Talk about an uphill battle.
Lions running back Dwayne Washington, taken in the seventh round of this year’s draft, is still in Washington finishing up his online classes. He won’t make his way back over to Michigan until after the University of Washington‘s commencement ceremony on June 11.
He hasn’t let that stop him from learning the play book, however.
“(It’s) just watching film of the practice and then looking at the practice install, or playbook, I should say, and just basically teaching myself football,” Washington told the Detroit Free Press. “Since I’m out of town, it’s just all about learning it, because it’s not like you’re getting the physical reps. So it’s all mental. So just getting my mental reps and learning the playbook and staying in shape, keeping up my strength and just making sure that I keep my body mentally and physically ready for when I report back.”
Although he will have earned his degree in history upon the completion of the last two courses, he still has another year of collegiate eligibility that he is leaving on the table.
“I redshirted as a freshman, so eligibilitywise, I had another year of football. But for academics, I was going to be done this year, regardless,” Washington said. “And what made it so important was the fact that I came this far, as far as academics, to where it’s like, why stop now? You only have two more classes, you might as well get them out of the way while you’re still on scholarship.”
This isn’t the first time a Lions player has been in a situation like this. They went through the same thing last year with cornerback Alex Carter.
“I’m not really missing too much,” said Washington. “I still have my playbook and stuff like that, so I’m kind of keeping up with the system day by day. As these practices go on out in Detroit, I kind of just follow along.”
In Washington’s last season at Washington, he finished with 282 rushing yards, 315 receiving yards, and seven total touchdowns. He is expected to compete for a job behind Ameer Abdullah, Theo Riddick, and newcomer Stevan Ridley.