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On Syracuse Football, Robert Washington, No. 44 & Pulling Out All The Stops

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No matter what you think of the 44 discussion, there's no reason not to give Washington 44 at this point, especially if you want to ensure he actually makes it here.

Robert Washington's verbal commitment to play for Syracuse Orange football has a lot in common with the 2016 Presidential race.

The hype is through the roof despite the fact that we're more than a year away from the actual result. And while you think you might know what's going to happen when it's all said and done, a lot can change between now and then.

In the meantime, Orange fans just have to hope against hope that Washington doesn't change his mind and that the SU staff doesn't give him any reason to do so.

Assuming the four-star RB does follow through and make it to SU, the looming question will then become "Will we give him No. 44 or not?" According to Brent Axe, the answer is pretty much already a given.

Syracuse has the commitment, Alabama and Florida doesn't, and the Orange coaching staff can — and from what I understand will — pull out the closer and hand Washington the famed No. 44.

Look, it's pretty simple at this point. The hype is through the roof. To lose him at this point would be a PR disaster for SU. So...you do whatever it takes to lock him in. Regardless of where you stand on the 44 argument, you can't argue that if promising the kid No. 44 seals the deal, that's something you HAVE to do. End of story. We're not in a position to be wishy-washy. Not with Alabama, Florida and all those other schools lurking around the corner.

The only thing I would hold off on? Actually announcing it publicly. Not until Washington has signed his LOI and it's 100% official. What you don't want to do is say Washington is getting No. 44 and THEN he flips to another school. That's the kind of thing that could diminish the legacy of the number.

In the meantime, Washington has come forward and said exactly what #Restore44 folks have been dying to hear...

"I would love to wear 44," Washington said in a phone interview on Sunday. "It would be a great honor and blessing to wear it, but if I don't — I just picked Syracuse because I do like Syracuse."

"We talked a little bit," Washington said. "(Running backs coach DeAndre Smith) was like, 'Yeah, we might bring back 44.' But he wasn't saying that it was for me. He said they would think about it."

Washington also mentioned that he was told Syracuse will not recruit another RB in the 2016 class, which, may or may not be actually true. Sounds like a recruiting promise that can be bent or broken, but the point remains, Washington is the star of the recruiting class and deserves the option to become the face of the program if that's what he thinks he can be.