Dominating as a sophomore, Keller (Texas) Fossil Ridge's 2008 defensive end R.J. Washington is already on the board with an offer and jaw-dropping stats that should usher in several others very soon.
As a sophomore, Washington recorded a school-record 10 sacks, earned sophomore of the year for his district, and just two weeks ago picked up his first scholarship offer. For the talented Washington, that's not enough. He's looking to break those stats and push his offer-count up very high by the end of this year.
"I've got six sacks right now, so I'm on pace to do better than last year," Washington said. "Of course everyone is going to say that you want to go to state, but right now, I'm just looking to do my job and get sacks. If I happen to get all-state honors, that would be cool too."
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Washington definitely has the bloodlines to be a great defensive end at the next level. His father, Russell Washington, was an all-conference linebacker for SMU between 1978 and 1982 on the same team as Eric Dickerson.
The younger Washington says that he tells his dad that he's going to be better.
"I'm taller and faster than him, but he doesn't agree," Washington said with a laugh. "He still thinks he's a better player than me and he can think that all he wants to. In all honesty, we talk about it all the time and he's helped me a lot."
The first scholarship offer for Washington came from Nebraska. While his mailbox is also full of letters from schools such as Oklahoma, Texas, Texas A&M, TCU, Ole Miss, LSU, Oklahoma State, and several others, he says that he's starting to do some research on the interested programs.
"I was pretty excited about the first offer," Washington said. "I looked them up and they have one of the top defensive lines in the country. Plus, they play teams that are close to home, so it's not like I'd be real far away."
Location looks to be a big factor for the talented prospect. Washington says that he'd like to be somewhere that he can make a name for himself but also not be half way across the country away from friends and family.
"I don't want to go to college along where I don't know anyone," Washington said. "I still want to see what's best for me though. If I can go with someone I know, that would be good for me."
His teammate, 2007 defensive tackle prospect Chris Perry, has committed to Miami but is looking around at several schools. Washington and Perry have both talked about possibly going somewhere together.
Washington also returned from the TCU-Texas Tech game and says that he liked what he saw from the Horned Frogs.
"TCU's defense is pretty nice," he said. "They like hard-hitters there. I do that, but I like getting sacks. I don't care if I can't get one tackle, if I can deliver a big hit on the quarterback, then my goal is achieved."
As for when he'd like to make a decision, though quite a ways away, Washington says that he's going to wait a long time but won't do it early either.
"I'm kind of in between on that," he said. "I don't want to commit next month, but I probably won't wait until the very end either."