The SMU football coaching staff has been busy the last couple weeks. They visited over 100 high schools in the DFW area on April 21st and 22nd. They are currently in Houston doing high school visits. One of the DFW schools they visited was Kennedale High (Kennedale, TX), the home of star Class of 2015 running back Juwan Washington.
Washington, who is 5-foot-7 and 175 pounds, has the Mustangs eye. SMU Special teams coach Carlos Barocio-Leon made the drive to Kennedale and talked with Kennedale head coach Richard Barrett.
"I think they are interested in Juwan," Barrett said. "To what degree I don't know, I'm not sure if it's genuine. Based on what information I gathered, I think they'll be more inclined to see him as a slot receiver rather than a running back."
"His pass protection skills probably aren't what they're accustomed to. And they want a bigger-type kid, is what I got from the conversation. I'm not going to (say) they wouldn't take Juwan, but I don't think he'll be at the top of their list. But that's just my opinion; they didn't tell me that."
However, Barrett thinks Washington would like SMU.
"I think he would like SMU, I think there's several things that are attractive about it. Of course, the proximity to Kennedale, where his mother and family could come and watch. There's a lot of things that are attractive about SMU to him, so if there ever was an offer extended, I certainly think he would give that serious consideration."
Barrett said that he is not aware if the SMU coaches talked directly with Washington.
"There's other schools that have told me they will offer as soon as their position coach comes here," Barrett said.
Those schools are likely Memphis, Arkansas State, UTEP, and Texas Tech.
On the field, Washington is an explosive player. Barrett's stats say that he ran for over 2,400 yards and nearly 40 touchdowns during his junior season and over 1,600 his sophomore season. He has been timed at 4.41 in the 40-yard dash.
"Anytime he touches the ball, he's a threat to go all the way," Barrett said. "He's got tremendous speed and is a really a tough, strong, durable runner. One may not think so, but he has a tremendously strong lower body."
Washington's stats are incredible, but his coach says putting up monster numbers isn't his focus.
"I think the ‘W' column is more what he's inclined to look at. He wants his team to do well, and then all the other accolades will come along with that."
Barrett also raved about Washington's ability as a leader, saying that Washington leads by example.
"He's not the kind of ‘rah-rah' guy, he's more of a guy that's just going to bring his lunch pale and go to work every day. He's going to be a guy we can depend on because he's all about doing what's best for the team and working hard."