AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- Prospects are being recruited and offered scholarships earlier and earlier as every year passes -- it’s not exactly an uncommon practice to see freshmen in high school boasting offers from BCS programs. What is uncommon is for one of those freshmen to jump on an early offer, but that’s exactly what 2016 Southlake (N.C.) Christian Academy running back Robert Washington did when he committed to Mississippi State in November of 2012.
“The coaches talked me into it,” Washington told GoBlueWolverine. “I liked the atmosphere when I went down there on the visit. It feels like a family atmosphere. Coach Brewster really was the one that helped me commit because we got so close that I felt like at home.
“My dad was like, ‘It’s SEC ball; I can’t turn it down.’ So I committed. At such a young age, it’s been fun.”
Still fielding interest and holding offers from Syracuse, Arizona State, Mississippi, Akron, and UCLA, Washington says, despite his commitment to the Bulldogs, that he remains open and will be for the next few years.
“I’m still open to other schools of course,” said Washington. “Georgia came by and they talk highly of me. I really like Georgia, UCLA, and Syracuse so senior year is going to be crazy, I got to make the choice, but I’m going to get my top five down for senior year.”
Michigan is another school interested in the 5-foot-10, 190-pound back and new Wolverine linebacker coach Roy Manning dropped by Washington’s school earlier this spring.
“I’m really interested in Michigan,” said Washington. “I like Michigan. I’m very interested to hear what the coaches have to say and I know coach Manning has said good things about me.
“Michigan has a winning tradition and they don’t usually come down to North Carolina cause we’re so far apart. It’s been a great experience though.”
Michigan came down to North Carolina in 2013 to pluck incoming freshman defensive back Channing Stribling from Matthews (N.C.) Butler high school. Washington says he’s familiar with a few future, current, and former Wolverines, including Dymonte Thomas.
“I know Denard Robinson and I know a few players at Michigan,” said Washington. “One of my friends was at the Akron camp with me, in Ohio for junior rank, and he committed to Michigan -- a safety. He’s a big dude. He was at the camp last year and talking to us so it was fun working out with him.”
Washington recently joined North Carolina Elite and is still working out the kinks in the chemistry department but still managed to perform well at the Midwest Elite 7-on-7 tournament over Memorial Day weekend.