4. What a send-off for Casey Washington
Around 15 of the players who suited up against Northwestern, we may never see in Champaign again. The obvious ones are Jer’Zhan Newton and Keith Randolph Jr. But one player that might not be back in an Illinois uniform is Casey Washington.
Washington is listed as a senior on the Illinois roster. This hasn’t been a smooth path for the talented pass catcher either. He had such promise early on in his career, and I thought he was going to be the next great wide receiver in Illinois history.
In the spring of 2021, Washington transferred out of the program. With a new head coach comes transfers. Washington’s days in Champaign looked to be done. But he ended up coming back in the summer, and this decision proved to be a solid one.
Washington improved every year he was with the Illini. He had 21 receptions for 294 yards in 2021, 31 receptions for 306 yards in 2022, and 49 receptions for 670 yards and four touchdowns this season.
The great run by Washington was all capped off by his big performance on Saturday. He was able to tear up the Wildcats’ secondary, going for nine receptions for 218 yards and three touchdowns. This was easily the best performance of his career and one that I will not forget.
Washington has always been a talented wide receiver, but Illinois didn’t have the arm talent in his first few years. With Tommy DeVito and John Paddock throwing him the ball, he was able to excel. If this was the last we get to see of Washington, I wish him nothing but the best moving forward. I think he has an NFL career waiting for him.