Washington Huskies tailback Dwayne Washington did not make the trip here for the Heart of Dallas Bowl game against Southern Mississippi.
There was a reason for that, Huskies coach Chris Petersen said: Washington recently had a minor knee procedure to repair the injury that kept him out of four games this season.
And he’s also leaving UW to enter the NFL draft.
Washington, a fourth-year junior, has a year of eligibility remaining.
“Everybody’s got to make their decisions,” Petersen said, “and we support him.”
Washington was the Huskies’ leading rusher in 2014, but finished this season with only 282 yards on 47 carries — he actually did more damage as a receiver, catching 25 passes for 315 yards.
He was slowed by a chronic leg injury, and the emergence of freshman tailback Myles Gaskin diminished his playing time — and figured to cut into his playing time next season, too. Washington’s girlfriend also gave birth this season to their daughter, Nori.
UW could return four other tailbacks who played this season — Gaskin, third-year sophomore Lavon Coleman, redshirt freshman Jomon Dotson and possibly Deontae Cooper, who has a seventh year of eligibility remaining and said last month that he plans to use it.
The Huskies also signed four-star running back prospect Sean McGrew from St. John Bosco High School near Los Angeles.
Huskies banged up
Despite a month off between the Apple Cup and the bowl game, the Huskies weren’t close to full strength on Saturday.
They played without starting nickelback Kevin King, who sat out due to a concussion. They played without starting left tackle Trey Adams, who missed the Apple Cup due to a stinger and sat out Saturday’s game with back spasms. And they didn’t have Washington or freshman linebacker Ben Burr-Kirven, who also sat out due to a concussion.
Sophomore receiver Dante Pettis (foot sprain) and senior tight end Joshua Perkins (hip pointer) were injured during the game, though Petersen didn’t think either ailment was serious.
Will Dissly, a sophomore defensive lineman, played some tight end for the first time in his career. He also played on defense. … Senior receiver Jaydon Mickens finishes his career with 203 receptions, second-most in UW history behind Reggie Williams (243). … Myles Gaskin already set UW’s freshman rushing record, but added to it on Saturday and finishes the season with 1,302 yards rushing, which is the eighth-best single-season total in school history. Napoleon Kaufman is immediately ahead of him on that list (1994), and immediately behind him (1993). … Jake Browning’s 2,955 passing yards this season rank fifth-most in UW single-season history, and are the most in a single season by a UW freshman.