Surprised would be the best word to describe the feeling Marcus Washington felt when he first learned about the scholarship offer that he received from Mississippi State.
"They came down to one of our scrimmages, but I hadn't received a questionnaire or anything," said Washington. "One day last week, my coach contacted me and said Mississippi State had offered me a scholarship. I was surprised that Mississippi State had offered me because I didn't even know that they were that interested."
And Washington didn't hesitate when he received the offer. He committed a couple of days later.
"They showed the strongest interest in me - that's why I committed," said Washington. "I knew they were in the SEC. That was kind of important because I want to play in a big conference."
As for why Mississippi State made the offer, Washington has an idea.
"I think it was the fact that I could come off the block and hit so well," said Washington. "My tape showed me coming off blocks and making tackles behind the line of scrimmage."
Schools, other than Mississippi State, also liked what they saw on the tape.
"Iowa State, New Mexico, TCU...it's a long list," said Washington, of the school showing interest. "Northwestern (of the Big Ten) was close to offering, but I think they wanted to wait until they saw me cover some more during the season."
While Washington credits what he did on the tape as the main reason that he received the offer from Mississippi State, any MSU fan knows head coach Sylvester Croom also recruits people who are successful off the field as well. And Washington fits that criteria.
"I not only play football but also play basketball and track," said Washington. "I also try to stay involved in ROTC by doing things like going to the ROTC Leadership Camp."
Washington explained how he got involved in ROTC.
"My mother told me that she wanted me to do it (my freshman year)," said Washington, also an excellent student in the classroom. "And ever since that day, I've been in it."
They say that "father knows best". Well, in this case, mother knew best because Washington has excelled at ROTC. During the past two weeks, he has participated in an ROTC Leadership Camp. For most kids, the camp lasts for one week - not so for Washington.
"The actual summer leadership school is one week, but they hand pick certain people to go two weeks, so that they can train other cadets how to lead," said Washington. "And I was chosen for that."
Did he learn anything from the camp that he feels will carry over to the football field?
"It teaches you how to be a team player and how to work with other people," said Washington.
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Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the Dawgs' Bite, Powered by GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.