Four-star DT Shone Washington commits to LSU
Shone Washington has emerged as one of the most sought-after defensive lineman in the South Central region this offseason, but it didn't take long for the massive 2022 tackle to figure out where he'd be taking his talents.
Washington, a four-star defensive tackle from New Orleans (La.) Warren Easton, gave a commitment to LSU on Wednesday, just five months removed from landing an offer from Coach Ed Orgeron during an on-campus visit. Schools like Alabama, Georgia, Texas, Texas A&M, Florida, Southern California and Ole Miss had also offered the 6-foot-5, 300-pounder.
With his summertime pledge, Washington became the first defensive tackle to join LSU's 2022 recruiting class, which is now up to six total commitments and maintains its stranglehold on the No. 1 spot in the country. Other in-state commitments in the Tigers' haul include fellow four-star quarterback Walker Howard and wide receiver Decoldest Crawford.
LSU had been trending with the New Orleans area native for months since pulling in the offer thanks in part of the combination of Oregon, area recruiter Mickey Joseph and defensive line coach Bill Johnson.
"Only one school has been really consistent and that's LSU," Washington told Rivals in June. "I talk to them every Monday. We've been building a relationship while we're off. They let me know they want me to stay home and there are some great coaches over there. I watched all their games growing up. It means a lot (to have that relationship) because there are hundreds of kids they can be talking to, but they take their time out to talk to me."
"I love their energy. They keep their energy up while we're on the phone. They always want me to smile when we're talking," he added.
IN HIS OWN WORDS
"I love game-days in Baton Rouge. It's just different in Tiger Stadium. I want to win a national championship and play on Sundays, and I think LSU can help me do that. It feels great because LSU has always been my dream school and I'll still be close to home so my family will be able to come to all my games."
"(Our weekly Monday meetings) allowed us to build a relationship. We’re close enough to say we’re family now. Coach (Bill) Johnson talks to me about staying focused and working hard. Coach Mickey (Joseph) keeps it real with me we talk about life. Coach O is just always fired up. I went to a practice before CoVid-19 (in March) and Coach O was really getting on the D-Line. It wasn’t about TV and stuff; he was really coaching."
"It was a hard decision because I really like Coach (Deke) Adams at Ole Miss and all of his players I spoke to had really good things to say. He gave me my first SEC offer at Mississippi State, too. My big bro Jeff Simmons told me the impact Coach Adams had on his life and what type of guy he was. Coach Kwahn Drake at Kansas ... if he at another school, I would love playing for him. I love his energy and he always gives me feedback on my game and what I need to get better (at) on and off the field. He's from New Orleans and grew up not too far from me, so he knows the things we go through. Alabama and Florida were also close, but I couldn't visit. I had to go with my heart."
"I want to major in business and I'm interested in. In football, I want to be the best 3-technique in college (football) and win a natty for my school, win the Outland and Nagurski trophies and be a first-round pick."
"My coaches always tell us to go where they want you and go where you can play. I'm the best, so I want to be a Tiger. I'm going to still visit some campuses and games with my brothers, if we can this season, but I'm not sure we can with CoVid-19."
Washington missed the 2019 season due to LHSAA rules after the massive 2022 defensive tackle transferred out of Easton to John Ehret and then back to Easton prior to the season. As a freshman, Washington was a part of the Easton squad that advanced to the Class 4A state championship game. He played in three varsity game that season, amassing eight tackles, including three for loss and four of the solo variety, in addition to one sack.
Washington boasts daunting size at 6-foot-5 and 300 pounds even, but most importantly, he's a prospect that even without a sophomore season has continued to make strides in his game with effective individualized positional coaching. He is just beginning to tap his potential and the results thus far have been very promising. His best football is certainly ahead of him.
In his freshman film, Washington plays all over the defensive line for Easton -- as a 4- and 5-technique on the edge and inside as a tackle, which is where he projects in LSU's four-man front. Washington is a disruptive presence that loves to battle in the trenches and came up with his fair share of plays behind the line of scrimmage and using his athleticism to get down the line of scrimmage in a hurry.
Washington possesses enough natural upper-body strength is consistently push back offensive linemen and generate pressure on any given play. He creates consistent pressure and is slowly introducing new pass-rush moves to his arsenal to improve his ability to to win in 1-on-1 battles. His innate power allows to dispose of blockers eventually and pursue the ball-carrier.
Washington has been able to steadily improve his game without playing under the lights in nearly two years. He's improved his stamina and reshaped his frame and devoted a good chunk of time to the weight room to continue to add more strength to his game. He's also slowly utilizing a long arm and swim move to his repertoire.
Moving forward, Washington will need to continue to get better at winning 1-on-1s and shedding blockers to get to the ball, and eventually, will have to contend with double-teams and being the focal point of blockers. Hand placement needs some adjustment and so does finishing while in pursuit of the quarterback. However, Washington boasts tremendous upside with his special combination of size, athleticism and natural power. We expect Washington to continue to elevate his game during his junior and senior campaigns.