Monday, September 17, 2012

ROBERT WASHINGTON, JR: A Breakout Freshman Running Back!!!


Written by: Prospect-Central

With summer coming to an end and autumn fast approaching, that of course means one thing; it's time to play some football!!!  While Prospect-Central mainly focuses on up-and-coming basketball players, the sport of football is arguably our country's national pastime and produces some exceptional athletes in its own right.

High school football may not be as popular as the NFL or college, but it might be the most important.  It's on the high school gridiron after all where these players begin to develop their skills and start to learn the intricacies of the game.

While it's common practice for college coaches to offer middle school basketball players scholarships, it's quite the opposite when it comes to football.  Charlotte, North Carolina's Robert Washington, Jr. appears to be the exception however.

Back in July the 15-year old received a scholarship offer from Ole Miss, which of course plays in the toughest conference in the nation the SEC.  The fact that Robert received an offer from such a prestigious school without even playing a single down of high school football, speaks volumes to the type of potential this young man possesses.

What makes Robert Washington Jr.'s story so remarkable has nothing to do with a scholarship offer, but rather the fact he's alive to tell his story in the first place.  After receiving a physical in 2010, Robert discovered he had a heart condition involving his coronary artery.  That's a scary diagnosis for anyone, let alone a 12-year old.  After successful open heart surgery in September of that year, Robert had to sit out his entire seventh grade season before eventually being cleared to play in 2011.

He was back to his old form in no time, quickly making a name for himself on the national scene at various camps as well as playing for the 15U Team USA squad which features some of the best rising prospects in the country.  After leading the team in rushing as well as being named captain, Robert was ready to make his mark on the high school gridiron.

The 5-foot 11, 190 pound freshman is playing varsity football for Southlake Christian Academy (Huntersville, NC) and through the first four games of the season is second on the team in rushing.  Washington, Jr. has rushed for 254 yards, 2 TD's and is averaging an impressive 9.07 yards per carry.  He's also playing defensive back for the Eagles as well as returning punts and kickoffs.

Projecting the future of a 15-year old football player as opposed to a basketball player the same age is like comparing apples and oranges.  Since football is much more of a contact sport than basketball, football players need more time to mature physically before they can receive an accurate evaluation.  With that being said, Robert Washington, Jr. appears to be headed in the right direction.

Besides the offer from Ole Miss, the freshman is already receiving interest from Notre Dame, West Virginia, Tennessee, Clemson and others.  Since he's originally from Connecticut, Washington, Jr. has said he would really love an offer from the Huskies. Wherever he ultimately ends up is anyone's guess, but he clearly has the size, speed and skills to play big-time Division I football.  As impressive as that may be, it's the way Robert has handled his adversity that really deserves the recognition. * Below is a video of Robert Washington, Jr. playing for the 15U Team USA squad during the 2012 International bowl from Austin, Texas.

11/13/12 - Robert Washington, Jr has officially committed to Mississippi State and is the first recruit from the Class of 2016 to commit to a school.

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