2016 Target: Robert Washington

HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. --- North Carolina is among eight schools to have offered Robert Washington. To say the least, the 5-foot-9, 189-pound running back from SouthLake Christian Academy has reciprocated the interest.

Scouting Report

"The first thing that comes to mind with me is that he's a power runner," SouthLake head coach Bob O'Donnell said. "He has a very, very strong lower half. He's a powerful runner who has the quick feet so that if he does get into the open field, he can scoot. He has great hands.

"Over the last year, some magazines have called him a scat back. I wouldn't call him a scat back. I'd say he's more of a pro-style ‘back who can run it between the tackles, but can slip out in the flat and catch a ball and run with it.

"He's about the same size as Gio [Bernard]. He's compact, but he doesn't carry a lot of weight in the upper body – it's all in the lower body. So [Washington] can fit into a one-back spread."

Prep Career

As a freshman starting on a team that reached the NCSIAA Division III Title game, Washington rushed for 1,017 yards and 11 scores on just 89 carries (11.4-yard average) and caught ten passes for 141 yards. He posted those numbers with a fractured hip for much of the season.

"He's a perfect complement for what we do with our receivers on the edges," O'Donnell said. "We do a lot of throwing it wide to our slots and then running it up inside with Robert. And all this is in a fast tempo."

For his accomplishments, Washington was named a MaxPreps Freshman All-American. He also received NCSIAA Division III All-State recognition.


Akron, Arizona State, Mississippi, Mississippi State, North Carolina, NC State, Syracuse, and UCLA have offered Washington a scholarship.

The UNC offer was extended less than an hour after Washington participated in a Tar Heel camp. Besides the offer, Washington left with a flourishing relationship with Randy Jordan, UNC's running backs coach.

"I had talked to him over the phone before the camp, but that was my first time meeting him," Washington said. "He's a great guy. I love Coach Jordan. I talk to him every day now just to give him updates."

Also this summer, Washington visited Connecticut, Florida State, Georgia, NC State, and Vanderbilt.

"Out of all the visits, I really liked the visit to North Carolina," Washington said. "It was just Coach Jordan and the way he came off to me. And I really like Coach [Gunter] Brewer. I've known him for a long time. He's a fun guy."

That visit has helped push UNC into a great position for Washington.

"It was my first in-state offer, so North Carolina is very high on my list," Washington said. "They are very high. They are up there. I haven't exactly come up with my top ten yet, but North Carolina is definitely going to be in my top five."

Contributing to his reluctance to name a leader is a situation that played out over the course of the past year with Mississippi State. It began with a verbal commitment to the Bulldogs last November.

"The reason I even committed to MSU was because of Coach Tim Brewster," Washington said. "He and I had an awesome relationship. He was so down-to-earth. So when he offered, I committed because I liked him so much. And MSU is a great family atmosphere and it's in the SEC."

When Brewster left for Florida State following the 2012 season, Washington's relationship with Mississippi State deteriorated.

"I never really built a relationship with any of the other coaches, like Coach [Dan] Mullen," Washington said. "I didn't build a relationship with Coach [Greg] Knox."

Thus, Washington decided to de-commit.

"I realized that I am young and I need to take my time," Washington said. "I need to come up with a top ten, and then a top five. And I want to take a whole bunch of visits."

This coming season, Washington plans to attend games at Georgia, Michigan, UNC, NC State, and Tennessee.

Extra Notes

Washington grew up a UNC fan… Through different events, including 7-on-7s, Washington has developed a friendship with current and future Tar Heels Cayson Collins, Kedrick Davis, Norkeithus Otis, and Marquise Williams… Outside of football, Washington doesn't participate in any sports. But he does train with his sister's junior Olympic team.

Robert Washington Profile

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