Every year, a prospect or two, becomes the unofficial recruiting coordinator(s) of their recruiting class. These prospects are charged with being the most active in meeting potential prospects, keeping up with their affairs, reporting to coaches any new insight and ultimately, help keep prospects interested in a team. Previous unofficial recruiting coordinators have been Trey Burton, Matt Jones, Jeff Driskel, Tim Tebow, Andre Caldwell, and a host of others. For the class of 2013, the recruiting coordinator was without a doubt Nick Washington.
Washington, a 6-foot-0, 183-pound safety from Jacksonville, was at nearly every event the Gators hosted, attended every Gators home game, was extremely active on social media websites, and was relentless in his efforts to help reel in top prospects. The Army All-American was integral in the recruitment of four-star wide receiver Ahmad Fulwood and offensive lineman Trenton Brown, and almost helped pull a coup-d’état with five-stars DeMarcus Walker and Jalen Ramsey.
However, it isn’t just his recruiting abilities that make Nick Washington a special player, the Army All-American and “The Opening” participant, Washington is a stellar prospect that can play free safety or cornerback at the next level.
When you look at Washington’s tape you notice that he has great size already. He is long with a solid frame that could still add 15 more pounds, while he already has a good baseline from his weightlifting in high school. With that size, Washington was able to hit well on tackles, and coupling with his decent vertical jump, the ability to get quite a few interceptions. He plays a little taller than he is and shouldn’t have trouble covering most receivers in a 1-on-1 coverage scheme.
Washington is a fast player on the field. He has a great backpedal, quick acceleration and closes quickly. On tape, Washington is best at zone pass support. Washington has great range because of his speed and his intelligence in reading the play. Being able to cover as a safety is just as much about football IQ, as it is about physical skills, both of which Washington has a high ceiling. At the next level, you won’t see Washington getting beat over the top too often.
Washington could use a lot of work on his hip movement, which is why he is better at zone support. His hips play stiff and Washington is not extremely fluid when he needs to make quick adjustments in his hips. His hips are a little cause of concern, although with good coaching, Washington should improve.
Nick Washington will likely play most of his career as a nickel back or free safety, but will probably be a special teams player for at least his first year. He could be a great player for the Gators, unfortunately he is competing at one of the deepest positions the Gators have.