Monrovia High School prospect Mike Washington was unaware that he had been on BYU’s radar for some time. BYU’s staff had been quietly evaluating him on all fronts to see if he was a good fit in the three areas (academics, athletics and character) of BYU’s recruiting evaluation process. After passing all three areas, Washington was soon contacted by BYU cornerbacks coach Jernaro Gilford via social media.
“I was actually just sitting in my math class and I looked on Twitter and Coach Gilford had texted me,” recalled Washington. “He had asked how I was doing and said that I [had been] on BYU’s radar for a while. He had asked to see my transcripts and then later he asked me to call him. So I called him and that’s when he offered me.”
Washington and Gilford took some time to get to know one another and formed a relationship. After conversing for a while Coach Gilford asked Washington a question which he followed up with exciting news.
“Coach Gilford is a really cool dude,” said Washington. “At first he was just asking about me and where I’m from and stuff like that. We talked about a lot of stuff. He told me about his family and his wife. He then asked me if I had any offers. I told him no and then he said, ‘Well, I’d like to offer you your first offer.’ That was when I got the offer from BYU and got my first scholarship.”
After extending Washington the offer, Coach Gilford expressed his personal support and then gave him some counsel.
“He told me that the easy part is over with, and now I just have to make sure I keep my grades right and always strive to be better,” said Washington. “He said that when the time comes if I want to go to BYU then I can come there. That’s kind of how the conversation went.”
After receiving the offer from BYU, Washington let his family members know what had happened.
“Yeah, I told everybody and everybody was pumped,” said Washington. “I was actually visiting with my grandma, aunt and uncle and they were really happy for me. They told me to stay humble and keep working hard and keep moving.”
Having secured his first offer, Washington is both grateful and excited knowing that the opportunity to play at the next level has been placed before him.
“It feels good, I’m not going to lie to you,” said Washington with a chuckle in his voice. “I’m a junior and haven’t gotten any offers, so BYU coming in and giving me that offer really changed things for me. It really is an honor and I couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunity.”
Due to his speed, Washington plays on both sides of the ball for Monrovia and plays a priority role on the team. His primary role is cornerback and that’s the position he primarily focuses on when it comes to position mastery.
“I’m pretty much just an athlete and play cornerback, tailback, and slot,” said Washington. “My main position is cornerback and I have nice coverage. I come out of breaks really well and I have a really good understanding of what the receivers are doing. I just try and perfect my craft in covering receivers. My coach trust me on the back side and in man-to-man coverage.”
However, Washington doesn’t just play football. He also doubles as a track and field athlete and will be competing this year at a national track and field event being held in New York.
“I’m 6-1, 160-pounds and I’m pretty fast,” said Washington. “I run track and I’m actually preparing to go to the New Balance track meet in New York and compete in the nationals in March. My track times are 11.6 in the 100-meters, 22.5 in the 200-meters, and 40.99 in the 400-meters [during] my sophomore year. I haven’t been timed in my junior year but I’m faster now.”
As far as what Washington desires to study at the collegiate level, engineering is the field he’s looking to get a degree in.
“I’d like to go into some kind of engineering or biomechanics and major in that,” said Washington. “I want to miner in nursing or something.”
Having secured a BYU scholarship offer, Washington has plans to visit Provo to further learn about the university.
“I want to go out there and check things out more,” said Washington. “I have to get with Coach Gilford and set things up so I can see about going out there and checking things out. I want to talk things over with Coach Gilford and see if there would be a good time to maybe go out there and learn more what BYU has to offer.”