Gators get five-star safety Washington
February, 18, 2012
By Derek Tyson | ESPN.com
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- The Florida Gators continued their hot streak in recruiting on Saturday, as five-star safety prospect Nick Washington (Jacksonville, Fla./Trinity Christian) committed to the Gators while on an unofficial visit to Florida for its junior day.
Tom Hauck for ESPN.comFive-star DB Nick Washington is Florida's seventh 2013 commit and third of the day.
The 6-foot, 185-pound ESPNU 150 Watch List prospect said that after visiting Alabama, Auburn, South Carolina, Clemson, Florida State, Georgia and Georgia Tech this offseason he realized Florida is where he wants to be.
"Florida has always been the school I wanted to play for," Washington said. "I always watched them when I was young, and I just feel like this is the place for me. I've visited every school that I had in my top schools, and I definitely feel like Florida is the one for me."
Washington said his relationship with Florida defensive backs coach Travaris Robinson also played a role in his decision to commit to the Gators.
"I have a great relationship with coach T-Rob, and they have a good atmosphere, and they have a family-based team," Washington said. "They play a lot of DBs. They have a good campus. It's just everything about them."
Washington plays running back, safety and cornerback for his high school team. He said Florida is recruiting him primarily as a safety.
"Coach T-Rob said they are recruiting me as a safety, but I will play corner as well," Washington said.
Guss Scott, an assistant coach at Trinity and once a standout safety at Florida (2000-03), said Washington is talented and intelligent enough to play both positions at Florida.
"I think he's one of the smartest kids I've ever coached," Scott said. "One thing you know about a lot of kids, when they get to the next level the mental part is a problem. But he's one of the smartest kids probably in his age group. He's a guy that can recognize formations and do everything. That's his biggest plus, and he's a disciplined kid. He's a great kid to coach."
Scott thinks Washington will end up at corner on the next level.
"I think it depends on the scheme," he said, "but he can be a good man-to-man corner. I see him mainly as a corner right now."
Washington is also a top baseball prospect and is planning to play both sports for the Gators. Head football coach Will Muschamp and head baseball coach Kevin O'Sullivan have both given their blessing to Washington to pursue both sports.
"They said they are totally open with it," Washington said. "They don't mind at all as long as I keep my grades at a certain level."
That doesn't worry Washington, who carries a 3.4 GPA and will take SAT next month. He said Florida is getting a player who will work hard once he gets on campus.
"I have speed, I make good tackles, and I have good cover skills," he said. "I will definitely play my heart out at whatever position I'm at."
ESPN.com recruiting reporter Derek Tyson can be reached by email at DerekTysonESPN@gmail.com or you can follow him on Twitter at DerekTysonESPN.