Kingjack Washington, Missouri State University’s starting tailback last season, will sit out the 2009 season as he works to restore his academic eligibility and pursue his degree in sociology. Washington (5-10, 177, Jr., Owasso, Okla.) could return to the team in 2010 with the potential of two remaining years of eligibility.
Washington will be able to practice and condition this season with the Bears, but will not play. Washington rushed for a team-best 641 yards with three touchdowns as a sophomore last season. As a true freshman in 2007, he compiled 674 rushing yards with five touchdowns while being named to the Missouri Valley Football Conference All-Newcomer team.
Junior Stephen Johnston, who was second on the squad in rushing last season, looks like the team’s probable starting running back. He and fellow returnees Miguel Warren and Jonathan Davis will likely shoulder much of the Missouri State rushing load, along with versatile quarterback Cody Kirby who scored nine rushing touchdowns a season ago while accumulating 213 yards on the ground.
Allen’s fourth season as the Missouri State head coach gets underway on September 5 when his Bears open the season against the University of Arkansas in a game to be played in Little Rock.