Bay City (Mich.) Central 2020 3-star wide receiver Devell Washington’s recruitment to Michigan all started at the Sound Mind Sound Body’s Best of the Midwest camp at Grand Valley State on June 3.
“Coach Jim Harbaugh didn’t believe how big I was,” Washington said. “He didn’t think I was a sophomore, so I was running routes and he said he liked it.”
Then, at Michigan’s camp on June 17, Harbaugh was blown away by his 40-yard dash time.
Moments later, the gauntlet drill changed everything and may have single-handedly landed Washington an offer.
“I was moving so fast, so Harbaugh said, ‘Whoa! Run that again.’ I ran it again and he came up to me and said, ‘What would it feel like to be a Wolverine?’
“It was crazy because it was coming from Jim Harbaugh. Obviously, I ran it again, but I ran harder than the first time and took it up a level.”
— iamdtj11 (@donte_thornton) June 19, 2018
When Harbaugh offered, Washington dropped to his knees.
“Michigan is special because it’s close to home,” Washington said. “I don’t want my mom to move somewhere because she’s comfortable now. My brothers like Michigan, and, obviously I do, too. I like the facilities and the tradition.”
Washington earned Class of 2020 Most Valuable Player honors at Michigan’s camp and ran a 4.4-second 40-yard dash.
Along with talking to Harbaugh, Washington has gotten to know Michigan wide receivers coach Jim McElwain, defensive coordinator Don Brown, tight ends coach Sherrone Moore and assistant coach Roy Roundtree, who works with receivers.
“It’s like a family, bro-type, comfortable relationship with them,” Washington said.
The main school that is interested in Washington but has not offered is Ohio State. Other schools include Iowa, Oklahoma State, Penn State and Alabama.
“Ohio State has been showing a lot of interest,” he said. “I mean, a lot of interest. Those offers might just come with time. I just have to be patient.”
Washington’s uncle is former Michigan State star receiver Charles Rogers. He was the second pick in the 2003 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions. With the Spartans, Rogers made 135 catches for 2,821 yards and 27 touchdowns in two seasons.
Growing up, Michigan State was Washington’s favorite school.
“I like Michigan State a lot,” he said. “They have a family tradition to them. I like all the coaches a lot.”
Instead of focusing on offers, Washington plans to continue growing academically in the classroom. Right now, it’s his No. 1 priority.
“I’m not [acting] offered,” the 3-star player added. “I’m not even thinking about it. I want to focus on my academics and getting smarter. I want to work in the classroom, nothing on the field.”
Washington is planning to grow as a leader for Bay City Central in the 2018 season and hopes to set the tone for younger players to fill his shoes someday.
“I’m looking to build relationships with the new coaches and let everybody know I’m ready to be a leader and help get others ready to lead because I’m going to be leaving in two years.”
The wide receiver said he will visit Michigan for a game this season.
Washington is ranked No. 387 in the nation, No. 76 at his position and No. 13 in Michigan, according to 247Sports.