Signee Update: Damien Washington

North Carolina signee Damien Washington had a career performance in track and field last week. In the South Piedmont Conference Track Meet, he won the 100- and 200-meter dashes and long jump, and placed second in the triple-jump.

Emerging victorious in events at track meets, even the conference meet, isn't new to Washington, but the times he posted to win were. The 6-foot, 180-pound athlete from Kannapolis (N.C.) Brown posted career best times in the 100 (10.64 seconds) and 200 (21.7).

"It felt pretty good, because I helped my team a lot," Washington said.

Even before the performance, Washington had qualified for the regional track meet on May 12. The top four performers from the regional meet at each event qualify for the NCHSAA 3A State Track Meet on May 18.

In the regional track meet, Washington is scheduled to run against fellow UNC signee Kedrick Davis in the 100-meter dash. Davis, the reigning NCHSAA 2A 100-meter champion, is nursing a hamstring injury but expects to participate.

"I have never run against him," Washington said. "This is going to be an experience and a test because I haven't really run against a whole lot of fast people this year. I ran against the state winner last year and he got me in the last 30 meters. I like to be pushed."

Regardless of who wins, there's a strong chance that Davis and Washington could rematch in the state track meet a week later. Both are currently ranked in the top three in the 100-meter dash in their region.

Between the football season, where his play earned him a spot on North Carolina's Shrine Bowl team, and the track season, Washington was a self-described "senior leader and defensive specialist" on Brown's basketball team.

"We beat our rivals Concord for the first time [in basketball] in eight years," Washington said. "I haven't beaten them since middle school."

The negative to playing three sports is that it has prevented Washington from bulking up for his UNC football career. Washington, who played the football season at 185 pounds, estimates that he's down five to ten pounds.

"I've lost a little bit of weight, but I'll pick that up once the track season is over with," Washington said.

Despite the hectic schedule, Washington has found time to follow the workout regimen that UNC sent all of its signees.

A couple of days ago, Washington had his first conversation with Gunter Brewer, UNC's wide receivers coach, since the Tar Heels' Spring Game.

"He was just checking up on me," Washington said. "He told me to keep him updated on how I'm doing in track."

Recently, Washington has been given a better understanding of how he fits into UNC's newly installed one-back spread offense.

"I'm expecting to be playing receiver – the A-back," Washington said. "I like to catch the ball and run the ball. Touching the ball is my specialty. That's kind of exciting to me, because I'll not only catch the ball but will run the ball, as well."

Washington hasn't been informed if he'll be red-shirted or not this coming season.

"They told me to come and be ready to play," Washington said. "They didn't promise me I'd play, but they said they are lacking receivers."

Washington, who sported No. 12 for Brown, is unsure what number he'll wear for UNC.

"I was talking to Coach [Marcus] Berry and Coach [Larry] Fedora and I was trying to figure out a number," Washington said. "The majority of the numbers are already taken, but they said I could double up a number with somebody that plays on the defensive side. I would like a single digit number like No. 1 or No. 4."

Academically, Washington is cleared by UNC and the NCAA Clearinghouse to enroll at UNC. He'll enroll in the second summer semester and has been paired to room with fellow receiver Kendrick Singleton.

Damien Washington Profile

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