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Take Two: Has Florida taken the lead for 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

One of the biggest visitors at Florida this weekend was five-star tight end Darnell Washington, who traveled all the way from Las Vegas Desert Pines to experience a weekend in Gainesville.

The trip went great for the 6-foot-7, 255-pound prospect, who’s ranked as the second-best tight end in the class behind Arik Gilbert.

The Gators beat No. 7 Auburn, The Swamp was rocking all game and Florida threw the ball often to tight end Kyle Pitts, something that was definitely not lost on Washington, who is massive but still athletic enough to make a huge impact down the field.

His coach, David Hill, called the trip “awesome.”

With Alabama emerging more for Gilbert, it appears that Georgia could now be tough to beat for Washington as the tight end dominoes fall in this class. But the weekend trip to Florida definitely moved the Gators way up Washington’s list.

He is expected to visit Alabama for the LSU game in early November. Miami could receive a visit. Other trips are possible as well.

Has Florida done enough to emerge as the front-runner for Washington or does Georgia still have an edge in his recruitment?

FIRST TAKE: COREY BENDER, GATORSTERRITORY.COM

“Florida definitely made a strong impression and they’re one of the schools that utilize the tight end position. They have multiple tight ends on the field a lot of the time. Tight ends coach Larry Scott has been out to Washington’s school in Las Vegas multiple times and they’re really developing a strong relationship.

“However, I still think Georgia holds the lead. It’s such a big high coming off that win, but once everything settles in, I still think Georgia has the edge. Florida is that No. 2 school. They already have Jonathan Odom in the class and he’s a good player, but they would take Washington in a heartbeat and they are recruiting a second tight end for that class.

“Florida is in a good spot and Washington could make a big splash in that offense, but I would still say put them behind Georgia right now.”

SECOND TAKE: MIKE FARRELL, RIVALS.COM

“He was at a great game and a great atmosphere. Georgia is going to get one of these two five-star tight ends and if it’s not going to be Arik Gilbert and he goes to Alabama, then Washington isn’t going to go to ‘Bama and Georgia would get him.

“Florida might be the team that’s left out here, but they really put on a good show, the visit was a great one with the atmosphere and the win, so they definitely have a shot, but I would say Georgia might lead for him.”

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