Entering the 2013 football season, The Ohio State starting defensive line will have many new faces on it. In fact, every starter from last year’s line either graduated or is off to the NFL. However, Urban Meyer has pulled two enormous D-line hauls in his first two recruiting classes, and the talent at that position is downright scary.
One name to take note of is Adolphus Washington, a defensive end who can overpower offensive tackles and even slide inside to stop the run. Wherever he ends up in 2013, Washington has All-American potential and his journey to the top starts today when spring practice kicks off.
As a true freshman last season, Adolphus came in at 6’3" 289 pounds. At that size, he’s athletic enough to be successful anywhere he lines up on the defensive line. In a limited role in 2012, Washington recorded nine total tackles, three of them being sacks.
What really impressed though, was how well Washington held up against Michigan’s Taylor Lewan. Giving Lewan fits when the opportunity was presented, Washington was able to pressure Devin Gardner and even gain a sack.
What does this mean? Well for starters, Mel Kiper Jr. had Lewan pegged as the second-best offensive tackle in the nation. Barring an insane scenario, that means he would’ve likely been a first-round draft pick if he had chosen not to return to school for his senior season. Also, it’s worth adding that Jadeveon Clowney was kept in check by Lewan when the Wolverines and Gamecocks met in the Outback Bowl.
Looking back at Ohio State and Michigan’s November 24th game, the nation saw a true freshman hold his own against a veteran, projected first-round offensive tackle at the time...and that was in limited action.
Now with a full offseason of college football strength training, can you imagine where Adolphus Washington can potentially be at when fall camp rolls around? We’re talking about a monster in the making.
With his size, Washington resembles past Buckeye great Cameron Heyward. Though it’s extremely high praise for such an inexperienced player at this point in his career, his play on the defensive line could start to resemble what Cam Heyward did when he was a Buckeye. Cam was tough and big enough to clog holes when opponents ran the ball, but also fast enough to be turned lose at defensive end in passing situations.
Only time will tell if the former 5-star recruit (via Scout.com) will live up to his hype at the collegiate level. Early in his career, the signs point to yes, and this season will go a long way in telling what kind of player Washington will be.
With spring practice kicking off today, Adolphus Washington isn’t nearly a household name yet. As the season moves along, it would be wise to start paying attention to No. 92 for the Buckeyes as he sets out to become one of the best in a long list of Buckeye greats.