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Archbishop Spalding's quarterback Malik Washington on his decision to play football in Maryland

Archbishop Spalding quarterback Malik Washington was taught from a young age to take nothing for granted, and his goal in life is to “leave a legacy” that will last.

On June 28, Washington took a big step toward achieving that goal. The unanimously rated four-star recruit and 247Sports' No. 14 quarterback in the class of 2025 chose Maryland.

Washington becomes the poster boy for a program seeking its first conference title in 22 years, and he is well aware that he has the chance to become a legendary figure in Maryland history by bringing the championship back to College Park.

“To do something like that is going to make a big splash. Now it's like, we're going to remember this Maryland team forever,” Washington said on Glenn Clark Radio on July 1. “That comes with a position like quarterback. It's one of the most memorable guys on almost any team. So I'm going to [have my] My name will be in the spotlight for a while, no matter what happens in life. But my memory, my legacy will remain here. … I will be able to tell it to my children and grandchildren.”

The 6'4″, 215-pound quarterback has led Archbishop Spalding to a 21-3 record and two conference championships. In his two seasons as a starter, he threw for 5,072 yards and 60 total touchdowns. He is a sure-footed pocket passer with enough talent to throw from all areas of the field, but also shows potential as a runner.

Washington, a two-sport star who earned All-MIAA A Conference honors in basketball, was named the Baltimore Sun's 2023-24 high school athlete of the year. He also has a 3.7 grade-point average, according to the Sun, and was praised by scouts at the Elite 11 Prospect Showcase for his work ethic.

Washington wasn't immediately sure where he wanted to go to college. He also considered offers from Syracuse, Virginia Tech and UCF. But as the recruiting process progressed, he realized the best situation for him was close to home.

“At first, it was just the place that was best for me,” Washington said. “And that happened to be home, where I felt most comfortable.”

Washington appreciated head coach Michael Locksley's straightforward approach to both player recruitment and the game.

“He was always honest with me,” Washington said. “He never sold me anything or anything like that. Every time we talked, it was an honest conversation about where he saw me and the program and so on. And the coach has a pretty good track record with quarterbacks. He's helped some guys a lot. I want to be part of that group that makes it to the next level.”

It also didn't hurt that Kyle Schmitt, his high school coach and mentor, played football for the Terps.

“He always told me he would support me in any way he could if I felt it was best,” Washington said. “He was a great coach and an even better mentor. He taught me and a lot of my teammates a lot of life lessons. He's not always about football. Coach Schmitt is the coach I can go to and talk about food, classes or anything like that. He's just always been there as a mentor for me.”

Washington knows the impact a quality quarterback can have on the rest of the team's recruiting. Two of his high school teammates — three-star cornerback Jayden Shipps and three-star defensive lineman Delmar White — have committed to Maryland since Washington announced his commitment. He immediately began working on social media, convincing other recruits to join him in College Park.

One of his main targets is his close friend and rival from across the state, McDonogh four-star receiver Jeff Exinor. Exinor committed to Penn State on Friday, but in the modern college football world, nothing is final until signing day.

“I've known Jeff since fifth grade – actually from basketball, we played against each other for years,” Washington said. “We've always been pretty close, a pretty close relationship. … I'm going to pester him about it until the season is over, until signing day, when I can stop pestering him about it.”

Washington is also giving back to his community by hosting his second annual free youth soccer camp at Archbishop Spalding on July 12. Those interested can register here.

For more information from Washington, see the full interview here:

Photo credit: Courtesy of Malik Washington