Washington’s Myles Gaskin (9) runs for a 69-yard touchdown against Penn State during the second half of the Fiesta Bowl on Dec. 30, 2017, in Glendale, Arizona. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

Washington’s Myles Gaskin (9) runs for a 69-yard touchdown against Penn State during the second half of the Fiesta Bowl on Dec. 30, 2017, in Glendale, Arizona. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

Husky RB Myles Gaskin returning for his senior season

The Lynnwood native had considered entering the NFL draft

SEATTLE — He’s staying after all.

The Washington Huskies’ potential run to next year’s College Football Playoff received a serious boost Sunday when star junior tailback Myles Gaskin tweeted he’s returning for his final season.

Gaskin, a native of Lynnwood, had 222 carries for 1,380 yards and 21 touchdowns this season. He rushed for better than 120 yards in four of the Huskies’ final five regular-season games. Gaskin also rushed for 11 touchdowns during that span.

A three-year starter, Gaskin has 4,055 rushing yards and 45 touchdowns. He’s 52 yards shy of surpassing Napoleon Kaufman to become the school’s all-time leading rusher.

Gaskin already holds the program record for most career rushing touchdowns.

His decision to stay means Gaskin won’t wade into a deep pool of draft-eligible running backs. CBS Sports considered Gaskin to be the No. 12 running back prospect and USA Today had him 15th. WalterFootball.com rated Gaskin 18th.

If that wasn’t enough, Gaskin also would have been in a flooded field of underclassmen. More than 100 underclassmen are entering the draft, the most ever, according to The Orlando Sentinel. The previous record was 96 set in 2016, the paper reported.

Gaskin’s decision was the final domino left related to determining UW’s roster next season. The Huskies lost senior linebacker Keishawn Bierria and receiver Dante Pettis to graduation.

Redshirt junior defensive tackle Vita Vea, the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year, announced last week he was leaving to pursue the draft. Vea is considered to be the No. 1 defensive tackle prospect for the draft, per WalterFootball.

Gaskin’s return means the Huskies can pair him with emerging freshman running back Salvon Ahmed for a 1-2 attack.

Ahmed, a former four-star prospect, dazzled in his first season in various roles. He ran 61 times for 388 yards and three touchdowns while also serving as the team’s kickoff returner.

The Huskies enter next season with eight running backs and that includes Richard Newton. Newton, a three-star prospect, is the only running back UW signed in the its 2018 class.

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