The SEC Blog will be counting down the top 150 players in the SEC every day, concluding on Aug. 30 at the start of the college football regular season.
No. 98: Cornelius Washington, No. 83, Georgia, Defensive End
2011 stats: 17 tackles, six tackles for loss, five sacks
Washington didn't have a lot of tackles last season, but he made them count. The rising senior had a nose for the backfield in 2011, with 35 percent of his stops coming behind the line of scrimmage. He's expected to be a key contributor at defensive end this season in Todd Grantham's 3-4 scheme.
He is a veteran defender that has appeared in 37 games during his three-year career in Athens.
Washington is learning a new position this year. Grantham moved he and Ray Drew to defensive end to provide more depth at the position. The transition is something that he is handling well, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“I’m not going to say it’s the easiest thing in the world because it’s not," Washington told the AJC. "But I’m just trying to get used to it, trying to develop my skills at the different spots.”
He's going to be part of a rotation with Abry Jones, Garrison Smith and fellow linebacker-turned-defensive end Ray Drew. Expect Washington to start, but his real contribution will be due to the fact that he is part of a bigger rotation on the defensive line. Depth is key on the defensive line, and his size and strength should be able to benefit the defensive line as a whole.