MSU commits shine at All-World Classic

SouthLake Christian Academy freshmen Robert Washington and Conner O'Donnell -- both Mississippi State pledges -- were in action this weekend at the National Underclassmen Combine All-World Gridiron Classic...

The North squad, with RB Robert Washington and WR Conner O'Donnell, emerged victorious at the NUC All-World Gridiron Classic held in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

"Robert had a great week of practice," said Akron native Rob Deck, who coached the North and has worked with names such as LeBron James and Chris "Beanie" Wells. "He broke two great runs, one from 60-plus yards and another from 35."

Washington was also named NUC's National Freshman of the Year.

"One thing I like is that Robert's not flashy and doesn't want extra attention," Deck said. "He showed class this week."

Washington enjoyed his time in Myrtle Beach.

"It went good," the frosh phenom said. "I learned new things from Coach Deck. He's my mentor and keeps me in check. I met new people and made new friends. The guys were asking me about college and the recruiting process.

"The game went great. I had a touchdown and 100 yards rushing. Conner did great. He has great hands."

O'Donnell impressed the North coaches.

"Conner had four catches and didn't drop a ball all week," Deck said. "He has poise, technique and hand-eye coordination. What amazes me is that he'll take the big hit and hang onto the ball. He doesn't duck or dodge and is willing to absorb the hit; that's hard to find.

"Conner is still growing. Right now, I'd say he's a four-star type player with Robert being a five-star."

O'Donnell, who committed to Mississippi State earlier this month, recapped the week.

"I went in not knowing what to expect," he said. "They split Robert and me up at first and put me on on the South, so I actually learned both teams' plays."

He was subsequently switched to the North team where all eyes were on the highly-touted SouthLake Christian tandem.

"There was some pressure but I felt pretty good," O'Donnell said. "I took a big hit on a middle hitch but caught it."

He recently visited Mississippi State with father Geoff O'Donnell, who doubles as SouthLake head coach, and will have all the details.

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