After reeling off two consecutive 1,000-yard seasons for the Washington Huskies, Myles Gaskin has an opportunity to do something truly special in his junior year.
In 2015, Myles Gaskin became the first true Washington Huskies‘ freshman to ever rush for over 1,000 yards in a season. This was punctuated by being named MVP of the Heart of Dallas Bowl, after rushing for a stunning 181 yards and four touchdowns.
Unsurprisingly, Gaskin entered last year with high expectations placed on his shoulders. And while he initially struggled to getting going, he eventually finished with 1,373 rushing yards (the eighth-highest season total in school history).
Regardless, there was a bitter taste left in the mouth of the Lynnwood, Washington native by the end of the 2016 campaign. This was unsurprising, after he was stifled — along with the rest of the offense — in the Peach Bowl loss to Alabama.
The question is, what should we expect from Gaskin as he counts down to his junior year? If things pan out smoothly, he could conceivably have a record-breaking season.
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Napoleon Kaufman is currently the all-time rushing leader for the Huskies, with 4,106 yards. Gaskin is currently sitting on 2,675 yards, meaning another 1,432 in 2017 would set a new school record.
In theory, the 2016 First-team All-Pac-12 selection has two seasons of eligibility remaining, to set a new mark for the Huskies. However, there’s every chance he will declare for the 2018 NFL draft, thus placing more importance on this coming season.
The success of Gaskin has been extremely enjoyable for Huskies’ fans, especially after questions about his lack of size. Due to a deadly combination of speed, instincts and vision, any concerns have long since disappeared.
One significant factor which will help the Huskies’ 2015 offensive MVP take aim at history, is if Jake Browning builds on his play in 2016, when he led the offense to a school record 585 points. Assuming Browning continues to be effective, this will open up more running room for his teammate in the backfield.
However, there are two concerns relating to this aspect, the first being Browning’s recovery from shoulder surgery. The other is the Husky quarterback’s ability to find other targets regularly, with the explosive John Ross headed to the NFL.
Overall though, the odds are good that Gaskin will once again surpass 1,000 yards rushing. And if he is truly motivated, he could be in line for a special season, which would in turn help the Huskies’ quest to once more qualify for the College Football Playoffs.
What kind of production are you expecting from Gaskin next season? Will he break Kaufman’s school rushing record during his junior year? Share your thoughts in the comments section.