Thunder, lightning RBs power Seattle Prep
Contrasting running styles make Panthers seniors Teré Calloway and Charlie Brennan more than a handful for tacklers.
Special to The Seattle Times
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These days, Garrett Cook's life is a bit of a blur.
As manager of event services for the Seattle Mariners, he works sometimes day and night, managing a young crew that does everything from hanging flags, shagging foul balls and handing out promotional items at Safeco Field.
This summer, Cook added a new role: head football coach at Seattle Prep. Formerly the defensive coordinator, he took over after D.R. Clawson left after four seasons with the Panthers.
It's been a whirlwind month for Cook, who sometimes takes three trips to Safeco Field on a given day.
"It's fun," Cook said. "It's really busy trying to balance things. The Mariners have been really gracious."
What's made Cook's life easier is knowing that his football team's offense is in very good hands.
Two pair of them, in fact.
Although the Panthers graduated 27 seniors from a team that went 9-2 last season, their dynamic backfield duo of senior running backs Teré Calloway and Charlie Brennan returns.
Together, they accounted for 2,007 yards rushing and 28 touchdowns last season.
"I feel like this team is in really good hands, giving the ball to these guys 30 times a game," said senior offensive tackle Gill Biesold-McGee.
There's little mystery about Seattle Prep's run-based offense.
Last season, Calloway and Brennan often rotated series as the feature tailback behind fullback Jim Killeen. Calloway (6 feet, 190 pounds), a speedy, athletic back, sprinted for 1,015 yards on 128 carries and scored 17 touchdowns, while Brennan (5-9, 215) powered his way to 992 yards on 195 carries and scored 11 TDs.
This season, they at times will line up in the backfield together, with Brennan shifting to fullback.
"They're both pretty dynamic playmakers," Biesold-McGee said. "I always like to think of Charlie as kind of the thunder to Teré's lightning. Charlie is the guy who can bang it up in there and get us three yards every play whereas Teré is kind of our home-run threat."
Seattle Prep hopes their contrasting styles keep defenses off balance.
"I think it's really benefited our team. I think it was pretty evident last year," Calloway said. "It's good to have a balance of a power-type running back, and me more of a slasher-type of running back. It always keeps defenses off guard. Because if they're coming for Charlie, they'll want to stack the box and make sure they plug up the middle. But for me, they want to watch the outside because they know I can bounce it out."
Calloway and Brennan have shared carries since their freshman year.
"We're pretty good friends," Calloway said. "We're going more back to it this year of him playing fullback and me playing running back and that's how our relationship started. We've always had a special relationship. He knows a lot about my running style because he was blocking for me and knew where I wanted to cut and when I wanted to cut. We basically play off each other. I feel wherever he goes and he feels off where I cut."
Even though Seattle Prep will have five new starting offensive linemen, Calloway hopes for big things in his senior season. With 15 scholarship offers, he wants to go out with a bang.
A 21-20 loss to O'Dea last season was a measure of how far the program has come.
"I think we took a huge step last year and made a statement," Calloway said. "I think our biggest statement was our loss to O'Dea. Just showing that it's not the same Seattle Prep that it used to be."
Cook projects Calloway as a defensive back in college. He also plays free safety and is a return specialist for the Panthers. Purdue is interested in him on both sides of the ball, while Syracuse wants him as a running back.
"I think his physicality is what sticks out for me," Cook said. "He's a hard hitter."
Washington and Washington State are not among the serious suitors yet. Colorado is his only Pac-12 offer. That used to bother him.
"I'm not too worried about that anymore," Calloway said. "I have a lot of great choices. A lot of teams where I fit really well in their systems and teams where I'll come in and play as a freshman. I'm not too worried about the local offer. If it comes, I'll be very happy for it. But as of right now, I'm just looking at the schools who have shown interest and have offered."