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Washington LB Shaq Thompson to see more time at tailback


Washington linebacker Shaq Thompson is second on the team in tackles.

He is also sixth on the team in rushing, a figure that will likely rise in the coming games, according to the Huskies' coaching staff.

"We've had some success with putting (Thompson) in there," running backs coach Keith Bhonapha told the Seattle Times. "He's always definitely in the game plan I think. He's one of those guys that has been able to become productive in our room on the offensive side of the ball. And like any team around the country, we're always trying to get our best players on the field as much as you can."

Senior running back Jesse Callier tore his Achilles against Georgia State and was lost for the rest of the season, so Thompson could see an increase in his number of carries going forward just because fewer players are vying for snaps.

Lavon Coleman leads the team in rushing, but Chris Petersen's squad features a bit of a tailback-by-committee. In addition to Coleman's workload increasing, Dwayne Washington and Deontae Cooper will see additional carries, but they don't have the abilities Thompson does with the ball in his hands.

Thompson, a junior linebacker, actually averages 13.7 yards per carry -- he has just six of them, however -- and already has a rushing touchdown. Given the fact that Washington opens Pac-12 play with a home date against a tough Stanford defense on Saturday, perhaps Thompson will be counted on to be in the mix as early as this week.

"I told these guys in the spring time, 'This is a long football season and the running back position is a very physical position.' Things happen," added Bhonapha. "So all these guys have to be ready to go."

Thompson isn't the most famous two-way player in his own conference (UCLA linebacker/running back Myles Jack takes that title), but he is somebody teams will probably have to account for on both sides of the ball going forward.

You can follow Bryan Fischer on Twitter at @BryanDFischer.

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