.

  13. fbergford says:

    GetGot….Do a little research on Tyree Clowe the last top 25 RB to come out of Spokane ;) Tell me what he’s ll about now! OH yeah just throwing he hammer at Spokane Falls Community College!

  14. fbergford says:

    Rabble rabble rabble! How dare you talk bad about the huskies! They should win the national championship every year because we are the huskies! rabble rabble rabble!

  15. fbergford,

    who cares about Tyree Clowe, he is not Sankey.. so moot point. How about we compare Kwame Brown and Lebron James’ career since they were both #1 picks in the NBA Draft? If WSU has a spelling / typing course, you should definately enroll. You need help.

    P.S. you should stick to partying in the boonies…


    please have your stuff packed and vacate The Tacoma News Tribune by noon.


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