Michael Washington, a 27-year-old walk-on, is playing his first college game today for the South Carolina Gamecocks against the Furman Paladins in Columbia, S.C.
Washington, originally a walk-on at South Carolina State, passed on scholarship offers from North Carolina State, Clemson, and South Carolina as a defensive back to join the Marines.
Washington is listed at 6-3, 237 pounds. He graduated from Allendale-Fairfax High School (Fairfax, S.C.) in 2005. After four years of serving our country, he went to South Carolina State in 2011. In 2012, he had an opportunity to walk on for the Gamecocks.
“Michael Washington has practiced pretty well,” said South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier.
The Gamecocks are struggling on defense, and need all the help they can get.
“I don’t know if he is ready, but he has practiced well,” USC defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward said of Washington. “We’re going to dress him and hopefully get him out there.”
The Gamecocks offensive line coach Shawn Elliot said “You look to hire guys like him. When you hire a guy, you want a guy who wants to be a part of something and work his tail off. He’s a pretty special guy.”
The hard work is paying off, as Washington took advantage of his chance early for the Gamecocks. On one of his first plays, he picked up a loose ball to ensure a turnover and possession for the Gamecocks.
*Section Photo credit to 247sports.com; Featured Photo (above) credit to Dwayne McLemore, thestate.com.