Student-Athlete Spotlight: Montrell Washington

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Samford Athletics is continuing the Student-Athlete Spotlight series, presented by Coca-Cola, which this week, will feature senior wide receiver and kick returner Montrell Washington.
Washington came to Samford from Cherokee High School in Canton, Ga. in the fall of 2017. Washington said a connection he had with a former high school teammate who was on the Samford team at the time helped him decide to come to Samford.
“I had friends that went here,” Washington said. “Andrew Harris, he went to my high school, and he was already here, and he was telling me they run the spread, they like to throw the ball. So, with him being here, it was bound to happen.”
This fall has been unusual in that the team is playing a fall season just a few months after playing a spring season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Washington said he has kind of enjoyed having two seasons in one calendar year.
“To be honest with you, it’s business as usual,” Washington said. “It was kind of cool, it’s two seasons in one. So, there’s more film to get ourselves out there, so, I like it.”
Samford opened the 2021 fall season with an impressive 52-14 win over Tennessee Tech last Thursday night. Washington had a huge game with 245 all-purpose yards, including returning a punt 62 yards for a touchdown. Washinton was named both the Southern Conference and National Special Teams Player of the Week on Monday.
With students now sitting in the north end zone, Washington said the atmosphere was much better than in games in the past.
“That was the loudest I’ve ever heard the stadium, hands down,” Washington said. “Multiple players on the team even said that’s the loudest they’ve ever heard it. We’ve got to keep it like that. Every home game, more and more fans have to come out. It’s going to be an exciting year this year.”
Throughout the last couple of seasons, Washington had made a habit of big punt returns. He said he is glad when teams continue to kick to him despite his past success.
“I’m glad they do because that’s my job,” Washington said. “You kick it to me; I’ve got to make something happen.”
Washington and graduate quarterback Liam Welch have become one of the top passing duos in the Southern Conference. Washington said they are just trying to fill the gap left by former All-Americans Devlin Hodges and Kelvin McKnight.
“We’re just trying to fill in the pieces,” Washington said. “Like Duck (Hodges) and K.J. (McKnight), they had a connection that’s out of this world. Me and Liam seem to be on that same kind of path, getting a connection like they had, so we’re just trying to build off what they did first and go from there.”
With the success the team has had so far, Washington said they approach it as just doing their job.
“That’s our job to do that,” Washington said. “The defense, it’s their job to have shutouts or keep the score low. Offense, it’s our job to continue to score. Special teams, it’s our job to stop teams inside the 20 on kickoffs, on kick return to go score or get it past the 30. Punt return, we want to score every time if we can.”
Washington and the Bulldogs will play at UT Martin this Saturday at 6 p.m. The game can be seen live on ESPN+ at the following link: WATCH LIVE.


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