The Miami Hurricanes coaching staff knows they need to bolster the talent level on the offensive line. New line coach Butch Barry has been hard at work recruiting the big guys to Coral Gables, FL. The trio of committed linemen are Jalen Rivers, Chris Washington, and Antonio Smith.
Part 1: Jalen Rivers (click here)
Now, let’s take a look at Chris Washington.
Chris Washington has committed to Miami out of Overton High School in Nashville, TN. The three-star prospect is six-foot-seven, 269 pounds per 247 Sports which puts him on the light side but definitely has the length and body to grow into being a 300 pound tackle.
Below- Washington shows toughness and tenacity on many highlight clips
Strengths: I like that Chris Washington goes out and doesn’t shy away from contact. A lot of guys that are significantly larger than the typical high school defender don’t go looking for contact. However, Washington seeks linebackers out and gets his hands on multiple people on many plays. He also has great vision to find defenders in space, even after helping on combo blocks.
Below- Again, he seeks contact and pancakes his man.
Below- Washington’s pass protection game needs improvement.
Weaknesses: His pass protection game leaves a lot to be desired. There doesn’t seem to be hardly any footwork taught, he has no punch behind him, and here he gets pushed into the QB on his own highlight tape (I hate most of the tapes kids put together, but it’s not their fault).
But is this something that can be taught? Most definitely. Because he has legit length and he’s obviously a good athlete he can be taught whatever pass pro method Coach Barry uses (kick-slide or drive-catch). When he does jab and mirror you can tell he has a good solid base and can move his feet well which are the parts that are most difficult to teach once you’re up at the next level. Some level of raw athleticism is needed as a baseline for success.
Below- Again, not sure how this makes his highlight tape. High hands and no push.
Reasons to be excited: The biggest reasons to be excited are that he’s lean and aggressive. Coach Barry seems to be high on recruiting basketball player looking kids with balance and good footwork over large oafish characters who just lean on defenders.
Below- Another pancake block from Mr. Washington.
Unlike Jalen Rivers, Chris Washington might be a redshirt guy but that’s okay. It’s good to stagger some of your recruits when you bring in 3-4 from the same position in a recruiting class. If Navaughn Donaldson, DJ Scaife, Cleveland Reed, Zion Nelson and Corey Gaynor all pan out Miami can afford to redshirt Washington in 2020 while Rivers gets playing time as a true freshman.