Washington's Bishop Sankey was the first running back selected in the 2014 NFL Draft, going to the Tennessee Titans with the 54th overall pick, and current USC tailback Javorius "Buck" Allen garnered a Sankey comparison this week.
Given the source, it's an interesting comparison.
"There is no doubt in my mind that Buck is right there with Bishop at this point," USC running back coach Johnny Nansen said of Allen to the Los Angeles Times.
Nansen was Washington's running back coach last season, when Sankey finished fourth nationally in rushing at 143.9 yards per game, and followed Steve Sarkisian to USC when he was hired as Trojans coach.
Allen (6-foot-1, 220 pounds), a junior, leads the Pac-12 in rushing at 130.2 yards per game. He is bigger than Sankey (5-10, 209 pounds), and like Sankey, he is an effective receiver. Sankey finished his three-year career at Washington with 67 receptions. Allen has 23 receptions this season and 44 in his career.
Allen was a consensus three-star recruit from Tallahassee, Fla., and the No. 50 overall prospect from the state of Florida. He signed with the Trojans in February 2011 and redshirted that season. He barely played as a redshirt freshman in 2012, then languished on the bench last season until Lane Kiffin was fired. Then-interim coach Ed Orgeron -- who was Allen's main recruiter out of high school -- turned Allen loose, and he ran for 637 yards and 12 TDs in the final six games last season.
He has continued his productive ways this season, with 781 yards and seven TDs through the first six games. He has had nine 100-yard outings in the past 12 games dating to last season, including a career-high 205-yard performance in last week's win over Arizona.
"I'm fired up to see how Buck is going to finish out," Nansen told the Times.
Allen's performance this season has caught the attention of scouts and analysts. "I don't know if people around the country have really caught on to how good he is," NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah wrote in September. Jeremiah also thinks Allen can be a three-down back in the NFL.
Mike Huguenin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.