Scott Frost has made no bones about the fact that Nebraska may rely on many freshmen from the 2018 recruiting class to contribute in his first season at the helm here.
One headliner from that class who it appears may not: running back Maurice Washington.
Washington left Trinity Christian in Cedar Hills, Texas, before school ended and moved to a high school in his home state of California. Trinity Christian assistant coach Sean Riley on Tuesday confirmed the move, saying, "he returned to California to ensure he could graduate on time," but did not confirm multiple reports that Washington was expelled.
However, Trinity Christian head coach Aveion Cason on Wednesday sent a text to the Journal Star saying: "Maurice is fine. He is back at home in California finishing school. He will graduate and be at Nebraska. Yes, he was expelled but nothing too serious."
HuskerOnline on Tuesday reported that Nebraska officials are working on a plan that would include an academic redshirt for Washington.
Reached by the Journal Star, an NU football official did not expand on the HuskerOnline report, but said the program will have further comment later in the week.
An academic redshirt would mean that he is unavailable to the Huskers in 2018, but would potentially avoid the need for Washington to go to junior college or lose eligibility while sitting out 2018 and working toward getting accepted at NU.
As a signee, Washington will count against the Huskers' 85-man scholarship limit for 2018 even if he is not immediately eligible.
Frost acknowledged in February that Washington had academic work remaining in order to qualify, and Washington was not realistically expected to be one of the several class of 2018 signees to arrive on campus before the school's summer sessions begin June 4. However, a plan that included pushing his on-field arrival back to 2019 would have to be considered a setback.
Washington's high school experience has proved a winding, multi-state road that began as a standout at King’s Academy, a private school in Sunnyvale, California. He rushed for 1,800 yards and 29 touchdowns as a sophomore, but then tried to transfer to Oak Grove, a public school and football powerhouse near his childhood home in San Jose, California. That move was deemed to be driven by football rather than proximity to home, and Washington was forced to sit out his junior season.
Then, before his senior year he moved to Texas to live with a relative and play at Trinity Christian.
He flourished as a senior, rushing for for 1,253 yards (10.2 per carry) and 15 touchdowns, and added 582 receiving yards (22.9 per catch) and nine more scores during his lone season playing high school football in Texas.
But now he's back in California and the frequent moving has undoubtedly complicated his transcripts and his quest for the requisite credit hours.
Washington picked Nebraska over Arizona State in a nationally televised announcement on National Signing Day in February, expressing confidence in Frost, running backs coach Ryan Held and the Husker staff.
"Maybe I can be the face of the program and we can take this and go get a (national championship)," Washington said then.
More should be known later this week, but as of now, it looks like Washington's contributions, big or small, may come later rather than sooner.