Name: James Washington
Hometown: Orlando, Florida
High School: Boone High School
Notes: James Washington has emerged as one of the top tailbacks in Florida and it started for him during his junior year. Washington exploded in the state playoffs to lead his team to the Florida Class 6A state title game in 2007.
The 6-foot, 180-pounder rushed for 769 yards in his team's first nine games, but the light came on in the regular season finale when he gained 156 yards in the win. In five playoff games, he totaled 764 more yards to finish the year with 1,760 yards and 16 touchdowns.
"I had a good season," said Washington. "I put up a lot more yards in the playoffs, and we made it to the title game. We lost, but I think we're going to make it all the way back to the championship this year. This this time I think we are going to win it. We return six starters on offense and six starters on defense. We'll be good."
In 2008, Boone and Washington have been outstanding. Currently 8-1, Boone had been ranked No. 1 in Florida's Class 6A, the largest classification in Florida football. However, the Braves lost to Dr. Phillips 42-27 on Friday, as Washington rushed for 115 yards. Boone had won 18 consecutive regular-season games and 22 of their past 23 overall, with their only previous loss coming in last season's state title game against Miami (FL) Northwestern.
Washington has now rushed for 1,498 yards, on pace to break the school regular-season record, 1,634 in 1990 by Stacey Mack, who played in the National Football League. Washington has been pulled at halftime or early in the third quarter of several victories this year, but that hasn't prevented him from having a stellar senior season.
Washington verbaled to NC State in the summer after considering offers from Cincinnati, Rutgers, South Florida, and Memphis. He projects as an early enrollee and should be enrolling in January.
Here are exclusive highlights from Washington's senior season, courtesy of Jason Pugh at Athlete Vault.
Scouting Report: "With Florida boasting numerous division running backs for the class of 2009, Orlando (Fla) Boone standout James Washington has proven his name belongs right up there with the state's best.
"Washington has put together a monster season in 2008 and has shown solid improvement from his junior year. He is a silky smooth athlete with tremendous acceleration through the line of scrimmage and in to the secondary.
"Washington is deceptively elusive. He isn't a shake-and-bake running back. Instead, he uses subtle shifts of the hips and quick sidesteps to elude defenders. Washington shows good lower body strength and the ability to run through tackles but there's no doubt he enjoys getting on the perimeter and out running the defense. With his impressive break away speed, there are few on the high school level that can track him down once he's cleared the defensive backs.
"This is a player who has a lot of upside. Physically, Washington is going to get bigger and stronger and his athleticism gives him versatility. While many of the national recruiting experts have yet to take notice of him, it certainly will come as no surprise to see him emerge as a major contributor for NC State a few years down the road." -- Pack Pride Recruiting Analyst Steve Williams
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