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John David Washington’s Life After Football

by Jeremy Bowen

Chances are that you don’t know the name John David Washington unless you are such a huge Denzel Washington fan; and you know the names of his family members. John David Washington is the film star’s son. Well he is coming out his father’s shadow and starting an acting career of his own.

 

John first made his acting debut at the age of nine when he appeared in the movie Malcolm X, as a student in a classroom in Harlem. His father had the main role in the movie. John David didn’t have any other acting appearances for quite some time. He wanted to pursue his career in sports.

 

John David Washington attended Campbell Hall School in Los Angeles where he lettered in football, basketball, and track. He then attended D2 Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia where he played football. There, he set a single season school record with 1,198 yards with a 5.6-yard average and nine touchdowns. He also holds the school record for most yards in a single game with 242 and career rushing yards with 3,699.

Washington carrying the ball against the Indianapolis Colts in the preseason of 2006.

Washington carrying the ball against the Indianapolis Colts in the preseason of 2006.

Washington then went undrafted in 2006 and was signed to the St. Louis Rams as an undrafted free agent. He was released on August 31st of that year but was signed to the practice squad three years later. He spent the 2006 and 2007 seasons on the Rams practice squad.

John David Washington catching a pass at Rams training camp in 2006.

John David Washington catching a pass at Rams training camp in 2006.

 

Later on in the 2007 offseason, Washington anticipated he wouldn’t make the team because the Rams had drafted a running back in the second round of the 2007 NFL Draft. So Washington signed with the Hamburg Sea Devils of NFL Europa in the 2007 offseason. He spent one season with them, as NFL Europa would cease to exist after 2007.

John David Washington, NFL Europe team Hamburg Sea Devils celebrate their Fan Day at the Trab-Arena Featuring: John David Washington, Where: Hamburg, Germany When: 09 Apr 2007 Credit: J. Carstensen / WENN

John David Washington with
NFL Europe team Hamburg Sea Devils celebrate their Fan Day at the Trab-Arena.

John David Washington didn’t play football anywhere in 2008 but in 2009; Washington was drafted by the California Redwoods (who later became the Sacramento Mountain Lions) of the UFL (United Football League). Washington played with the Mountain Lions from 2009 to 2012 when the league folded.

John David Washington with his father, Denzel before a game with the Sacramento Mountain Lions.

John David Washington with his father, Denzel before a game with the Sacramento Mountain Lions.

Washington then hung up the cleats, at least professionally wise. He then co-produced the movie Book of Eli in 2010. Washington then went on a hiatus of acting for awhile. But then early in 2015, promos came on television for a new show on HBO called Ballers. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson helped produce and make the show come alive; he also is one of the main actors on the show. John David Washington stars on the show as “Ricky Jerret”, an NFL player who broke numerous records with the Green Bay Packers but failed to behave off of the field and found himself released after getting into a fistfight at a club. Jerrett then got a chance to play for the Miami Dolphins, as his agent is good friends with the Dolphins owner and Spencer Strasmore (The Rock’s character) who used to play with the Dolphins and convinced the owner to sign Jerret. I don’t want to spoil too much for those who haven’t watched but the show is great for anyone who loves football and particularly likes to see what happens behind the scenes with agents, money, partying, locker room behavior, etc. John David Washington does a great job portraying his character Ricky Jerret on the show. Ballers is on HBO and has new episodes come out on Sundays at 9:00pm CT. Tune in!

John David Washington as 'Ricky Jerret' with Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson as Spencer Strasmore during a scene of Ballers.

John David Washington as ‘Ricky Jerret’ with Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson as Spencer Strasmore during a scene of Ballers.

 

On Sunday, July 19th, the Rams tweeted pictures of Washington back when he was with the team in 2006 and said “Shoutout to former Rams running back John David Washington aka Ricky Jerret. #BallersHBO.” Dwayne Johnson the retweeted the tweet and said “Very proud of my bro JD. He’s killin’ his role on our show. #Family #BALLERS”

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