With the 2013 class finished, Syracuse is now focused on recruiting for future years. While the primary focus is the 2014 class, they are still identifying even younger talent to establish that relationship early. Of their targets has been SouthLake Christian Academy (NC) running back Robert Washington who recently picked up an offer from the Orange.
"Eric White is my primary recruiter," Washington explained. "We've been talking for like a month or month and a half. I've built a great relationship with him. Every time I talk to him it's not that we just talk about football. We might talk about the draft, basketball, how Syracuse is, what places he goes to. We just talk about background information. We are just building a strong relationship overall. I can call him anytime and just talk to him.
"We just build a great relationship. I told him about how I feel about Syracuse and their history at the running back position. They had Jim Brown, Ernie Davis, and Floyd Little. Syracuse is very high on my board. I like Syracuse. We just kept talking and he offered me. I thanked him for it. I told him Syracuse was an offer I could have waited on, but since he offered so early, I'm grateful for it."
Despite that strong relationship Washington is building with Syracuse, he remains committed to Mississippi State. However, he will be entering only his sophomore season. Therefore, there is a long way to go in the process.
"I'm still committed to Mississippi State one hundred percent," Washington claimed. "There's no chance of me doing any decommitting. Even though I'm committed, I'm still young so I still have three years. You always have to keep your recruitment open in case they have a coaching change in the next three years and I may not have an offer.
"That's why I opened up my recruiting again. I have three others offers. I really was just looking at schools I could see myself at besides Mississippi State. I'm still committed one hundred percent. But you always have to have a backup plan in case something happens."
Washington seems to be strong in his commitment to the Bulldogs. How do other schools get involved to see if a flip is possible?
"It's really on me," Washington declared. "How do I feel in my 12th grade year. How do I feel about Syracuse and Mississippi State. I'm going to take a visit up there of course to Syracuse to see the campus and the rest of the coaches. I like their coaching staff.
"Eric White, he does a great job. I've built a great relationship with him. He's really high on my, and I really could see myself going there. But it's really over the three years and how I develop and how I see things. I'm young and I've still got three years left."
Another key will be a visit to the Syracuse campus. They will need to impress the 5-foot-10 running back if they hope to get him to change his commitment. Washington says that visit will be coming soon.
"Sometime this summer, definitely," Washington claimed. "My dad and my mom are from Connecticut anyway. So I'm usually up there. I'm going to take a visit of course. I'll stop by Syracuse and meet the coaches. So it's going to be sometime this summer, definitely."
Other than Mississippi State and Syracuse, Washington also holds offers from Ole Miss, Arizona State, and Akron. He also says he's been in contact with Connecticut, Florida State (Washington's recruiter from Mississippi State, Tim Brewster, is now with the Seminoles), North Carolina, North Carolina State, UCLA, and Duke.