Despite Penn State’s Loss, Parker Washington Flashes His Impressive Abilities Against Ohio State

Story posted November 1, 2022 in CommRadio, Sports by Zach Donaldson

Parker Washington entered this season with high expectations to be Penn State's number-one wide receiver. After his outstanding performance this past Saturday against the Ohio State Buckeyes and consistency up until then, it's safe to say he's lived up to them.

Although Penn State came up short against the Buckeyes 44-31, Washington did his part and then some, reeling in 11 catches for 179 yards - both season and career highs - and one touchdown.

Washington's overall performance ranks as one of the best in Penn State history by a pass catcher. To be more specific, it's the ninth-most yards in a single game ever and his 11 receptions are tied for sixth all-time.

The junior wideout hailing from Sugarland, Texas exploded onto the scene against Ohio State and finally had a game that fans knew he had in his repertoire. About half of his 11 grabs were highlight reel too, as he helped out quarterback Sean Clifford tremendously and backed up his trust in him.

Washington sparked the flame that Penn State had burning for the first three quarters of action, by breaking two tackles and taking a short catch 58-yards to the house.

"I was just excited to make a play for the team. It was a big moment," Washington said. “We had already faced some adversity early on and being able to strike back like that with a big play was exciting. I just want to be able to help the team as much as I can because I know they have my back and they trust me, and I trust them."

In all reality, the game is nowhere close without Washington, which continues a recent trend of Penn State pass catchers stepping up their play when the Buckeyes come to town.

KJ Hamler had four catches for 138 yards and one touchdown in 2018, while Jahan Dotson one-upped him with eight catches for 144 yards and three touchdowns in 2020.

Washington racked up the most yards of the three, and even his short, 10-yard snags were eye-catching. Yet, he makes it look so routine.

Washington sustained his success against Ohio State over the last three seasons with this year's effort, improving his numbers across three games to 24 catches for 361 yards and one touchdown. He's never failed to show up against the Buckeyes - for what it's worth.

To Washington, however, none of it holds much water. He wants to win first and foremost, and rely his preparation and work ethic to show up every week for his team, no matter what.

"That's how I feel like I approach these games," Washington said. "We treat everybody the same way and [each week the same]. You can't rise up, to the occasion."

Penn State came up short against Ohio State once again this year, but to no fault of Washington's. He flashed his ability to be a true number-one receiving threat and make plays against a premier opponent.

If Washington decides to enter his name into the 2023 NFL Draft, this will surely be a game that he looks back on that boosts his stock. As it stands right now, he's projected to be a mid-round selection.

"Parker's a dog," Penn State cornerback Joey Porter Jr. said.

His tough and fiery display on the field checks out, although, speaking to him you likely wouldn't know it. Between his softspoken nature and measurables, standing at only 5-foot-10 and 215 lbs., Washington is anything but your typical wide receiver-one.

But his aforementioned toughness and energy along with his playmaking ability, strong hands and leadership has him thriving and on pace for a career-year following his breakout game against the Buckeyes.

He knows what it takes to be WR1 at a place like Penn State, and it starts with having a team-first, everybody eats attitude.

"It starts with leadership and the example you set everyday... You haye to be consistent as much as you can," Washington said. "I feel like I'm always building on that and being the best teammate I can be.”

Zach Donaldson is a fifth-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email