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Weekday Update: James Washington on His Legacy by Adding ‘JR.’ to His Jersey



The Weekday Update is PFB’s take on a laid-back conversation with those Oklahoma State guys and gals you just crave a little more information about.

We dive into family, fashion, faith and those other things you might not catch on TV. This week, we have star receiver James Washington (Jr.).

It was so subtle, it’s hard to blame anyone for not noticing it, but it means so much.

Oklahoma State lightning bolt-carrying receiver James Washington came out for the captains’ meeting Thursday in the Cowboys’ season-opener against Tulsa with an unfamiliar title on the nameplate of his jersey.


He said the addition became reality during this past summer when he talked with his mom.

“She told me she wanted me to kinda build my own legacy,” Washington Jr. said. “Apart from my dad.”

Chrysta Washington, his mom, told him she wanted people to remember him for his name, not his dad’s (which is also James). Washington Jr. said his dad has a legacy all his own and said he is extremely proud of the man and father he has been for him.

At the same time though, more than 3,000 receiving yards, 28 touchdowns and a potential first-round grade in the NFL Draft is something to be proud of for yourself.

Thus, “JR.” And Washington Jr. said he wants his legacy to mean something, something honorable like his dad’s.

“I want it to be clean,” he said. “I want people to look at me like, ‘He’s a very respectful guy. He cares about his team, and when he goes to work, he goes to work.’

“That’s what I want to leave.”

When the decision on the addition was made, Washington Jr. first went to his receivers coach Kasey Dunn. He was on board with it.

“He thought it was cool,” Washington Jr. said. “He thought it was a good idea. He talked with my mom on the phone about it, too.”

Soon thereafter, he went to the equipment room, “and they were all for it.”

Growing up in small town Stamford, Texas, like most everybody knows by now, Washington Jr. was already a well-known guy, especially for being such a talented athlete. But in the same vein, people knew his dad as well. So there was confusion from time-to-time on who was talking to who.

With that, Washington Jr. adopted “JJ” as his nickname for “James Jr.” His family and friends in Stamford still call him that, he said.

“My mom would say, ‘James,’ and me and my dad would look at each other like, ‘Who is it?'” Washington Jr. said.

Some people might not like being a Jr., maybe feeling already relegated to your senior’s image by birth. And that’s understandable, but for this Jr., he said it’s nothing but a pleasure.

“I really enjoy for my dad to even want me to be named after him,” Washington Jr. said.

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