The cautionary tale of Corey Washington

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- The NFL Draft is creeping up quickly, there's a lot of talk about the big names like Jadeveon Clowney and Sammy Watkins. But Corey Washington could easily have been a cautionary tale for everyone.

Washington has an NFL talent that could have been sidelined for good, but instead of folding, Washington fought back from North Charleston High School, to junior college, then to Newberry College.

Now Washington is hoping to hear his name called.

"Really excited to see the Washingtons on Saturday, Tony Washington from App State and Corey Washington from Newberry at the wide receiver position. Those guys really stood out this week.," said Todd McShay.

From the field at Attoway-Hensihon to the NFL, that's Corey Washington's reality.

It's overwhelming. It's a dream come true. Some kids go to a small school and think their NFL chances wouldn't be great, but I just stayed with my coaches, stayed prayed up, and that God up there is an amazing God," said Washington.

As a junior, Washington spent his time on the sidelines, academically ineligible but still a water boy and a ball boy. His senior year though, he was back on the field, where things changed and he was lighting up the scoreboard for North Charleston.

The rest is history.

"My junior year I almost gave up, but I had family behind me. So I stick with it, my grades and on the field. Now, my dream is becoming a reality," he said.

But the bright lights of the NFL are new to the former Cougar.

"It's going to be different. Being out here in North Charleston, we had a couple hundred fans. Then going to the NFL, it's hundreds of thousands of fans. It's going to be overwhelming but I can't let it get to me. I just got to play," he said.

Playing is something he's cherished since that lesson learned on the sidelines. He's a success story worth thinking about and his coach saw him teetering so close to the edge.

"I mean, I have butterflies for him and it's a week away from the draft. He put in the work. He did what was asked. I love the growth I've seen, watching him grow from a skinny freshman to the grown man he is now.," said Jimmy Brown.

And Washington has learned a few lessons along the way to make him a smarter, more balanced player.

"It doesn't depend on where you come from, where you grew up. All it takes is hard work and dedication and you can see the dreams I'm going to see next week," Washington said.

But the Lowcountry knows where Washington came from. Where he's go is still up in the air, though.