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Maurice Washington

Maurice Washington played in the Under Armour All-America Game.

Adrian Martinez was mostly minding his own business in the lead-up to the Under Armour All-America game in Florida in early January. 

He was preparing to play for the first time in more than a year -- all-star game or not, that's going to bring some nerves -- but the Fresno, California native was getting to know teammates and having fun, too. 

During the practices before the game, a player from the other team approached him and already knew who he was. 

It was three-star running back Maurice Washington, perhaps the most unheralded player invited to participate in the game. 

"It was kind of funny," Martinez recalled. "He was on the other team so we practiced on different fields, and I ran into him while we were warming up. He came up to me and he was like, 'Hey man, I really love Nebraska. I'm thinking I'm going to visit and I really like it.'

"I'm like, OK, awesome. I didn't know who he was." 

Then Washington took the game by storm. 

"First guy to score a touchdown, I'm like, who is that?," Martinez recalled. 

It was Washington scoring for the first of three times on the afternoon, this one a 21-yard run in which he bowled through a tackle attempt in the hole, juked a linebacker and then rebuffed two other tackle attempts on the way to the end zone. 

Martinez quickly realized from the sideline what he had just witnessed. 

"Oh, we need to get this guy. I need to make sure I talk to him again," Martinez thought. "It worked out thankfully. We're really happy to have him and he looks like a heckuva player." 

Washington committed to Nebraska in a nationally televised announcement on National Signing Day in February. He is slated to arrive on campus this summer, while Martinez is competing for the starting quarterback job as an early enrollee. 

Contact the writer at pgabriel@journalstar.com or 402-473-7439. On Twitter @HuskerExtraPG.

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Sports writer

Parker joined the Journal Star as the University of Nebraska football beat writer in August 2017. He previously covered Montana State athletics for the Bozeman Daily Chronicle and graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 2012.

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