Syracuse's top recruiting target for 2016 -- at least in recent months -- has been North Carolina running back Robert Washington. With the Orange included in his top-six along with Alabama, Florida, Michigan, UNC and TCU, we were anxiously awaiting his decision scheduled for 3 p.m. ET today.
WE DID IT!
Can confirm that Robert Washington has committed to Syracuse. What a fitting way to end a wacky week.— Stephen Bailey (@Stephen_Bailey1) April 25, 2015
Despite an interview from Bleacher Report (see below) with Washington himself saying that he picked Florida, it ends up he'll go with SU. Scout's John Garcia, who is on-site, reported it first -- though that was up in the air until Bailey's confirmation above. It was thought that Garcia's report could've been pre-scheduled tweets, especially after links led to a Florida commitment and of course, the B/R story.
It was a crazy recruitment process for the Orange and Washington. As you'll recall, this week featured a ton of back and forth after Washington's dad said SU fans "had nothing to worry about" and then the player himself said his dad didn't even know where he was going. So of course, this wild ending would be the EXACT way things shook out...
Washington, who's rated among the top-10 running backs in the class of 2016 by many, is an enormous get for the Orange, and one of the biggest commitments to the program in some time. It's still a verbal, so long road ahead, but you have to love the staff's ability to bring in a talent like this for now.
Crazy day. Crazy talent. Get excited, Orange fans.
(BELOW IS AN EARLIER REPORT BASED ON BLEACHER REPORT INTERVIEW. WASHINGTON'S COMMITMENT FLIPPED AFTER THE INTERVIEW)
Ends up the decision's already set in stone before that announcement even happens, however. According to a Bleacher Report exclusive that went up prior to the 3 p.m. event, Washington has chosen the Gators over the other five contenders. Weird that the news broke before his official announcement. But these things do happen...
As Dan reminded everyone earlier today, let's all be cool about this. While there wasn't a lot of chatter about Washington heading to the Gators, it's not a shock to see him go elsewhere. Recent conversations had shifted toward the Orange, but before that, SU was considered a long shot at best. A savior -- or saviors -- will come to the Hill eventually and help us bring the Orange back to some sort of prominence. Until then, we wait.
As one last reminder, don't tweet at Washington unless it's offering him congratulations for making his college decision. While he didn't pick "us," it's still a great day for him and one that should be celebrated for the young man.