When Nicholls State’s senior running back Marcus Washington and his teammates played Oregon State in Corvallis last year, they lost 77-3. Washington said despite the loss, the experience was valuable to him and his teammates. With the Ducks favored to win by 59 points, Nicholls State will need more than valuable experience to upset the Pac-12 favorites.
“Playing against guys that are on that next level, to get a chance to play against the biggest [competition], it gives us another mind set, to get out there and see how we can pressure those guys,” Washington told the Emerald in a phone interview.
Washington has had tremendous personal success in his first three seasons at Nicholls. He was named to the all-Southland second team in 2011 and receiving all-Southland honorable mention last year. He said the main focus for his senior season is to “become a better leader on and off the field.”
“I wanna be considered one of the best players in the conference and in the nation but, also leading my team every day and getting better,” Washington said.
While Washington knows he’ll be up against one of the best defenses in the country, he sees the Ducks as a challenge that he wants to meet head on.
“We’re little Nicholls down here — that’s how everyone sees it. We’re all excited to see how we stack up to them,” Washington said. “I wanna see how I stack up to the running backs and linebackers, see if I can be a playmaker.”
Nicholls State plays in the football championship subdivision. Washington recognizes the overall difference in talent level compared to football bowl subdivision teams, but says his teammates have what it take to compete with Football Bowl Subdivision opponents.
According to Washington, playing the role of the underdogs will help fuel his team.”We’ve got nothing to lose. Everybody expects us to lose, so we’ll just go out there with a chip on our shoulder and give it everything we’ve got.”
After this season, Washington wants to continue playing football, but he also wants to pursue his education.
“[I want to] continue playing football, whether it’s the NFL, CFL, AFL — that’s my biggest goal. But I’ll also get my degree in May and then hopefully get my masters in education. Then I want to try coaching, get players to that next level.”
Washington will need to lead the Colonels to the next level, perhaps even one level beyond, if Nicholls State has any chance at earning a W at Autzen.