NORFOLK (WAVY) – Bobby Wilder’s doesn’t hand out Most Valuable Player, or individual awards. That being said, he has no problem recognizing who is “the guy” for his Monarchs (9-3, 7-1 Conference USA), who are headed to a post-season bowl game for the first time in program history.
David Washington has carried the torch, so to speak, ever since it was zipped to him off the hand of Taylor Heinicke in the home finale against Louisiana Tech back in 2014. Heinicke whipped a pass to Washington, then a redshirt-sophomore quarterback-turned-receiver, who then bolted into the endzone for a game-winning touchdown. It was Heinicke’s last pass on Foreman Field.
“That was the passing of the torch in the last home game and what David Washington has accomplished in his career is really remarkable,” said Wilder on Monday.
Through the 2014 campaign, Washington caught 47 passes for 599 yards and four touchdowns. He started the following season back at wide receiver before being thrust into the role of starting quarterback, and proceeded to throw for 1,155 yards and eight touchdowns through nine games.
Flip-flopping from quarterback to receiver has never phased Washington.
“Ever since high school, I’ve always gone back and forth,” said Washington. “When I got [to Old Dominion], coach Wilder asked me (to switch to receiver), and I was like, ‘Absolutely. I want to play.’
“I would have been long-snapper if they’d asked me to.”
Washington has done just fine taking the snaps instead. This season, he’s thrown for 2,648 yards and 28 touchdowns, and hasn’t forgotten how to use his legs, rushing for 205 yards and two more scores.
No doubt the catalyst of the Monarchs, his senior teammate and friend Zach Pascal has taken notice. “I don’t tell Dave this a lot, but I look up to Dave,” said Pascal, the leading receiver for the Monarchs this season.
Pascal has also proven himself to be quite a dynamic rusher, and his inspiration for giving it a try is the guy wearing no. 10. “Stuff like (switching positions) just inspires me to accept my role that will help the team. That’s the kind of player Dave is,” he said.
Through it all, Washington has thrived. And though he admits his disappointment of not winning a conference championship, he wants to finish his career the way Heinicke’s career ended…with a win.