This was the season for declaration… the declaration of underclassmen announcing they will forgo their college career and become part of the 2014 draft. One name that continues to gain steam on the national radar is a junior running back originating from Spokane, Washington; his name is Bishop Sankey.
To sum up Sankey, he’s best described as a hard runner with a low pad level who can be quite elusive when needed, yet he isn’t the type to shy away from direct contact. Although his body of work as a starting back for the Washington Huskies stretched primarily over two years, it’s not farfetched envisioning the 5’10”, 205 pounder as a three-down back at the next level.
A graduate of Gonzaga Prep, Sankey would set a school record rushing for yards (4,355) with his best effort coming as a senior going for 2,518 which would set a Greater Spokane League record and have many scouting reports listing him as high as the 17th ranked running back coming out of high school.
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Sankey’s debut as a Huskie saw him participating in 12 games as both a running back and kick returner. While his 6.7 yards per attempt average was impressive, it was on minimal carries (28) and accounted for a single score. While having the reputation of being an above average pass blocker with soft enough hands to catch the ball out of the backfield, those talents would not be fully realized throughout his time in Washington.
2012 would treat Sankey much better. His final numbers; 289 carries for 1,439 yards in 13 games averaging 5.0 per and 16 touchdowns. Couple that with 33 catches for an additional 249 yards would earn him an All-Pac-12 honorable mention. While the regular season was solid, it was the upcoming Las Vegas MACCO bowl where Sankey would haul in the MVP, despite a 28-26 loss to Boise State; rushing for 205 yards on 30 carries along with catching seven passes for 74 yards.
Sankey’s leadership would be rewarded in 2013 as he was named team captain while his on field performance would continue to excel; toting the rock 306 times for 1,775 yards, a 5.8 ypc and an impressive 18 trips to the end zone. Pass reception numbers would remain meager with only 25 grabs for 298 yards, only averaging 2.1 grabs per contest. The rushing numbers would place Sankey in the top-5 of most national categories. In his final game as a Huskie, a 31-16 victory over BYU in the Fight Hunger Bowl, Sankey would rush for 95 yards on 21 carries and two scores. However, an apparent hand injury sidelined him before the final gun.
Sankey didn’t disappoint at the scouting combine running a 4.5 40-yard dash which won’t blow many away, yet was faster than scouts had preliminarily thought. He surprisingly also did well in the pass catching area, yet the tale of of his school tape hardly confirms this.
While still only receiving a third round grade in this year’s draft, it is safe to say that he will be gone in the first round of your upcoming Dynasty rookie drafts and could be a rewarding late-round flier on your redraft squad depending on his landing spot.