Gilmer’s Washington making strides at SMU


UNIVERSITY PARK — Trey Washington admits it was a different feeling suiting up for SMU in the Mustangs’ Aug. 30 season opener with Texas Tech. Of course, having a game on Friday night like the Ponies did against the Red Raiders was nothing new as he’d grown accustomed to playing on Fridays during his four years at Gilmer.

However, this was definitely different. And even though he didn’t play a single snap against Tech or in SMU’s 31-30 win over Montana State this past weekend, the freshman defensive back really can’t complain about how things have gone thus far with the Mustangs.

“My time here so far, it’s been pretty good,” Washington said. “Coming in with all these guys and my freshman class, as soon as I came in, it just felt right. As far as how practice is going and as far as how the team things are going, it’s all really good right now for us.”

Growing accustomed to the faster pace of the game and not getting as much playing time as he had grown accustomed to at Gilmer, where he played on both sides of the ball, have been big adjustments for the young cornerback.

“Everyone here, they were the man of their team back in high school,” Washington said. “It’s difficult for all of us just to sit out and watch. At the same time, watching is always good because you learn and once you learn so many things, you get better as a player and then that just makes the team better.”

Two teammates he keeps an ever-watchful eye on are SMU senior cornerbacks Kenneth Acker and Chris Parks.

“They’re both really supportive,” he said. “They’re the leaders of our secondary along with Jay Scott. They’re always there coaching us up on things to make us better since they’ll be gone next year. They’re just coaching us up in the way they were coached and it makes us better as a team as a whole.”

Washington is also adjusting in the classroom and admits his schedule doesn’t allow him much free time, which isn’t a bad thing.

“The schedule is hectic, honestly,” he said. “You don’t find much free time and when you do find free time you’re sleeping because the day, it’s just so taxing on your body. The classes are a lot harder than high school, but that’s good because I always welcome a challenge.”

He also realizes that if he’s going to compete at the collegiate level and make an impact for the Mustangs either as a freshman or in the future that he’s going to have to bulk up. Even after gaining weight since arriving at SMU, he still weighs 170 pounds. However, he hopes to be at 185 heading into spring drills, a goal he plans on reaching.

Steve Hunt is a freelance writer based in Frisco.