In this installment, we meet a dynamic receiver with the speed to turn any play into a touchdown, no matter the distance: Miami (FL) Palmetto 4-star WR Robby Washington.
In case you’ve been living under a rock, you know that Miami’s offense lacked explosiveness in a major way during Mario Cristobal’s first season as coach. In an effort to address this glaring issue, Miami turned their recruiting attention to Miami (FL) Palmetto WR Robby Washington.
Well, that’s kind of true. The journey of recruiting Washington (and his twin brother Bobby) began when the pair was playing at Miami (FL) Killian HS. That school is their father Bobby’s alma mater. He was a Parade All-American in 2003 before going on to sign with Miami. The elder Washington subsequently transferred to NC State and Eastern Kentucky, but he was a big-time recruit by any metric. And, following in their father’s footsteps, the Washington twins were standout players for Killian from their freshman year.
Based upon his dynamic speed, playmaking ability and legacy pedigree, Washington earned a Miami scholarship offer in January 2021. The Canes were his first offer, but by no means his last. Washington took many an unofficial visit to Miami, and attended several Miami-sponsored camps. And while other teams, MANY other teams, offered Washington scholarships, this recruitment was always about Miami.
A 2-sport standout on the football field and track, Washington was the standout player for Killian’s offense. As a sophomore in 2020, Washington stuffed the stat sheet to an elite level. 19 catches for 255 yards and 2 scores paled in comparison to his 535 yards rushing on 66 carries with 7 touchdowns. He also added 429 yards in kickoff returns, because speed is a skill that has an impact in all phases of the game.
As a junior in 2021, Washington was 1st team All-Dade (a MASSIVE accolade considering the preponderance of talent in Miami-Dade county) for a 12-2 team that made a deep playoff run. Transitioning more to receiver than running back, Washington had 42 catches for 868 yards (20.7ypc average) and 16 touchdowns was only a portion of Washington’s impact on the team. He also scored 3 times rushing the ball (hi there, jet sweeps!) and had even more scores on special teams with multiple punt and kickoff return touchdowns, as well.
As stated above, Washington was a frequent visitor to Miami’s Coral Gables campus. This was the case when Manny Diaz was the coach, and that continued when Mario Cristobal took over. Always one to want to play for the Canes, Washington committed to Miami in March during one of his myriad unofficial visits. Washington, and his twin brother, were among the first players to commit to Miami’s 2023 recruiting class. But trust me, reader, they were most decidedly not the last.
As a senior, Washington has continued to be a multi-faceted offensive weapon at his new school, Palmetto. He had 34 catches for 460 yards and 6 touchdowns. Add in more than 100 yards rushing with 2 touchdowns, and multiple return touchdowns, and you get the clear picture that Washington is the kind of electric playmaker the Canes desperately need.
On the 247sports composite, Washington is a 4-star prospect, the #27 WR nationally, #43 in the State of Florida, and #187 player overall in this class.
As A Player
Go back and read the “bio” part of this notebook again. Now, you know where we’re going to start: Speed. Elite, electric, game-changing, “score from anywhere” speed. That’s the main thing Washington brings to the roster. Know it and love it.
At 5’11” 170lbs, Washington has okay size for a receiver/return man. He’s not the biggest player in the world, but with his speed, he doesn’t have to be. Like most HS recruits, Washington could stand to gain a few pounds as he transitions to the college level, but not doing anything to mitigate his speed and quickness is the most important thing.
Washington has good hands as a receiver, and above-average athleticism. Don’t expect him to exclusively be thrown back shoulder fades or jump balls, but he can win those contested catches from time to time. Washington’s game is mostly short and long; screens, crossing routes, and hitches are favored — things to just get him the ball and let him work. But, also, Washington can win up the seam or outside on deep routes because he runs good routes and has elite speed (unless you missed that part of the story).
With his lack of size, Washington isn’t a great blocker. But, he doesn’t need to be; other players are usually blocking for HIM, not the other way around.
Washington can be used as a receiver, rusher, and return man. His versatility makes him a valued asset to the roster because he fills, or can fill, so many functions. Again, he’s not the only speedy player in this recruiting class, but he’s among the best.
Here’s another look at Washington by 247sports Director of Scouting Andrew Ivins:
A Swiss Army Knife of sorts that can impact the game in multiple ways. Blessed with the speed that everyone looks for down in South Florida. Under 6-foot, but should in no way be considered tiny. Featured primarily as a wide receiver his junior season. Uses quick feet to create separation at the line of scrimmage and then get vertical in a hurry. Competitive at the catch point and does an excellent job of tracking the ball once it’s in the air. Evasive in the open field and can turn what should be a five-yard gain into a chunk play as he will juke and race his way past defenders. More than comfortable taking a handoff out of the backfield – at least on Friday nights – and picks up positive yardage more times than not when his number is called on jet sweeps. Also an effective return man and has scored multiple times on special teams throughout his career. Will need to adjust to the everyday demands of Power 5 football and keep progressing, but has what it takes to emerge as an offensive weapon at the school of his choice. Likely to settle in as a slot receiver, but could carve out a role as a change-of-pace running back or even get a look somewhere in the secondary.
- Speed. Speed. SPEED.
- Quickness (yes, different than speed)
- Home run playmaking ability.
- Pedigree as Miami legacy
- Relative lack of size
- Could gain weight/strength
*this outlook is the same as Ray Ray Joseph because....same*
Miami needs playmakers on offense in the worst way, so the door is open for Washington to find his way onto the field early. At a minimum, he should be in the conversation for starting punt returner and kick returner roles the minute he sets foot on campus.
In a perfect world, Washington is the 3rd or 4th option in the passing game, and a lethal weapon in the return game. There’s a ceiling on his numbers on offense, but his impact as an explosive play waiting to happen at any moment make him someone who should have a solid impact on the team in his career in Miami.
Given the opportunity, Washington should be the dynamic return man Miami hasn’t had in nearly 20 years. And, he should be a valuable offensive weapon who creates highlights with his speed and wiggle throughout his career. If he earned placement on any All-Conference teams, that would be a bonus, but overall he should be a solid contributor for several years, with a chance to potentially move on to the NFL if things break the right way for him.
That’s it for this installment of The Recruiting Notebook.