Despite a late push from the home-state Missouri Tigers, four-star St. Louis (Mo.) Trinity Catholic wide receiver Marcus Washington has officially joined Tom Herman’s 2019 class after he signed his National Letter of Intent with the Texas Longhorns on Wednesday.
With just a few weeks left before the early signing period began, rumors swirled that Washington’s commitment was wavering and speculation arose that he would be making a final weekend visit to Missouri. However, he didn’t make the trip to Columbia and reaffirmed his commitment via Twitter.
Sorry for all the confusion going around #HookEm— Marcus Washington (@_MarcusW11) December 16, 2018
In fact, Washington was once considered an Ohio State lean, but once the domestic abuse allegations arose regarding Ohio State wide receivers coach Zach Smith, and furthermore, head coach Urban Meyer’s alleged knowledge of the situation, Washington delayed his decision, and of course, ultimately took his talents elsewhere.
The 6’2, 195-pound receiver is ranks as the No. 27 wide receiver in the country and as the No. 3 player in the state of Missouri, per the 247Sports Composite. Washington may not have the eye-popping speed of his fellow four-star freshmen Jordan Whittington and Jake Smith, but he fills a vital gap in the incoming group of receivers.
Washington is a true possession receiver with the body and toughness to fight for contested passes and catch a pass over the middle when a team needs tough yardage. His abilities as a route runner allow him to create space and he has a knack for finding the empty spots in the secondary.
The competition was not always the stiffest, but he did what elite players do when they play an outmatched opponent: he dominated nearly every defensive back he lined up against.
In his film, he also shows the ability to high-point the football, which you saw become a vital skill in Texas’ red zone scheme in 2018. He reaches over shorter defenders to take the ball away and can bring down the ball toward the sidelines when the quarterback puts the ball in a position where he’s the only one that can make a play. His skill set blends well with not only the Texas possession passing game, the short slants and drag routes, but a player with the body and toughness to fight for extra yards on completions.
En route to a state title this season, Washington utilized this skill set to the tune of 31 receptions for 529 yards and eight scores.
The landscape at receiver could look much different in 2019, with Collin Johnson and Lil’Jordan Humphrey set to make their NFL Draft decision following the Sugar Bowl. Nevertheless, there’s talent waiting in the wings, even if the two juniors both decide to forego their senior season. In addition to John Burt, who will be a senior in 2019 after redshirting this season, Texas signed a pair of tantalizing talents last cycle in Brennan Eagles and Al’Vonte Woodard.
Aside from the latter two enjoying that extra year of development within the program, neither of the bunch boasts much of an experience edge over Washington, and the same can be said of Jordan Pouncey. Given the talent at the position if Johnson and Humphrey return, Washington could be in for a redshirt campaign, but expect to hear his name as Texas crafts its receiver rotation entering the 2020 campaign.