After leading all Rutgers University tight ends this past season in catches and receiving yards, Jerome Washington ’12 is currently deciding whether or not he should return to Piscataway for his senior season or declare for April’s NFL Draft. He has until January 15 to declare for the Draft.
This year, Rutgers has at least three juniors — cornerback Blessuan Austin, left tackle Tariq Cole, and tight end Jerome Washington — who deferred in-season questions about the 2018 NFL Draft. Players are not available to the media after the season under athletics department policy.
All three are believed to be leaning toward toward returning to school as seniors, NJ Advance Media has learned, but no official announcements have been made.
Washington led Rutgers with 28 catches and 282 yards in his first season eligible after transferring from Miami, where he had one career catch.
The 6-foot-4, 258-pounder made a couple of acrobatic catches by pinning the ball to different parts of his body, but only had one touchdown and was not a frequent red-zone target.
“It’s definitely something I’ll have to think about,” Washington said last month while focusing on the final games. “I definitely have room to improve. I’m happy with (my production), but not content with it. I’ve wanted to go to the NFL since I was a young kid. I would be blessed to have that opportunity.”
Should Washington decide to remain a Scarlet Knight for one more season, NJ.com has him listed as the probable starter once again at the tight end position:
Washington hasn’t ruled out the NFL, but he likely will be advised that one productive college season isn’t enough to test the waters. He led Rutgers in receptions — including a couple crazy catches — but needs to establish himself as more of a red-zone threat.
Nakia Griffin-Stewart also flashed good hands, but the coaching staff is high on Travis Vokolek, which led to burning his redshirt midway through the season.
If Washington stays he and Rutgers will open the season at home on September 1 vs. Texas State University.