One of the Vols’ targets in the 2018 class had a historic performance during the Under Armour All-America game on Thursday night.
Three-star running back Maurice Washington set a record in the high school all-star game by scoring three touchdowns on offense. Washington totaled 69 rushing yards on eight carries and scored two rushing scores and scored a 27-yard receiving touchdown as well. He also became the only player in the game’s history to score both a rushing and receiving touchdown.
And that performance becomes even more impressive when you consider some of the other running backs who have played in the Under Armour All-America game.
Future collegiate star running backs like Leonard Fournette, Dalvin Cook, and Trent Richardson all played in the Under Armour All-America game. Yet none of them were able to do what Washington did. Higher-rated players in the 2018 cycle, such as five-star Ricky Slade Jr. and four-star Keontay Ingram, weren’t able to match his performance either.
Washington is one of the top uncommitted backs in the 2018 class, and he’s sure to pick up more attention now. The Vols just recently offered him on January 2nd, and Pruitt and his staff have to be very pleased with his performance on Thursday night.
Washington hasn’t been pleased with how he’s been rated during his recruitment, however, and he’s made it known via Twitter and in interviews.
I JUST WANNA GET THIS OFF MY CHEST I am very truly disappointed by the lack of respect and attention to detail shown to my by @Rivals but y’all can have all the rankings and cute stuff I’ll jus show y’all tomorrow 💯‼️ #underdog
— maurice washington 3 (@Mo_is_blessed) January 3, 2018
After the game, Washington stated that part of the reason he may be rated lower is because he didn’t play football during his junior year of high school.
“I don’t really want to make excuses, but I was struggling,” Washington said after the game. “I stopped going to school, and my grades really collapsed. But I started over and I’m getting it back together.”
Ever since he’s gotten “it back together,” Washington has flourished. He totaled 1,253 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns on 123 carries and added 582 receiving yards and nine scores on 26 receptions this season. He averaged 12.3 yards per touch on offense as a senior.
And teams have taken notice. He holds offers from Ohio State, UCLA, LSU, USC, Nebraska, and others. Tennessee is the most recent team to offer him.
Washington’s recruitment over the next month will be interesting to watch. The Vols figure to pursue him hard, but after his performance on Thursday, plenty of other teams will probably come calling for his commitment.
Tennessee is targeting Washington and a handful of other running back prospects in the 2018 class. Washington figures to be one of the top targets at the position, but Pruitt and his staff are also looking at Oklahoma commit Tavion Thomas, Georgia Tech commit C’Bo Flemister, and others. The Vols have Jeremy Banks signed in the 2018 class and currently have Anthony Grant committed as well.
Other prospects of note for the Vols…
Alontae Taylor: One of the Vols’ top signees in the 2018 class also played during the game, and he looked solid while doing so. He completed a 23-yard pass as a quarterback on a trick play and made some tackles as a defender. He saved a touchdown on one of his tackles.
Paxton Brooks: Another Vol signee, Brooks boomed a 52-yard punt and had one downed inside the 20 as well. He averaged 40.2 yards per punt on five punts.
Jacob Copeland: A four-star wide receiver target in the Vols’ 2018 class, Copeland caught a pass for seven yards and returned a punt for 11 yards.
Coynis Miller: Though still committed to Auburn, Miller is a huge target for the Vols. He had one of the better defensive performances, totaling six tackles, a sack, and a tackle for loss.
Olaijah Griffin: Recently decommitted from UCLA, Griffin returned a punt for five yards and played several snaps on defense.