If you don’t know the story of L’Damian Washington, then you’re missing out on a potentially amazing one. Washington has persevered time and time again throughout his life, and when he had to sit through the entire 2014 NFL Draft and watch all of those other players get drafted and his name get left out, you can bet that it hurt.
Washington put it best when saying that he’s “never been so hurt” in his life, and that he’s “never felt so low.” He also said that his family had suffered for so long, and that they thought draft weekend would be the point where they would finally be off to a better life. Now, he says he has to “start back over at zero.”
That alone will make you root for a guy through the grind of being an undrafted free agent and trying to make a roster.
It’s more than just that though, as Washington had it tough from early on in his life. His father was murdered when he was 5 years old, and his mother passed away from a blood clot that had complications when he was 15. From that point on he’s been a key part of helping to raise his brothers.
If you want motivation to succeed, this guy has plenty of it.
Fortunately for Washington, he had options after going undrafted. He got offers after the draft, including multiple with some good pay attached to them. A guy who runs a 4.39 40-yard dash, and is 6-foot-4 is going to get offers to play in the NFL, especially after catching 10 touchdowns last season with the Missouri Tigers. Instead of just taking the most money though (apparently “way more” than his new team offered), Washington decided to sign with the Dallas Cowboys.
He noted a bond with wide receivers coach Derek Dooley, who was the first coach to offer him a scholarship when he was the head coach at Louisiana Tech, as to why he signed with Dallas.
The speedy wide receiver fell out of the draft due to concerns about his size (only 194 pounds), and the fact that he tends to catch the ball with his body instead of his hands. He put it best when saying that he perseveres, and persevere he must in order to make this roster that has a good amount of wide receiver talent.
So what are his chances? The more you watch and read, the more you have to like them.
The long shot wide out is actually a good fit with Scott Linehan‘s offense, as the offensive coordinator likes big targets and guys who can extend the field and catch long balls. These are obviously both Washington’s strengths. Even head coach Jason Garrett has had great things to say about Washington so far.
He’s had to overcome a lot throughout his life, but don’t be surprised if we see Washington make it onto the 53-man roster for the Cowboys in 2014.