Maple Heights High School is the Cleveland area's surprise team this year with a 5-0 record and wins over Shaw and Avon Lake. 2011 prospect Shaquille Washington is a big reason for that. The shifty wide receiver prospect is playing quarterback for the Mustangs this year. He has passed for thirteen touchdowns and rushed for six more. He is already hearing from several major programs.
"Coach [Taver] Johnson at Ohio State is recruiting me hard," Washington said. "Cincinnati has been recruiting me too. I have been getting letters from Georgia and Illinois. Bowling Green just contacted me and said they have been to one of my games and will be recruiting me hard."
As for schools that stand out at this point, Washington made it clear that he grew up an Ohio State fan, and enjoyed a trip to Georgia this summer with the Raw Talent squad from Ohio.
"I had a good camp there," Washington said. "Coach Mark Richt told me he would be recruiting me, and I have been getting letters from Georgia ever since. Seeing that atmosphere was awesome. Recently, I have not been in contact with the coaches directly."
Washington visited Ohio State for the Illinois game.
"Going to that game, it showed me what it is like to be a Buckeye," Washington said. "It was a live environment. Seeing how the fans cheer for the players, and me being from Ohio, it made the event that much better. It was great, other than the rain. I have friends there that are Glenville guys. Ohio State looks great to me.
Washington said he has been in constant contact with Coach Johnson.
"We have been emailing daily," Washington said. "Nothing too crucial, he just wants to get some film, and see how things are going and staying in touch."
Michigan is also on Washington list of schools.
"Michigan has been inviting me to come see games," Washington said. "I like that. I made it up to the Western Michigan game with Doran Grant. It was a nice environment. It looks like that can be a great place to play too."
"I feel like I can be one of the explosive players in college football," Washington said. "Right now, I am not playing special teams, because of my quarterback responsibilities, but I know in college I can be a great college player, and on offense I have great hands, speed, and agility. I can play wide receiver."
Washington proved that at the Champaign (Ill.) NIKE camp in June. Though he is known for his speed and quickness, Washington displayed great hands and route running skills at the event. He was one of the top 2011 prospects in attendance.
"I am pretty much looking for program stability, a contender every year, not just one year every once awhile. I am looking for a school that will treat me right, has a great education, and a program that meets what I want to major in. I like schools that have a good tradition, and also schools that will use me correctly."
Washington said he is not committed to a specific course of study at this time, but he is interested in sports communications.