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.
"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."
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