Wildcat star running back playing in the Armed Forces Bowl Saturday

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Juwan Washington, KHS Class of 2015, a running back for the San Diego State Aztecs has come home for the holidays and is playing in the American Armed Forces bowl this Saturday at TCU?s Amon G. Carter Stadium. {{more: continue …}}

The following are excerpts from an article published in The San Diego Union-Tribune by Kirk Kenney

Washington had a prolific career with Kennedale?s Wildcats, rushing for 6,776 yards over three seasons while scoring 103 touchdowns. He averaged 9.5 yards a carry over his last two seasons in the team?s Wing-T offense.
?We?re very excited,? said Katrina Smith, Washington?s mom. ?Juwan will have over 100 family and friends there.?
Washington won?t get as many carries in the game as he did at Kennedale High, but his moment is coming. He is expected to be SDSU?s feature back next season after consensus All-American Rashaad Penny graduates.

The 5-foot-7, 190-pound Washington said he is eager for ?an opportunity to step up and take after Rashaad. He?s been teaching me this whole year.?

Washington has served as Penny?s understudy this season, much like Penny did a year ago for D.J. Pumphrey.
Pumphrey rushed for a school-record 2,133 yards last season. Penny leads the nation in rushing this season with 2,027 yards, 107 yards away from passing Pumphrey.
Could Washington give SDSU three straight 2,000-yard backs?
?I don?t see why he couldn?t,? said Richard Barrett, Washington?s high school coach.
Washington has provided glimpses of greatness, just as Penny did before his breakout season. Averaging 10 carries a game, Washington has amassed 715 yards rushing. It was highlighted with a career-high 134 yards at San Jose State and a career-long 60-yard TD run against New Mexico.
Washington also returns kicks, most memorably a 96-yard kickoff return for a touchdown against Northern Illinois.

Richard Barrett, Kennedale Head Coach

(File photo:Staci Otts)

?I know with Juwan there?s a fire burning inside him wanting to prove and show to everyone around the country that he can be that same kind of back that Penny is,? said Barrett, in his 17th season at Kennedale, which plays Friday at AT&T Stadium for a Texas state championship. ?Obviously, he?s not 6-1, 220 pounds, but I can assure you Juwan will do a lot of good things for San Diego State every time that ball is snapped. That?s the kind of player he is, and he has a burning desire to excel.?

?He was one of those guys that every time he touched the ball he was a threat to go all the way,? Barrett said. ?He was the perfect tailback. Juwan could use his athleticism and his speed, but he was also so strong. He had such a burst. He could change directions. He could put his foot in the ground and go from right to left, accelerate, break tackles.?
Washington was overlooked by many schools because of his size, just like the 5-8 Pumphrey before him.
?It never was a drawback to me, but a lot of schools just thought he was too small and this and that,? Barrett said. ?If he is in that role next year where he is the featured back, there?s going to be a lot of eyebrows raised and a lot of people going, ?Golly, look at this guy.? It won?t surprise me whatever he does.?

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