Border Showdown for Running Back?

It appears that it remains a two-horse race for three-star Peculiar Raymore-Peculiar (Mo.), running back Derrick Washington. Washington, who is enjoying a wildly successful first half of his senior season, said Wednesday night he could commit in the next month, and that Missouri slightly leads Kansas in the chase for his signature.

His leader is “probably Mizzou by a little bit right now … they were the first to offer me,” said Washington, a 5-foot-11, 190-pound senior also considering Michigan State, Colorado State and Ball State.

Kansas, they’re real close. I went there last weekend for the game and talked to coach Mangino and coach Blaney, and coach Mosley, the running backs coach. It was really good. They’re not too far behind,” Washington said.

Washington, who has not taken any official visits, has had a KU offer for about three months now and likely will be planning them very soon. He’s been to Lawrence on visits three times and likely will make another trip to campus for an official visit. He’s analyzed the depth charts at each school – he noted that that KU has a freshman running back, Jake Sharp, who has been seeing playing time – but isn’t too caught up in it.

“The coaches I’ve talked to have told me I have a chance to play right away,” he says.

Washington has been on a tear this season while leading his team to a 3-1 record. He opened the season with a 167-yard, five-touchdown performance. I Game Two, he carried the ball 32 times for 279 yards and four touchdowns, followed by a 218-yard, three-score outing. Last week, limiting by a mild shoulder sprain, he carried once for six yards and – of course – another touchdown.

Washington grew up a Florida State fan, but the Seminoles never caught wind of his talents. “That’s where I always wanted to go, but I have to take what I can get,” he said, laughing.

As a junior, Washington rushed for 1343 yards and 22 touchdowns on 158 carries, and caught 31 passes for 861 yards and 7 touchdowns. He also scored three times as a return man in leading his team to a 13-0 record. He has not spent a lot of time hanging out with the players at KU, but plans to do so on his official. He did grow up playing in youth leagues with Jayhawks safety Sadiq Muhammed.

He said he’ll finalize his official visit to Kansas soon and could commit soon, “maybe in the next month or two.”

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