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5-Star TE Recruit Darnell Washington Commits to Georgia over Alabama, More

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJanuary 3, 2020

Photo Credit: 247Sports

Tight end Darnell Washington, who also owns experience as a defensive end, announced Thursday at the 2020 Under Armour All-America Game he's decided to play college football at Georgia.

Tom VanHaaren @TomVH

Five-star tight end Darnell Washington announced his commitment to Georgia with his daughter’s onesie. Washington is already signed, adds to the Dawgs top five class https://t.co/JzXx89J8Tn

Washington is a 5-star prospect and the No. 10 overall player in the 2020 recruiting class, according to 247Sports' composite rankings. The versatile recruit is ranked as the No. 1 athlete in the class and the best prospect from the state of Nevada.

The key questions over the next four years will be how to maximize his impact and whether that could include playing on both sides of the ball.

In June 2018, Washington explained to Von Lozon of Maize n Brew he'd told the Michigan coaching staff tight end was his position of choice but added he'd have "no problem" playing both offense and defense.

Whether that's a realistic long-term goal is unclear. Tight end and defensive line are two physically demanding positions, and trying to develop into an elite pass-rusher in an era where they're a critical element of any defense likely wouldn't leave much time for mastering an offensive playbook.

So it's a lot different than an athlete prospect coming in with the goal of serving as a dime corner, third-down running back and return specialist.

That said, Washington's 6'7 ½", 261-pound frame combined with his athleticism gives him the tools necessary to become a key contributor at either position over time.

While his upside warranted a 5-star rating, it could take a little while before he's ready to truly shine at the collegiate level for the Dawgs, especially given the positional uncertainty. He'll probably be more of a depth asset over his first season or two.

After that, his role will become more clear and he should be a key piece of the puzzle for head coach Kirby Smart and UGA, regardless of position.

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