Sunday April 26th, 2015

Four-star running back recruit Robert Washington verbally committed to Syracuse on Saturday, minutes after a pre-recorded video was published that showed him announcing his intentions to play for Florida.

In the video published by Bleacher Report, which was recorded on Thursday, the SouthLake Christian Academy (Huntersville, N.C.) running back gave a verbal pledge to the Gators under first-year coach Jim McElwain. But shortly thereafter Saturday afternoon, he announced his intentions to play for Syracuse during a reception at Ascending Faith Church in Dallas, N.C.

Washington told Syracuse.com that "nothing changed with Florida or Syracuse in the two days leading up to his scheduled announcement," and that neither school was made aware of his plans before his announcements.

Broncos QB Peyton Manning donates $3 million gift to Tennessee

"I did the report on Thursday," Washington said. "I had my mind set for the report, but I changed my mind the next day to Syracuse."

[...]

He just thought about the choice more, discussed his options with family and friends and made the change of heart on his way down from Connecticut, where he was visiting his mother, Komica Coote.

"I was just thinking about it on the way down," Washington said. "I was praying and praying and thinking and I let God reach me."

Washington committed to Syracuse over offers from Alabama, Michigan, North Carolina, TCU and several other schools.

UAB football player protests team's disbanding with helmet at graduation

Ranked the No. 15 running back in the class of 2016 and the No. 12 player from North Carolina by Rivals.com, Washington is the highest-rated member of Syracuse's three-man recruiting class.

As a junior, the 5'11", 215-pound running back rushed for 2,233 yards and 27 touchdowns as a junior. SouthLake Christian won its second consecutive N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association Division II state championship.

Mike Fiammetta

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide - from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Seth Davis, and more - delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.