It took less than a minute for Malik Washington to make his presence known.
By the third play of Spalding’s initial drive in its Friday night battle against Pallotti, Washington already had his team in prime field position just outside the red zone. The quarterback stood tall in the pocket, methodically surveying the defense before firing a rocket to the back of the end zone for a 22-yard touchdown.
That sequence replayed itself multiple times throughout the first half. Early in the second quarter, Washington lobbed a pass down the left sideline for a 40-yard touchdown as Spalding took a 27-point lead.
He repeatedly carved up the Pallotti defense with a mixture of quick throws and deep balls, recording three touchdown passes to give the Cavaliers a 41-point lead.
Following a 30-yard touchdown pass with three minutes to go in the second quarter, Kyle Schmitt relieved his star quarterback in an eventual 62-0 Spalding massacre of Pallotti.
“We liked some matchups that we had in the seam and on the outside,” Washington said. “We were working all week so we wanted to go out and execute.”
Despite playing just a half, Washington displayed the arm talent, accuracy and 6-foot-4 frame that explains why so many Power Five programs are enamored with his potential.
Maryland is one of those programs.
Washington is a top priority for the Terps, who face uncertainty at quarterback after Taulia Tagovailoa’s departure next season. Washington would compete with 2024 three-star commit Khristian Martin and any other transfers brought in.
Penn State and Oregon are among the other programs recruiting Washington. Getting him to stay home won’t be easy, but that’s where recruiting efforts from friends and teammates can benefit.
Washington was in attendance for Maryland’s win over Virginia. He spent time with other Terps targets and with 2024 commits Keyshawn Flowers and Ryan Howerton.
“Really good environment, electric in there,” Washington said. “They really showed out with their fans, students, all of that.”
— “Mountain” Howerton 4⭐️ (@RyanHowerton78) September 16, 2023
Washington said he and Flowers, current teammates at Spalding, frequently talk about the possibility of teaming up in College Park. Flowers makes sure to keep the Terps a topic of discussion when the two are together.
Howerton, Pallotti’s right tackle and the class’ most outspoken recruiter on social media, is also hoping to keep the four-star signal caller home.
“[Howerton’s] trying to get me up there,” Washington said. “He’s been doing his job as a recruiter. I was talking to him during the game, stuff like that, telling him I’ll see him around.”
Washington was in College Park for the Terps’ Saturday matchup against Indiana. He hasn’t planned an official visit date but hopes to do so at some point.
The Terps do as well. Keeping Washington in state is a priority for Michael Locksley, a coach who’s benefitted from stability at quarterback for much of his tenure and will be searching for it again after this season.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this story’s subheading misspelled Keyshawn Flowers’ name. This story has been updated.