4-star running back Robert Washington opened up his commitment Sunday. CuseNation.com first reported the news and says that this was a mutual decision between Washington and the Syracuse coaching staff. Syracuse.com reports the decommitment occurred because SU running backs coach DeAndre Smith continued to contact Washington’s father against his wishes.
So what does this mean for the Orange?
Washington was recruited to be the only traditional running back in the class of 2016. The other 2016 rushers, Darius Stubbs (who may end up playing defense for SU) and Moe Neal, were recruited to play the hybrid position. SU’s coaching staff could switch one of these players from hybrid to running back or bring in a new back all together to replace Washington.
In terms of other players following Washington, CuseNation.com reported that Washington’s decision is, “not expected,” to have an impact on Neal’s commitment. The two are good friends and Neal told the Fizz earlier this summer that he was excited to join Washington up at Syracuse. He also added that he did not pick the Orange just because of Washington however; he really does see SU as a good fit.
As we’ve seen with Washington though, players change their minds all the time. The SU coaching staff must work hard to guarantee that Neal stays put in SU’s 2016 class.
This news comes at a tough time for Syracuse. Last week in a piece on SI.com Pete Thamel placed Scott Shafer on the hot seat. Washington’s decommitment does not necessarily have an effect on Shafer’s job security, but it definitely doesn’t help it.
Syracuse begins its season in less than a week against Rhode Island in the Dome. A strong performance will hopefully help SU fans get over the loss of Washington. Right now it’s a pretty tough pill to swallow.
What effects do you think Washington’s decommitment will have on SU football?
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Posted: Connor Morrissette