BY JEFF FALK
COLLEGE PHOTOS COURTESY OF SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI UNIVERSITY
He didn’t always have one, but at some point Khalique Washington developed a plan. It was calculated, well thought out and realistic.
Yeah, there was some execution required. But you’ve got to love it when a plan comes to fruition.
Washington, a 2017 graduate of Lebanon High School, is Division One University of Mississippi’ newest offensive lineman. He arrived in Hattiesburg a few months back via a junior college stop in Dodge City, Kansas.
And while Washington’s journey hasn’t been all that arduous – all that difficult – it has been life-altering. ‘Lique is a different person than the one who left Lebanon in the fall of 2017.
“I had an incredible offensive line coach at Dodge City,” said Washington, by phone from Hattiesburg recently. “He taught me the game. I feel like my football IQ got better. He taught me looks and what to look for, things you don’t look at in high school. I feel like the experience really helped me.
“As a person, I feel like I matured a lot,” continued Washington. “You go from being in your hometown to being a little fish in a big pond. You’re just a dude from Lebanon. But it helped me grow and understand a lot.”
At Lebanon High, Washington was a big, talented athlete who played on the Cedars’ football, basketball and track and field teams. He competed in the Big 33 Classic in Hershey following his senior season, and possessed the athleticism to attract the interest of some major college programs, but not the grades.
That’s where Dodge City Community College in Kansas came into the picture. It’s a place where student-athletes like Washington go to get straight academically and to hone their football skills.