Ryan Grubb expressed confidence on Saturday when he met with reporters that Washington running back Dillon Johnson will be able to fill his normal role on Monday when the Huskies face Michigan in the College Football Playoff National Championship.

Johnson said Saturday he doesn’t expect to be 100% but he does expect to be “ready to rock and roll.” That development is certainly promising for UW, but it’s also somewhat shocking. Johnson appeared to be in serious pain late in UW’s Sugar Bowl win over Texas last Monday, leaving his status in doubt. Washington is pushing optimism ahead of the title fight, though.

“I think that he’s had a great week of rehab,” Grubb said. “He’s able to start repping with us. I think that he’s feeling a lot better. I know he’s a really determined young man, so I would be shocked if he wasn’t able to come out there and make an impact in the game.”

(Video of Grubb’s comments is below, courtesy of The Seattle Times’ Mike Vorel.)

Grubb said Washington was initially worried about his foot, but he’s feeling better now.

“Yesterday he was able to get out there and move around. So I think today he’ll take another step at practice,” Grubb said. “I don’t think he’s going to be limited, honestly. I think he is going to be just fine.”

Johnson heads into the title fight with 1,162 rushing yards and a Pac-12-leading 16 touchdowns on the season.

Since the UW offense crashed down to the ground against Arizona State on Oct. 21, Johnson has emerged. He ran for 84 yards against Stanford a week later and then exploded against USC the following week, running for 256 yards and four touchdowns. Ever since, he has been a dangerous part of an already dangerous offense, providing the Huskies with a viable ground game to complement the passing attack.

Johnson will look to help the Huskies to their first national championship since 1991. Kickoff from NRG Stadium is set for 4:30 p.m. PT on ESPN.