July 14, 2008

ASU in solid shape to land Washington

Following recent surgery on his left leg, Phoenix Desert Vista running back Marcus Washington is looking forward to being healthy and being able to make a decision on where he will attend college.

Both could happen at about the same time.

"I think I might commit pretty fast," the 6-foot, 195-pounder said. "I just have to talk to the family and see how it goes. I want to get it done so I won't have so much pressure when the season starts. That way I can just focus on my senior year.

"I feel like I'm ready to decide but I want to get [healthier] before doing it. It just feels weird to do it before that."

Washington has had occasional trouble with shin splints during track season going back some years but this year it led to a stress fracture. He had a titanium rod inserted in his left lower leg in a 45-minute surgical procedure last Thursday and will be out of action for six-to-eight weeks.

"It started hurting real bad and I went to doctor and they told me it was a stress fracture and just to stay off it for a while and I did but then I went back on it for region and state. I ran on it, made it to state and I came in third place for state (in the 110 meter hurdles).

"It's a slow-healing kind of thing but now that I have the rod in there I shouldn't even feel a shin splint when I come back. It will be in there permanently. The doctor works with professional dudes. Lots of NFL players have rods, so it's somewhat of a normal kind of thing, kind of common for professional athletes."

Washington has scholarship offers from Arizona, Arizona State, UNLV and Utah. He is strongly leaning toward remaining in Arizona for college and the Sun Devils appear to be leading.

"Me and my dad, we've been studying [the offers] a lot," Washington said. "We found out UNLV had a pretty bad season last year. With UNLV and UA, if they have another losing season, that [head coach] could be fired. That happened last year with the quarterback at Notre Dame (Sean Renfree), where he picked a school early and then later on the coach got fired and he had to do it again. I don't really want to go through that if I pick early."

ASU is recruiting Washington primarily as a running back, though he could also wind up at safety. As a junior he split time in the backfield with multiple players at Desert Vista, including Allante Battle, who will play football and run track for the Sun Devils. Washington had 415 rushing yards in 53 carries (7.8 yards per carry) with four touchdowns.

"I want to play running back but I'm fine with whatever helps the team," he said. "The most important thing is academics. That always comes first for me. I'm a real coachable dude. I love listening to what coaches have to say because they know so much.

"I liked listening to ASU's running backs coach at their camp even though I couldn't participate. I also liked what I learned about the academics there. I learned a lot actually. When I went to their junior day they had an academic thing, the people talk and it was great. I wish I could have had a notepad actually there was so much good stuff."

Washington said that he's looking forward to being healthy and making his college decision so he can get his focus back on helping Desert Vista get back to the state championship game.

Once I get all this taken off and be able to run again I'm going to go full out on people," he said. "I miss that so much."

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