When the 2016 football season started, Hopkins' Jadon Washington was not expecting to be starting – he thought he was going to be part of the future. Three games into his sophomore season Washington starting at running back against the…
When the 2016 football season started, Hopkins' Jadon Washington was not expecting to be starting – he thought he was going to be part of the future. Three games into his sophomore season Washington starting at running back against the Eden Prairie Eagles. Although the final score didn't go in Hopkins' favor – in that game, they found their running back of the future.
“The season went better than I thought it would,” Washington admitted. “I didn't expect to start in the third game with a senior ahead of me. The season overall was better than I thought it would be for myself. I set high standards for myself, but I didn't expect that.”
Not only was Washington starting as a sophomore, but he was also playing against some of the top teams in the state.
“Coach started me in the third game against Eden Prairie,” Washington said. “I was just hoping to make an impact so I could keep the starting spot. I guess rushing for over 100 yards let me keep the starting role. After that, I knew I belonged.”
Running out of a shotgun and spread formation, to be effective Washington had to be good in space and he was.
“My strength is evading tacklers,” Washington told Northstar FN. “I can get some people to slip off. Sometimes people can't keep up with my speed. Evading tackles and my speed are my best attributes.”
The Royals won three of their first five games but struggled down the stretch in route to a 4-6 record.
“We had a lot of good talent on the team,” the junior said, “but we didn't have the kind of season we were looking for.”
“On defense, we played the run well,” Washington continued. “On offense when we were going well we were making big plays. When the run and pass are both working, we were doing well.”
After the season ended Washington – who also returned kick offs – put a focus on improving his pass protection skills and putting on some healthy weight.
“I have been working on my conditioning and trying to get bigger,' the 5'11” 180 pound running back said. “I do a lot of high weight and low rep stuff. I mixed it up with some position specific workouts.”
During the spring he ran the 100, 200 and competed in the long jump for the track team.
Like his early playing time, Washington has been surprised by the amount of recruiting interest he has received this summer.
“Recruiting has been more than I thought it would be,” NFN's 9th ranked junior said. “I've talked to a couple of coaches. I went to the Northwestern camp in Chicago, and I went to the Augustana team camp. I talked to some coaches at the Northwestern camp and the Augustana coach.”
“I thought it went great,” Washington said about the Northwestern camp. “I did well on all the timed drills.”
With Washington knowing his role going into the season and nearly an entire season of experience under his belt the Hopkins back is no longer the future; he is a big part of the present for the Royals'. He likely will be part of a college program's future in two years.