San Diego State Position Preview: Running Backs
This year it is Juwan Washington’s time to shine
Does SDSU have another 2,000-yard rusher?
Going into the 2018 season, the Aztecs lost star running back Rashaad Penny to the NFL where he was drafted in the 1st round by the Seattle Seahawks. Penny rushed for 3,648 yards and 38 touchdowns at San Diego State. In the Rocky Long head coaching era at San Diego State, he has really liked running the football.
Former star running backs at San Diego State so far in the Rocky Long era have been Ronnie Hillman, Adam Muema, Donnel Pumphrey and Rashaad Penny. With Penny now in the NFL, the Aztecs have to look for someone else to rush for another 2,000 yards.
Junior running back Juwan Washington is the man that is expected to get the majority of the carries this season. Washington carried the ball 127 times for 759 yards (6.0 avg.) with seven touchdowns and as a receiver had three receptions for 39 yards. As a kick returner, he returned the ball for 333 yards (23.8 avg) and returned two for touchdowns.
However, there are plenty of solid backs who will battle it out to be the backup. Associate Head Coach/Offensive Coordinator Jeff Horton has already announced that Juwan Washington will be tabbed as the running back. Sophomore Chase Jasmin, Redshirt Freshman Kaegun Williams, and Chance Bell will try to battle it out for the honor to back up Washington.
Chase Jasmin last year played in all 13 games and rushed 33 times which equaled to 137 yards(4.2 yards per carry). The best game of his freshman campaign was at San Jose State where Jasmin carried the ball a career-high 14 times and also a career-best for 82 yards. Even though he sprained his MCL during Spring camp Jasmin is expected to be healthy by the fall. The speedy Jasmin is expected to be the backup/1B running back behind Washington but is also predicted to return kicks.
Redshirt freshman Kaegun Williams is also someone who might earn some time at running back in 2018. Williams who is from Cedar Hill, Texas had a phenomenal high school career. In three yards he rushed for 2,070 yards and 26 touchdowns on 323 carries (6.4 avg.) Also, he caught 113 passes for 1,749 yards (15.5 avg.) for 17 touchdowns. Williams will use his dual-threat ability as both a runner and pass catcher to be an asset for the Aztecs. If Williams gets some carries, expect him to fill in nicely and the running back group wouldn’t miss a beat.
Another redshirt freshman is Chance Bell from John Burroughs High School in Burbank, California. Bell had an outstanding high school career running for 4,525 yards and 59 touchdowns on 605 carries (7.5 avg.) in 31 games (146.0 per game average). The shifting back who has a fantastic first step will give defenses a lot of issues. Bell who is slated at fourth on the depth chart will try to get into the running back rotation with wonderful practices during fall camp.
Running Back Depth Chart:
Juwan Washington, Chase Jasmin, Kaegun Williams and Chance Bell.