With over 40 offers to his name, Robert Washington is one of the top running backs in the 2016 class. Washington has narrowed his list down to five schools. Find out which programs are leading the way for Washington’s upcoming commitment.
In less than a month’s time, one of the nation’s top junior running backs is going to be off the board. SouthLake Christian’s Robert Washington, rated as the nations third-best running back on Scout.com, will be announcing his school of choice late next month.
“On the 25th. I am picking from six schools,” Washington said. “I am just releasing them periodically. That’s what I’m doing.”
As of today, Washington has announced five of his six potential landing points. An unknown sixth school will soon join Alabama, TCU, North Carolina, Syracuse and Michigan amongst the group strongly vying for Washington’s pledge.
Washington has a long history with each of these schools. Syracuse and North Carolina in particular have remained in pursuit of Washington for over three years dating back to 2011.
“With Syracuse, they have been recruiting me since 9th grade,” Washington said. “They were like my sixth offer. They have a good coaching staff and I have a really good relationship with their running back coach.
“Then with UNC, they offered me right after Syracuse when I went to camp. I have built a great relationship with coach [Larry] Fedora and I have been talking to him for two or three years, going on three years.”
While the Tar Heels and the Orange can boast a strong, long-lasting relationship with the four-star running back, another school in Washington’s final group has gained momentum in the past few months.
“Michigan picked up big,” Washington said. “I talked to coach Singletary and he reassured my offer, then I talked to coach Harbaugh and we had a ten, fifteen minute conversation. He kept saying that I’m a guy who could come in and start. I’m a dominant player that changed the game and he would take my commitment. When I do choose to commit, they said with open arms that I’m a big time player for them.
“He said he’s going to make me a priority and that he will talk to me more and more. He said that he’s going to come down and visit and make a trip down to North Carolina before I commit.”
With Washington’s commitment coming in April, the highly-coveted running back will be deciding before observing the first season of Michigan football under coach Harbaugh. Still, Washington contends that Harbaugh’s prestigious history outweighs any concerns he may have governing the Michigan rushing attack.
“Especially with a coach like coach Harbaugh with the type of history he had at Stanford and with the 49ers, he has produced many backs at Stanford, just dominant NFL backs and he knows how to produce NFL prospects,” Washington explained. “He knows what it looks in the NFL and what a dominant player looks like. I would definitely commit to a guy like him.”
While Washington spoke highly of U-M, the Wolverines will receive heavy competition for Washington from the school located geographically furthest from Washington’s hometown.
“With TCU, coach [Curtis] Luper is a great dude,” Washington said. “That’s an amazing coach and he produced Michael Dyer so he definitely knows how to produce NFL prospects, so I definitely like him at TCU as well.”
Rounding out Washington’s currently named final schools is another program with a long track record of churning out NFL-caliber talent in the Alabama Crimson Tide.
“I am trying to visit Alabama, but I have to work around my sister’s track schedule,” Washington said. “She takes up the Saturdays and I can’t interfere with her, so I am going to work around that.”
Washington whittled his list of over 40 scholarship offers down to six choices. Once his final school is named, the conversation shifts to which program Washington will choose to join at the next level.
“What really weighs into my decision is just four things,” Washington said. “Do I feel at home at school? Do they have great academics? Can I press for early playing time at this school? Do I have a good relationship with the coaches? Those are the four things that will really weigh into it. You can’t find a school that fits every criteria, but the school that fits the most criteria out of all of them will be the school I’m going to pick.”
As a veteran of the recruiting process at this point, Washington is now doing his part to help guide his younger brother, Aapri, through his recruitment. Aapri Washington is a budding cornerback in the 2017 class.
“Yeah, I guide him through the process,” Washington said. “He is up to 10 offers. He got West Virginia and TCU recently. I think I’ve been going through it since 8th grade when I got my first offer, so I’ve been telling him what to say and what coaches do this and what are the differences in the recruiting process.”
As a role model for his younger brother, Washington has put a lot of thought into how to guide Aapri, just as he has highly considered which school to commit to on April 25th.
Washington knows the answer to that question and others will soon.