As I wrote last week in a little story about Demitrius Bronson, one of the subplots of the success of incoming freshmen RBs Jesse Callier and Deontae Cooper is the impact it has on the returning tailbacks.
In Bronson’s case, it’s a pretty tangible and major one — he’s now being tried at fullback, as well.
Some have also wondered how Johri Fogerson (pictured at right) is reacting to the success of Cooper and Callier — obviously, only so many touches to go around in the backfield and if Cooper and Callier get some next year, that could take away from what Fogerson might have gotten as the presumptive backup to Chris Polk.
Fogerson said last week he’s fine with however it breaks down.
“This is all a group thing, so we are trying to get better as a group,” Fogerson said. “I’m excited for them. That’s what they brought them here to do is play football, just like me, Chris and the others here before them. They are doing well — that’s going to be more competition for us, but that was already there. That will just make us all better as a collective group, so I’m glad they are doing well.”
Fogerson said he’s not worried that there won’t be enough carries to go around.
“Once the season begins, there may be games where Chris doesn’t get the job done and I’ll be in there, or me and Chris aren’t going off and it will be those two guys,” he said. “You just never know. That’s what’s great about having the variety of running backs we have. Nobody has the same running style, which is great, too, so they (opponents) can’t key on any one running style.”
Fogerson was cited by UW coach Steve Sarkisian has having maybe the best off-season of any player. Fogerson said his off-season included adding about 13 pounds to get up to 221 — he was listed last year at 6-1, 191 but said he played more around 208-210.
“I feel good,” he said. “It’s not like I packed it on fast or anything. I feel normal.”
Fogerson said one of the main reasons to gain weight was to improve his pass blocking.
“I noticed I was a little light in the Levi’s when it came to pass blocking, so that was really what I wanted to work on,” he said. “Running the ball, we are all gifted, so my pass blocking is what I wanted to work on.”
Last season, Fogerson’s sophomore year, was his first full season at tailback after spending his freshman year as a safety (after being initially recruited out of O’Dea to play tailback).
He had 46 yards on 14 carries and one touchdown but emerged as a dangerous threat catching the ball out of the backfield with 17 receptions for 191 yards and a touchdown.
He did most of his damage in the first half of the schedule, however, his season derailed after he caught a nasty flu bug about midway in.
“It did take me a while (to recover),” he said. “I tried to come back against Arizona State and really wasn’t feeling very good. I was back by UCLA but by then the group they had going had something good going so where was really no big shot for me to come back and make a big impact.”
That he has the year of experience at safety has led some fans to wonder if the team’s additions at tailback would have Fogerson wanting to move back to defense. But the reality is that if Bronson makes the move to fullback, there are really only four scholarship tailbacks on the roster, about the minimum you’d want to go through a season.
And Fogerson says he’s more than happy where he is.
“Safety was fun while it lasted,” he said. “I did play both ways in high school, but everybody did. For you to be great in college you’ve got to stick at one position, so for me to finally be somewhere and make it a home is great.”
April 19, 2010 at 2:23 PM
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