Sunday, Syracuse Orange fans found out that the guy they thought might wear No. 44 for the Orange one day soon won't actually ever wear orange (or platinum) when 2016 RB recruit Robert Washington de-committed.
SU fans were left to wonder what happened. Did it have something to do with his father? Did another school undercut SU? Did Washington just realize he wanted to see what else was out there?
Surprisingly, Washington told Stephen Bailey that it boiled down to a lack of trust with Syracuse RB coach DeAndre Smith.
"I told DeAndre to stop talking to my dad, he did it anyway so I just felt like I couldn't trust him," Washington said. "Trust is a big thing for me and he lost my trust."
"It wasn't mutual," Washington said. "I decided because of what DeAndre did and I didn't end up going. He was going to be the guy that I was going to be around all the time at Syracuse.
"If I can't trust my position coach, then we aren't going to go far in life."
So, on one hand, Washington is allowed to go wherever he wants and if he feels like Syracuse isn't the place for him, God bless and good luck.
On the other hand I can't but feel like, I don't know, this isn't the way to go about it. Going public and throwing Smith under the bus feel like, well, the kind of thing an immature 18-year-old might do. While it may or may not be true (or perhaps partially-true but lacking context?), it's a bit underhanded to take Smith to task when the coach is not allowed to comment on the matter himself.
Again, Washington is free to do as he pleases and he owes SU and it's fanbase nothing, but it's a lesson he might want to heed just in general. He's on top of the world right now and he's surrounded by people who only tell him how great he is, but all of that can change real quick.
It doesn't take much for people to stop seeing you as the four-star prospect full of potential and instead as the guy who has committed & changed his mind three times while also publicly-trashing one of his close recruiters.
We may get a clear understanding of what went down and we may not ever. Maybe that's just the world of football recruiting. Syracuse fans wanted to see their team step it up and get involved with more high-profile prospects. Consider this one of the side effects.