When you’re not the biggest football player, you need to be exceptional in other areas to make up for it. Fortunately, St. John Bosco running back Sean McGrew has some exceptional traits that make up for him not being the prototype in terms of his size.
He committed to the University of Washington yesterday and he has the chance to become an awesome weapon in Chris Petersen’s offense.
The knock on McGrew is always going to be his size. He will never be a big back, but will have to gain some weight to hold up better at the college level. His athletic traits are what make him such a good prospect. He has great feet and big time burst. His top end speed and lateral agility are also outstanding.
It’s surprising that a player his size would run so tough, but McGrew rarely goes down on initial contact. He shows the strength to run through tackles and gains quite a bit of yards after contact.
He ran behind a good offensive line, but he certainly made the most of his runs when he had large holes to run through. He repeatedly made people miss at the second level and showed that extra gear to run away from defenders in what is perhaps the best high school football league in America.
His feet are outstanding. He can cut on a dime and can explode after moving laterally. That together with his vision and instincts as a runner allow him to gain positive yards when the play design doesn’t quite go as planned. To put it another way, he can create something positive when there is little or nothing there.
He can be a serious weapon catching the ball out of the backfield and he shows natural hands catching the football. He is so good in the open field and should make quite a few plays in the screen game.
His size may suggest a third down or situational running back, but there have been plenty of backs his size that have been feature backs at the college level and I think he has the skills to become the main guy for the Huskies.
At worst, I think McGrew could be a great change of pace back that can hit the occasional big play. At best, I think he can develop into a highly productive feature back for the Huskies with the skills to be one of the best players at his position in the Pac-12. He plays a lot bigger than his size and has the rest of the traits that can make him a special player. If he can hold up physically, he should have a bright future for the Huskies.
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Jamie Uyeyama was a way too small defensive tackle at Idaho State University and a more appropriately sized rush end at Simon Fraser University. He was a coach at the college and high school level and is the son of Ron Uyeyama, a member of the Delta Sports Hall of Fame and high school football coach for over 30 years (hence the site name, Son of a Coach).