Maurice Washington earned immediate playing time as a true freshman, appearing in 11 games with starts against Ohio State and Iowa. He showed flashes of his big-play ability throughout the season, totaling 455 rushing yards and 221 receiving yards. Washington displayed his versatility by ranking third on the team in rushing yards and fourth in receiving yards, while having both a 100-yard rushing game and a 100-yard receiving game. He was also the Huskers' top kickoff returner with 204 yards on 13 returns. Washington averaged 5.9 yards per carry and scored three rushing touchdowns, while adding one touchdown reception. His 24 receptions were the second-highest total every by a true freshman at Nebraska, regardless of position.
After debuting with 34 rushing yards, 16 receiving yards and 50 yards from scrimmage in the season opener against Troy, Washington led Nebraska with 92 rushing yards on 14 carries against Troy. His 92 rushing yards were the most by a true freshman Husker running back since Imani Cross in 2012. Washington was limited to only three carries in his Big Ten debut at No. 19 Michigan. He then sat out the Purdue game after missing the entire week of practice due to an illness. He was used in a variety of ways in Nebraska's game at No. 16 Wisconsin, carrying the ball five times for 27 yards and adding four catches for 53 yards, setting then-career highs in receptions and receiving yards. He also took over duties as Nebraska's kickoff returner and produced a 25-yard return en route to a then-career-high 115 all-purpose yards against the Badgers. The next week at Northwestern, he returned a pair of kickoffs for 39 yards, including a career-long 27-yard return. Washington also had nine carries for 32 yards against the Wildcats, including scoring his first career touchdown on a three-yard run in the fourth quarter.
Washington had a career game in the Huskers' win over Minnesota, rushing 14 times for 109 yards and one score. While posting his first career 100-yard rushing game, Washington became Nebraska's first true freshman running back to run for 100 yards since Cross against Idaho State in 2012. Washington also totaled a career-high 142 all-purpose yards against the Gophers. The next week vs. Bethune-Cookman, Washington played only the first half and had six carries for 48 yards, including an eight-yard touchdown run. He then totaled 48 all-purpose yards at No. 8 Ohio State. Washington got off to a fast start against Illinois, carrying the ball three times for 67 yards in the first half before suffering an injury that kept him out for the remainder of the game. Washington had a career-long 49-yard run against the Illini in the first quarter. Washington returned from the injury had 55 all-purpose yards in a defensive battle against Michigan State the next week, rushing three times for 19 yards, catching two passes for seven yards and returning a pair of kickoffs for 29 yards. He closed his impressive freshman season with an impressive performance as a receiver at Iowa, catching seven passes for 102 yards, both of which were career highs. Washington became only the fourth Husker running back to have a 100-yard receiving game and the first since Marlon Lucky in 2007. He had a career-long 35-yard reception in the second quarter and hauled in a 28-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter for his first career receiving touchdown. Washington also added 30 kickoff return yards and nine rushing yards against the Hawkeyes to finish with 141 all-purpose yards, one shy of his career high.
Before Nebraska (Trinity Christian Academy)
Washington was a big addition to Nebraska’s class, announcing his decision to join the Huskers on signing day in February. Washington was a three-time state champion at Trinity Christian Academy in Texas and was MVP of the 2018 Under Armour High School All-America Game.
Washington carried the ball 123 times for 1,253 yards as a senior in 2017 for Coach Aveion Cason. Washington averaged 10.2 yards per carry and 113.9 rushing yards per game and scored 15 rushing touchdowns. He also excelled as a receiver out of the backfield, catching 26 passes for 582 yards and nine touchdowns, while averaging 22.4 yards per reception. Washington amassed 2,112 all-purpose yards – an average of 192.0 yards per game – and boasted an average gain of nearly 13 yards every time he touched the ball in 2017.
Following his senior season, Washington competed in the Under Armour All-America Game, where he was named MVP. He shined in the all-star event, totaling 159 all-purpose yards and three touchdowns. He set an Under Armour All-America Game record for touchdowns scored (3) and became the first player in the 10-year history of the game to post both a rushing and receiving touchdown.
Washington was tabbed as a four-star prospect by ESPN and 247Sports. ESPN listed him as the No. 93 overall prospect in the country and as the nation’s fifth-best running back. Washington also visited Arizona State and had offers from many of the nation’s top programs, including Clemson, Ohio State, LSU, USC and Washington, among others.