Go ahead, finish up that bottle of champagne you just popped. You’ve earned it. And clearly, so has the Syracuse University football staff after reeling in Robert Washington, one of the most highly sought after running back prospects in the nation. Washington chose Syracuse over the likes of the Alabama Crimson Tide, Michigan Wolverines, and Florida Gators to become the program’s biggest win in recent memory.

Washington, the 5-foot-11, 215 pound tailback from North Carolina, is ranked as the No. 8 running back and No. 116 prospect overall by ESPN, and is considered a 4-star prospect across the board. It’s no secret we’ve been hoping to see him wind up in Orange for a long, long time, and frankly, it just felt like Syracuse was due after all these years of missing out on the very top talent.

The prolific rusher’s recruitment had a little bit of late drama, and after feeling pretty confident of late, I think we’ve all started getting nervous with word that late pushes by Florida and, in particular, Michigan were threatening what had seemed like a lead for Syracuse. Fortunately for all of us, Washington chose the underdog, and now has a chance to be a program changing recruit. By now pretty much everyone knows that Washington has a lot of elite friends, and with his intention of graduating in December and enrolling in college in January, he’s also made it clear he plans on recruiting as many of those friends to join him as possible.

That means that thanks to this one commitment, Syracuse is in a very good position early in the 2016 recruiting cycle to bring in perhaps its strongest class in years, if not decades.

This is a monumental day for Syracuse football. I don’t want to oversell what a big recruiting win this was, but it could be the single most important recruit of the past 30 years, based solely on where the program is, and the impact Washington could potentially have. It’s a bright day for Syracuse fans, but obviously the fight isn’t over. The Michigans and Floridas of the world aren’t going to suddenly stop recruiting Washington, and Scott Shafer, Bobby Acosta, and the rest of the staff are going to have to keep battling to hang onto their prized recruit.

But enough on that for right now. Let’s enjoy the moment and, since you’ve probably finished that first bottle of champagne by now, go ahead and pop another one. It’s a day to celebrate.

Tomorrow, we begin the full court press to #Restore44.

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