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Take Two: Can Bama take lead for five-star TE Darnell Washington?

Darnell Washington
Darnell Washington (Nick Lucero/Rivals.com)

Take Two returns with a daily offering tackling an issue in the college football landscape. Rivals.com national recruiting analyst Adam Gorney lays out the situation and then receives takes from Rivals.com national recruiting director Mike Farrell and an expert from the Rivals.com network of team sites or a regional analyst.

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CLASS OF 2020 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Position | Team | State

CLASS OF 2021 RANKINGS: Rivals100 | Position | Team | State

THE STORYLINE

Darnell Washington is one of the most physically-impressive prospects to come along during the Rivals era. A 6-foot-7, 255-pound tight end who can move and make plays, he has the potential to be special.

He will also be at Alabama this weekend on an official visit.

The Las Vegas Desert Pines standout is high on Georgia, Tennessee, Miami and some other programs along with the Crimson Tide. Alabama missed out on five-star tight end Arik Gilbert – he surprisingly committed to LSU last month – and has renewed focus on getting Washington in this recruiting class.

The Bulldogs are considered the frontrunner for Washington and have been for some time, but there is also another factor in play that needs to be considered: Georgia has shown no interest in throwing to tight ends in recent years, even with a new offensive coordinator this season.

That could have been one factor that scared off Gilbert. For Washington, it doesn’t seem to be as big a concern as Georgia still looks great in his recruitment.

Can Alabama sway the five-star tight end this weekend and close the gap – or even possibly take the lead in his recruitment?

FIRST TAKE: ANDREW BONE, BAMAINSIDER.COM

“Heading into the weekend, I would say Georgia sits in the best position. If Gilbert would have jumped on board, Alabama probably would have shut down tight end recruiting. With Washington still out there, they are bringing him in for an official visit, and see where things go.

“Alabama will probably say they haven’t had a big pass-catching tight end since Irv Smith but they have a plethora of elite wide receivers. They may lose Jerry Jeudy, Henry Ruggs and DeVonta Smith after this season. They’re going to get the ball to their playmakers and that’s what they’re really going to sell him on.”

SECOND TAKE: MIKE FARRELL, RIVALS.COM

“He could be influenced by that atmosphere. If Alabama comes out and wins, its first-string tight end is hurt, but if the Crimson Tide use the tight end in the offense and they win, then you can see Alabama taking the lead for him.

“Right now he seems to have the strongest relationship with Georgia. That’s still the team to beat. A 6-foot-7 kid who can run, who’s just impossible for anybody to cover, that’s what he brings to the table – a mismatch weapon for anybody and that’s why these SEC teams are coveting him so much.”

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