My grandpa told me growing up, “It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.” And sure, for an undersized kid playing football in Western Pennsylvania, that hoorah spirit empowered me to take on anyone.
But if Desert Pines TE Darnell Washington lined up across from me, I’d end up looking like these unsuspecting fourth graders. After you see this kid’s highlight tape, you’ll understand exactly why every college team wants him and why Washington was dubbed “the Zion Williamson of college football.”
Darnell Washington Recruiting
Listed at 6-foot-7 and 260 pounds, the high school football player in Las Vegas, Nevada was one of the last uncommitted five-star prospects of the 2020 recruiting class. 247Sports ranks Washington as the No. 10 overall player in the country, as well as the No. 1 athlete.
Washington will likely play tight end at the collegiate level, but his power and size make him a perfect crossover candidate to play along the defensive line as well. And just in case, and he also served as Desert Pines’ punter.
As you’d expect, every team in college football wants this young man. Arizona State, Auburn, Clemson, Florida State, LSU, Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio State, Ole Miss, Oregon, Penn State, Texas, and USC were among the schools that offered him scholarships. Many on that list didn’t make the cut, but Washington did take official visits this fall to Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Miami and Tennessee.
With at least 35 offers on the table, the unanimous five-star recruit narrowed his list down to three schools back in August.
Top Three Schools
- Georgia Bulldogs
- Miami Hurricanes
- Tennessee Volunteers
In just his sophomore year, Washington won Nevada’s Class 3A state championship in the shot put, led the Desert Pines football team to a 10-2 record and NIAA state championship, and helped the basketball team — you guessed it — win a state title while he averaged a double-double.
Imagine standing under a basketball hoop and this kid comes running down lane…
At the invite-only camp known as The Opening, Washington clocked a 4.75 40-yard dash, 31.3-inch vertical jump, and his 51-foot power ball toss was the longest ever recorded by 247Sports.
“Athlete” takes on many connotations, but if you want to see how I’d define the word, watch Darnell Washington make kids his age look like they’re 10 year olds.
Darnell Washington Highlights
Washington announced on Twitter that he would delay his commitment date beyond December’s Early Signing Period and plans to announce his college decision during the Under Armour All-American game on January 2, 2020.
Whichever college football program landed Darnell Washington would be getting one of the most intriguing prospects of the last few years, and most likely, a sure-first NFL Draft choice when his time comes.
Darnell Washington Commits to UGA
With a little help from his daughter, Washington announced at the Under Armour All-America Game that he would be committing to the University of Georgia. Washington had previously signed his National Letter of Intent, making him an official Dawg for the 2020 college football season.
This article was originally published December 17, 2019. It was updated following Washington’s live commitment.