Junior wide receiver Shaq Washington was a major piece of Cincinnati’s powerful passing attack with his 61 receptions. However, it was his early childhood that showed Washington the way to his present success.
“My father threw me into the fire along with my brothers at a young age,” said Washington. “I just followed them as role models as they put a lot of effort and hard work to get to where they ended up. Both of them played college football.”
Prior to his days as a Bearcat, Washington was a high school combine warrior attending almost every possible camp available across the Midwest. While everyone knew coaches would look at his 5-foot-9 frame and look for bigger framed receivers, it was hard to overlook his quick feet and ball catching abilities.
Washington credits those events to his success today.
“I think of everyday as being a competition,” he said. “Just coming out and having that competitive edge was learned going to all of those camps and combines. So now I just take that to the practice field each and every day so I can set an example for the younger players.”
Prior to the arrival of Tommy Tuberville, Washington wasn’t sure Cincinnati was the right place for him. However, this season the Cleveland native led the Bearcats with 61 receptions and earned Co-Most Valuable Player honors in the process.
“Individual accolades don’t mean as much to me,” he stressed. “I’m honored my teammates think so highly of me and that the coaching staff depends on me as much as they do. But I’m just looking forward to getting this tenth win and winning a championship.
“I feel my journey has been a learning and humbling experience and that everything I went through made me the person I am today. I’m just honored to still be a Bearcat and I knew in my heart, Cincinnati was where I always wanted to be.”
What would a win over Virginia Tech mean to Washington and the Bearcats?
“This is a very important game for the program and the city,” he said. “We want to show on a national state we can compete with the best. We’ve heard the talk about how they are a university that produces a lot of great defensive backs. But we feel we have a lot of great wide receivers and look forward to the challenge.”