In a way, the Robert Washington announcement snafu was the perfect way to cap this whole weird recruiting saga. The four-star recruit appeared to have committed to play for the Florida Gators by literally doing so in a pre-recorded video on Thursday. Then, on the way home, he changed his mind to verbally commit to the Syracuse Orange...and forgot to tell the Bleacher Report people.
Now that the dust is beginning to settle...some thoughts.
1. Why did RW initially choose Florida? While it's a moot question, it's still an interesting one. He hadn't visited the campus and the coaches hadn't even done an evaluation day with him because they didn't think they had a chance. What was it that made him initially think of going there? We'll probably never know.
2. Fact: God loves Syracuse and hates Florida.
"I did the report on Thursday," Washington said. "I had my mind set for the report, but i changed my mind the next day to Syracuse."
Washington said nothing changed with Florida or Syracuse in the two days leading up to his scheduled announcement. He made the change of heart on his way down from Connecticut, where he was visiting his mother, Komica Coote.
"I was just thinking about it on the way down," Washington said. "I was praying and praying and thinking and I let God reach me."
3. Not to rain on anyone's parade but I really don't feel comfortable closing the door on this and fitting the guy's head for a bust mold in Manley Field House just yet. The "easy" part was getting Washington to commit. Now comes the hard part...doing well enough to ensure that Scott Shafer, DeAndre Smith and the rest of the staff are still here in January. A HUGE part of why he's here is because the Syracuse staff out-hustled everyone else to get Washington. If they get fired after another bad season, his incentive to come to Upstate New York may dry up pretty quick.
Who's to say Alabama doesn't keep in touch? And that, say, Florida State doesn't suddenly put on the full-court press? Plus, we know he's going to keep taking visits. And we now know how easily he can change his mind, so...
All I'm saying is, be happy, be excited, but don't assume this is a closed case until his name is signed on the line that is dotted.
4. That said...Syracuse just beat out Alabama, Florida, Michigan and TCU for a four-star recruit. When's the last time that happened?
5. Look at the hype around this. Look how excited Syracuse fans are? How it this not the perfect time to unleash 44? Give the kid 44 and let him return the legacy to the field. What's the harm, that he flames out? Okay...there have been disappointing 44s before and no one seems to think less of Ernie Davis, Jim Brown and Floyd Little. Or...you give him the jersey, you let him know how important it is and then you put it on his shoulders (literally) to earn his place. Something tells me he's the kind of player who welcomes that opportunity and challenge. You've got to be good and you've got to be a little cocky to wear 44 at this point, and I mean that in the best way possible.