Vicksburg High linebacker Kellen Washington signs with Miles College

Published 4:00 am Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Just three games into his sophomore season, Kellen Washington got his big break with Vicksburg High’s football team.

“I think we were playing Natchez and the linebacker who was in front of me kept on messing up,” Washington recalled. “Coach (Christopher) Lacey said, ‘Do what you’re supposed to do, it’s your job.’ I went in there and did what I was supposed to do.”

Washington did it for the next three seasons, too — and now he’ll get to keep on doing it for a few more. He has signed with Miles College, an NCAA Division II program in Birmingham.

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Washington was a late add to Miles’ 2023 recruiting class. He did not sign until last week, and reported to campus almost immediately for summer workouts. Washington said a lack of height and a knee injury that sidelined him for a few games last season scared off some schools despite his extremely productive high school career.

Washington totaled 13 sacks and 19 tackles for loss over the past two seasons while playing as a pass-rushing linebacker.

“They looked at the film and it was a match made in heaven. They said, ‘I can’t believe you don’t have any other offers.’ So I said I think this is the place for me,” he said. “It was a nice environment. It feels like home.”

Washington added that, after talking to coaches, he feels like he’ll be a good fit for Miles’ defense. He’ll be playing as a roving linebacker similar to what he did at VHS. He’s only 5-foot-10, but has a good combination of speed and strength that allows him to move around the defense and make plays.

“I think it’s a good fit. They basically told me I can play everywhere. Just make plays and be yourself, be an athlete. That’s all I wanted to hear,” Washington said. “I think that’s probably my best feature is my versatility. I take pride in that.”

Another strong asset for Washington is his work ethic. His mother, Tara Goodman, said she often comes home to find her son holed up in his room watching game film, and that he’s been working on his football skills non-stop since the season ended in late November.

“I know how hard he works. This is a guy who, the season ended in November, and he had maybe a week and a half break. He’s been on the field and working. He has not let up,” Goodman said. “This is something that happens every offseason. You can tell by his body right now that he hasn’t just been sitting down at that table. The boy has been working.”

A few junior colleges showed interest, but Miles gave Washington his only scholarship offer. The difficult recruiting process, he said, made him even more grateful for the opportunity and he’s determined not to waste it.

“It feels good,” he said. “The recruiting process was real hard for me, but I’m glad I found a home.”

About Ernest Bowker

Ernest Bowker is The Vicksburg Post's sports editor. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post's sports staff since 1998, making him one of the longest-tenured reporters in the paper's 140-year history. The New Jersey native is a graduate of LSU. In his career, he has won more than 50 awards from the Mississippi Press Association and Associated Press for his coverage of local sports in Vicksburg.

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