News trickled out Aug. 30 that four-star running back Robert Washington (Mountain Island Charter/Mount Holly, N.C.) had decommitted from Syracuse, the school he pledged to April 25, and would be exploring his other options. The 5-foot-10, 215-pounder said he actually backed out of his Orange pledge “a couple months ago,” but kept it silent from the media. He said somehow the news leaked out, however, and thus he was forced to address the situation.
“Honestly I was going to let people know in a couple weeks where I was at with Syracuse and all that, but a reporter got ahold of the story so I guess I have to explain myself now,” said Washington, who chose Syracuse over TCU, Alabama, North Carolina, Florida and Michigan (recall, he originally committed to Florida in a video interview before flipping his choice at the last second). “Basically it just wasn’t a great situation with some things I have going on personally, and there was a trust issue with one of the coaches at Syracuse. I didn’t want to be at a place where I didn’t feel like I could trust my coach.”
But now that Washington’s back on the open market, so to speak, he’s unsure what his next move will be. He said he just recently acquired a new cell phone and hadn’t had one at all for several months. Moreover, he said he deleted his old Twitter account and hasn’t been active on social media until the last week or so, either.
“After my phone got cut off I sort of lost contact with all the coaches and people I talked to. I still talked some to a coach from USC, but that’s about it. I haven’t heard from anyone in a long time,” Washington said. “I lost all my contacts and don’t have anyone’s number anymore. So right now I really don’t know what I’m going to do. Right now I’m just dealing with letting people know I decommitted from Syracuse and haven’t really thought about what schools I want to see or who’s even still looking at me.”
Washington went on to say that he doesn’t have any particular programs he’d like to explore, either. There are no college games on his schedule, nor is there any one school he’s hoping reaches out. He said he wants to sit down in the next week or two, hash some things through, and then decide “what places will be best for me to see.”
“This all caught me by surprise to tell you the truth,” Washington said. “So I really don’t know yet about visits or anything like that. I’m going to be thinking about it, but first I have to get back in contact with some coaches.”
When asked specifically about Maryland, a school Washington had interest in earlier during his recruitment, the Carolina native said he’d “definitely” take a look at the Terps if they initiated contact again. Terps’ quarterback commit Dwayne Haskins (Bullis/Potomac, Md.) is a friend of Washington’s, and for awhile the former was urging the latter to join him at UMD.
But Washington reneged on several intended College Park, Md., trips this offseason, however, and hasn’t been on campus since last summer.
“Maryland is a good school and I know there’s a great opportunity for me there. It’s a good academic school and it’s in the Big Ten,” Washington said. “They’ve got some great recruits coming in and it’s a program on the rise.
“Dwayne was actually trying to get me up there, but it just didn’t work out. I haven’t really talked to him, though, because I didn’t have a phone and I got off Twitter. We’ll see; maybe he’ll try to message me on my new Twitter. But, yes, Maryland is a school I’d be interested in looking at.”
Washington did reiterate a caveat, however: He’s not sure what programs are set to recruit him again. Many of the programs among his final six contenders, including UNC, Alabama, Michigan and Florida, have filled up their running back slots or may no longer have him high on their boards. So, for the moment, he’s truly in a holding pattern.