Running back Robert Washington, who has more than 40 Division I college football offers, plans to transfer from Huntersville’s SouthLake Christian to East Gaston High before the school year ends.
Komica Coote, Washington’s mother, told the Observer that the move was being made because of a “family matter.” She said it had nothing to do with SouthLake Christian, a N.C. private school, but did not want to elaborate. Efforts to reach SouthLake football coach Bobby McLaughlin were not successful.
Washington is the second major running back recruit to transfer to an area school during recent months. Cade Carney, a 5-foot-11, 202-pound junior, transferred from Davie County to Davidson Day in February. Carney has nearly 20 major college offers.
Washington is ranked as the No. 4 overall player in North Carolina by ESPN, which ranks him as the No. 13 running back prospect nationally. Rivals.com ranks Washington 15th among running back prospects.
Washington has two of the top 10 season rushing performances in Mecklenburg County history – 2,512 yards as a sophomore and 2,233 yards as a junior. His 5,762 career yards rank fourth all-time. Saturday, Washington will announce his college choice. His has narrowed to six schools (listed in the order he gave them): Florida, Michigan, Alabama, North Carolina, Texas Christian and Syracuse.
At East Gaston, his geographic home high school school, he’ll join a team that hasn’t had a winning record since 2006. He hopes to change that.
“I will do what I can, and run the ball as well as I can,” he said. “One player can’t change everything, but one player can affect the efforts of his teammates. They haven’t really had leaders in the past, and if I do what I can, I can try to help transform the team into a playoff contender.”
Wertz: 704-358-5133; Twitter: @langstonwertzjr