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Thursday, August 9, 2012
Countdown to kickoff: 23

By Alex Scarborough

From now until kickoff in Arlington, Texas, we'll be counting down the days before Alabama and Michigan get the season started. Today, we move to No. 23 and what it means to UA football. See all the previous editions here.

No. 23 Jabriel Washington didn't come to Tuscaloosa, Ala., with the hype of some of his fellow true freshmen in 2011, but that doesn't mean the Tennessee native isn't ready to make an impact in his second year at the Capstone.

Washington was listed as the No. 29 athlete in the ESPN rankings in 2011, and was slotted to play defensive back for the Crimson Tide. As a 5-foot-11, 165-pound freshman, he was one of the lightest players on the team. Only fellow defensive back Sam Kearns weighed less. Not coincidentally, Washington was redshirted and has put on some weight -- 17 pounds, according to the UA media guide.

Coach Nick Saban had this to say about Washington's place on the team at SEC media days in Hoover, Ala., last month:

"Jabriel has done a good job of developing, gotten bigger and stronger, had a really good spring," Saban said. "He's competing for a role at the cornerback position, maybe someone who can contribute at special teams and be a backup at corner."