Player: James Washington, WR, Oklahoma State
Game: vs. Oklahoma (#5), 3:00 PM CT
What They’re Saying
Washington has been one of the most consistent vertical talents in college football over the last three seasons with a career average of 19.2 yards per catch and 26 career touchdown receptions. He’s a long strider who can rip into cornerback cushions and climb on top of them quickly. Washington is a sensational ball tracker who is able to go up and come down with the deep ball with the best of them in college football. He also flashes runaway speed after the catch and can take a slant the distance if a safety makes a mistake. Washington tends to fight some underneath throws as a pass-catcher and will need additional work with the route tree once he gets to the league.
Through just five games in 2017, Washington has tied his freshman season in catches (28), is over halfway to 1,000 yards (647), and is already halfway there in tying his career-high in touchdowns with five. He is averaging 129 yards per game this season with a high of 153 against TCU and a low of 98 against South Alabama in a game that was over before halftime (and he still found the end zone).
His most impressive stat is that Washington’s season low in yards-per-reception is 16.3(!). The speedy deep threat averaged 16.3 yards on 28 receptions as a freshman, 20.5 on 53 as a sophomore, 19.4 on 71 as a junior, and is currently averaging 23.1 yards per catch on 28 catches this season. Needless to say, big things happen when you get the ball in 28’s hands.
From Jenni Carlson in The Oklahoman, breaking down Washington’s evolution as a deep threat:
Speed. Tracking. Body control.
Washington is fast, and that break-away foot speed is important for a deep-ball threat in separating from defenders, then alluding them after a catch. But it’s important how he runs, too.
“When he runs, he bounces,” Dunn said. “He’s got power. He’s not taking a bunch of little steps.”
Long speed, Dunn calls it.
That ability to glide while running might be one of the reasons Washington is able to track the ball so well. He can come out of the initial part of his pattern when he’s running head down, full speed, he can turn and look over his shoulder, and he can locate the ball immediately.
“Kind of like an outfielder chasing a fly ball,” Gundy said. “Some kids never really can do it.
- Super athletic wide receiver from the Big 12. What could go wrong?
- Washington is expected to run a 4.4 or better at the Combine, almost guaranteeing that he’ll be one of the first fifteen picks in the NFL Draft.
- I’d have no problem with the Bears flooding the wide receiver position in the draft. What does that mean? Take three of em. Hope two hit. A good offensive coordinator and decent quarterback play are going to make Washington an NFL star.
Why Watch This Week
It’s Bedlam! And this is the biggest game of James Washington’s season barring Oklahoma State making into the final four.