Tailback Dwayne Washington has decided to leave the Washington Huskies and make himself eligible for the 2016 NFL Draft.
The Washington Huskies finished their season in style, clinching the Heart of Dallas Bowl with a well-deserved 44-31 win over Southern Miss. However, one player not involved in the celebrations, was Dwayne Washington.
More from Washington Huskies Football
- Washington State Football: Update on former Cougars in the NFL 12/2018
- Washington Football: Update on Huskies alumni in the NFC – Nov. 2018
- Washington Football: What you need to know for WSU 11/23
- Apple Cup: History leading up to the 2018 edition
- PAC-12 Football Power Rankings week of 11/21 – Emerald City Swagger
As announced earlier in the week, the fourth-year junior did not make the trip to Dallas. Chris Petersen confirmed Washington recently had a minor knee procedure, to repair an injury which caused him to miss four games this year.
However, Washington’s absence was also due to his deciding to leave the Huskies and enter the NFL draft. Speaking to Christian Caple of The News Tribune, Petersen said: “Everybody’s got to make their decisions, and we support him.”
The Lakewood, California native endured a challenging season, as he battled with a chronic leg injury. His playing time was further compromised by Myles Gaskin, who burst onto the scene and became the first true freshman to have 1,000 yards for the Huskies.
Washington’s time in Seattle wasn’t without success, as he led the team in rushing during 2014, with 697 yards and nine touchdowns. His play saw him named as the team’s Most Outstanding Offensive Player.
Nov 29, 2014; Pullman, WA, USA; Washington Huskies running back Dwayne Washington (12) celebrates a touchdown against the Washington State Cougars during the first half at Martin Stadium. Mandatory Credit: James Snook-USA TODAY Sports
While Washington’s decision to enter the NFL draft may come as a surprise to some people, it actually makes a lot of sense. His girlfriend recently gave birth to their daughter, putting more of an emphasis on financial security.
Interestingly, one aspect that could help boost his profile in the draft, is his emergence as a receiving threat out of the backfield during the 2015 season. Washington had 25 catches for 315 yards and three touchdown receptions, including a spectacular 81-yard catch-and-run score against Utah State.
As reported by Caple, the Huskies should have plenty of depth behind Gaskins next season. Lavon Coleman and Jomon Dotson will definitely return, while Deontae Cooper has indicated he plans to use his seventh year of eligibility.