No. 118: Adolphus Washington, DE, Ohio State
2011 Stats: 90 tackles, 23.5 sacks (Taft HS, Cincinnati, OH)
Quick, name the best pass-rusher on Ohio State's roster. If you said Adolphus Washington, a 5-star DE prospect from the newest recruiting class, you're wrong... but wait a few months for him to get into town first.
Washington has freakish athleticism as a 6'5" weak-side DE, and his pursuit and pass-rush skills are very good right now. Give him four more years to develop (it's extremely unlikely he'll be at OSU for five), and there's no telling how high his stock can and will climb.
As mentioned before, Washington is coming into 2012 as the truest of true freshmen; unlike a handful of his 2011 classmates, Washington is not yet on campus, so he's not getting the added benefit of spring practice time that early enrollees did.
This will likely limit him to situational availability early on in the season ("OK, Adolphus. On this play, your assignment is to kill the quarterback." "So the same as every play you put me in?" "Yes.").
Additionally, Washington's listed weight is anywhere from 230 to 251 pounds, according to various recruiting services. He's going to need it at a minimum of 250 when he gets into camp. Otherwise, at 6'5", he's just not going to be where Urban Meyer needs him, size-wise.
It needs to be good weight, of course, and the frame's there, but offensive linemen dream of trucking players who can barely hit 240 pounds.
Washington probably won't redshirt. He certainly shouldn't. John Simon is a fixture at the starting weak-side DE, but he's valuable enough that Urban Meyer can't risk overworking him over the course of the year. Expect the depth to be tested early on in the season, especially if the games are laughers.
That's going to mean playing time for Washington, and he's valuable enough as a pure pass-rusher that he could easily start seeing third-down work if he impresses at practice. He's got the physical ability to play now. He's got the opportunity to log at least five or six sacks even in the limited time he sees.
That's probably more of a ceiling than a baseline, but he should get close to that and about 20 tackles as he prepares to step into Simon's role in 2013.