Maurice Washington has a job now.
He works at a Buffalo Wild Wings in San Jose, California.
“I just get to watch sports and talk sports all day,” he said. “Only sad part is I won’t be here during football season. I’ll be on the TV instead.”
The four-star running back is in the final stages of making it to Lincoln, he told The World-Herald on Friday. After stops at three high schools, including a nine-month stint in Texas at Trinity Christian High, Washington has completed summer school and is graduating from Oak Grove High next week.
“Oh my goodness, it feels amazing,” Washington said. “It feels so amazing. My mom was so happy and proud.”
All he has to do now to make it to Nebraska, he said, is get a 20 on his ACT exam, which he is set to take July 24.
He feels really good about his chances.
“I do well under pressure no matter what it is,” he said.
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Washington committed to Nebraska on signing day in February. He spent his freshman and sophomore years at The King’s Academy in Sunnyvale, California, then transferred to Oak Grove, the public school near his house.
After transferring, he was ruled ineligible for his junior season because a governing body in California viewed his transfer as athletically motivated. Unable to play football, he moved in with his aunt in Texas and enrolled at Trinity Christian in Cedar Hill. Washington rushed for 1,253 yards and 10.2 yards per carry en route to a state title. He also played defensive back, linebacker, wide receiver and took some snaps at quarterback for Trinity.
Washington chose Nebraska over Arizona State, which was recruiting him as a defensive back.
Washington moved back to California during the spring semester of his senior year after being expelled from Trinity Christian for what his coach Aveion Cason described as “behavioral” reasons. He re-enrolled at Oak Grove and, after finishing the semester and summer school, will now walk across the stage and receive his diploma next week.
Throughout the entire process, Nebraska coach Scott Frost has been adamant the Huskers are sticking by Washington.
Washington said he’s been in contact with a Nebraska coach every day.
“They’re telling me to just stay focused and don’t give up,” Washington said.
“When a kid commits to us, we’re committed to them,” Frost said in May. “Maurice has been through some real trials in the last couple years. We’re going to try and walk step-by-step with him and try to get him through this. Hopefully he’ll land in a good place.”
Should Washington score a 20 or better on his ACT exam, he isn’t sure if he and Nebraska will have to apply for an academic waiver.
But if he gets the score he needs, he will head to Lincoln no matter what, Washington said.
All Washington is focused on now, he said, is getting that 20. His days now in California consist of work in the day, studying his ACT book at night, and staying off social media.
“This is like, make or break time, really,” Washington said.