Malik Washington on his Maryland commitment, upcoming camp, basketball future

Maryland football is days removed from its biggest commitment of the cycle after Spalding (MD) composite four-star quarterback Malik Washington officially closed his recruitment, committing to the in-state Terrapins over Virginia Tech, Syracuse and UCF with several more Power Four schools eyeing the 6-foot-4 quarterback through the spring. Head coach Mike Locksley remained an active part in the Terps’ pursuit throughout while coordinators Brian Williams and Josh Gattis were active in the chase from start to finish, working to make Washington the centerpiece of its 2025 class with several more targets expected to announce through July into the season.

Washington joined Glenn Clark Radio on Monday to break down his commitment, talk about the impact Spalding left on him, his upcoming summer camp and basketball future:

On whether he always knew Maryland was the pick

“Not the whole time. I feel like closer toward my decision, I kind of felt that way more and more. At first it was really just wherever the best situation was for me. And that happened to be home, like where I felt the most comfortable. And that was kind of a plus for me, being able to be around my family.”

On how he didn’t let his recruitment distract his focus 

“Really the kind of lessons that my parents instilled in me, just about how things can always be taken away from me in an instant. You’re one injury or one bad decision away from it all being over so I never really let it get too much to my head because I realized like it wasn’t mine to have. It’s really just like a blessing to be in the position that I’m in. So I just never really took it for granted. And I understood like what came with it.”

On how Spalding helped him prepare for his commitment

“Helped me a whole lot. Even from freshman year to 2022 class, those guys that went through it, they kind of took me under their wing, showed me a little bit of it. So like my recruiting process came around, I kinda knew what I was getting into. It’s really a family over there.”

On his relationship with head coach Kyle Schmitt 

“He won’t admit it himself but he’s a really humble dude. He told me from the beginning after the attention started building around me, whatever decision you make, we’re going to be happy for you, we’re going to support you regardless. He just told me wherever I feel is best, they’ll support me any type of way. He’s been a great coach, even better mentor. Taught me and a lot of my teammates life lessons. With him it’s not always about football. Coach Schmitt is the type I can go to and talk about food, talk about class or anything like that. He’s just always been there as a mentor.”

On why getting the chance to play under Mike Locksley was important 

“Knowing coach, he just always kind of kept it real with me. He never really gave me like a sales pitch. Every time we had a conversation it was a genuine conversation about where he saw me, where the program’s going and everything like that. And coach has a pretty good track record as far as quarterbacks go. He’s helped some dudes out a lot so I just want to be a part of that group that made it to the next level.”

On whether accomplishing more at home resonated with him through the process

“Kind of when I was out at the Elite 11, I thought about it. The people are asking, you know, where [are] you from. And a lot of people aren’t really aware of the DMV and the ballers we have over there. I feel like one of the ways to help is put everyone else on the map is [to] do it in college. So it’s like these Maryland dudes, they look pretty good and then they figure out we’re all from the same area. They realize that DMV football actually has some guys over there. It’s not just, you know, Cal, Texas. Georgia, Florida. There’s some dudes over here.”

On whether he wanted to take on the role of spearheading local recruiting efforts

“That’s the goal. Ultimately to keep everyone that’s home, home. People that are committed other places or aren’t really sure about where they want to go yet. I’m trying to bring them home here and really build this national powerhouse with dudes that I’ve played with my whole life. I’m just trying to keep everyone local.”

On the moment he told his parents that Maryland was the pick

“I mean, my mom and my dad, they kind of figured it out themselves because, like they know me as a kid, so it’s like it wasn’t hard for them to figure out what I want to do. They kind of knew the values and things I hold special. But like really, most of them found out like at the announcement. I told them a couple [of] hours before, they found out when I announced just to keep it a surprise to everybody. They were super excited. Once again, like my parents were never really like, oh, we want you to stay home and be close to us. It was wherever you go, we’ll be there. I mean, that took a lot of pressure off of me because I knew I could make whatever decision I wanted to pick me and I’d still be fine.”

On whether he believes he can accomplish his goals at Maryland

“This class that we’re about to have, the ’25 class, is going to be super special. People are going to realize that pretty soon. And the people they already have there and the coaches and the culture that they’re building, it’s like, they have all the ingredients right now. They’ve got to put them all together and I want to be a part of that next [group] that puts all those ingredients together.”

On working to flip ATH Jeff Exinor from Penn State

“I’ve known Jeff for a long time, since like fifth grade. Actually from basketball, playing against each other for years now. Same thing in football, you know, him being at McDonogh me being at Spalding, we’ve always kept pretty tight, kept pretty close relationship because we were playing both…we just kept pretty close and I’m going to be on him about it till the season’s over, till signing day.”

On his upcoming youth camp at Archbishop Spalding

“It really got started because, my school, Spalding has a football camp and it costs a little bit of money to come out for the week… there’s definitely some kids from the area or things like that that just don’t have $250 a dish out…so I was just like, why not have something that everybody can be included in? You don’t have to play football. You don’t have to be good at it. You don’t have to have any money. I just want everybody to come out, be able to have some fun because I know that’s something I would’ve enjoyed when I was younger. I remember all the camps that I went to and it wasn’t that many but to me, it really gives me a chance to give back to the people that helped me get to where I am.

On whether he’ll suit up for Maryland basketball

“Once I hang up the shoes, I’m going to hang up the shoes. Because me, I’m the type of person who wants to put everything I have into it. I wouldn’t want to join midway through the season and mess up something for somebody else or take away some minutes from a dude that’s really trying to make it in basketball. It’s like I’ll sit and be a fan for once. If they need somebody on the practice squad I might step out there and help out a little bit.”

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