Mastro: Two clear No. 1s at running back

JIM MASTRO USES STICK-AND-GLOVE IN FUMBLE DRILL

PULLMAN -- One position group for the Cougars that had no problem with the wear and tear of spring ball, thanks to the ample depth, was the running backs. And according to running backs coach Jim Mastro, there was one back in particular who seriously raised his stock.

"Leon Brooks -- this offense is (made) for kids like that," Mastro said of the Cougar five-foot-seven punt returner when asked who boosted his spring profile among the running backs. "He excelled and did things well. He was a pleasant surprise."

Mastro noted that while every one of his RBs is capable of producing in the Pac-12, they all still have work to do heading into summer workouts.

Indeed, he said learning the intricacies of the Air Raid offense is necessary for any of them to see the field, let alone excel in the offense.

"It's an easy offense for them to understand but I think between now and fall camp they have to really absorb it," he said. "They're all kind of in the same boat as far as knowledge. They're not there yet but they'll get there by the time we get to fall camp."

AND WHILE THERE has been some buzz about the emergence of depth at the position, and that Brooks served notice this spring, Mastro said it is pretty clear who is at the top of the depth chart.

"(Carl) Winston and (Rickey) Galvin are your 1's," he said. "Leon, (Teondray) Caldwell and (Marcus) Mason are in that next tier… but that's where it's at as of right now."

And so things could change when fall camp kicks off in August, preceded by the Cougs' late spring and summer voluntary workouts.

OF THE 68 SNAPS the Cougar offense ran in the Crimson & Gray Game on Saturday, only 17 were running plays while 51 were passes.

"If we win I don't care (how many times we carry the ball)," he said.

His backs weren't bored, however. Six of them caught passes in the game.

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