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October 26, 2009

Washington out for the year

Freshman running back James Washington injured his knee following the Boston College game and is out for the year.

The speedy 6-foot, 180-pounder from Orlando (Fla.) Boone High has rushed for 76 yards on 21 carries and two touchdowns, plus five receptions for 44 and a score this season. The third-string running back beat out Brandon Barnes during fall camp, and moved up to second string when fifth-year senior Jamelle Eugene went down with a minor knee injury earlier this season.

Washington filled in for Eugene and combined for 63 yards and three touchdowns against Murray State on Sept. 12. He also had 41 yards of combined offense in the win over Gardner-Webb on Sept. 19. The former three-star Rivals.com recruit hasn't played running back since that game, but did make a contribution on special teams against Boston College.

Washington filled in for the injured T.J. Graham on kickoff returns, and had five for 124 yards and a long of 48. He averaged 24.8 yards per kickoff return. Washington has six returns for 132 yards on the season.

Redshirt freshman Barnes will move into the third-string running back role behind starter Toney Baker and Eugene. Barnes has rushed for 79 yards on 25 carries and a touchdown, plus has three catches for 33.

Junior running back Curtis Underwood, last year's third-string running back, is planning on redshirting this season.

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