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Washington encounters more trouble in the backfield

The running back position could be problematic in Seattle. Dave Miller

Print This August 09, 2012, 11:50 AM EST

Steve Sarkisian has Washington trending in the right direction in the Pac-12.

But the Huskies will have a very difficult schedule to overcome in 2012, especially in the first half of the slate when the team will play LSU on the road as well as having to deal with a three-week stretch of Stanford, at Oregon and home to USC.

Keith Price is one of the best quarterbacks in the country, but there is concern heading into the fall because the team has to replace the production of the school's second all-time leading rusher Carlos Polk, who seemed to go under the radar nationally every year.

The concern grew dramatically Wednesday when Deontae Cooper tore his ACL for the third time in his career. With Cooper sidelined this fall, the rushing load will need to be carried by junior Jesse Callier and sophomore Bishop Sankey. The pair will likely share carries unless one emerges after a few games. True freshman Erich Wilson and redshirt freshman Dezden Petty could also enter the equation with a strong preseason camp.

One name to keep an eye on, though, is junior Antavius Sims, who is transitioning to a new position.

The Huskies finally landed Sims, who was originally part of the 2011 class, after he notched nearly 5,000 total yards and 49 touchdowns while playing quarterback the last two seasons at Ventura College in California. He received time as the Huskies' slot back this spring.

The concern for Sarkisian and Co., however, is lack of playing experience from any of the backfield options. Because Price is a veteran, the hope may be that he can shoulder more of the offensive load early until the backfield situation settles. As of now, though, carries will be spread around. It will be interesting to see if one or two eventually emerge from the crowd.

Email dave.miller@nationalfootballpost.com or follow me on Twitter at Miller_Dave

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