"Right now I am looking at Miami, Oklahoma, USC, Nebraska, Texas Tech, and Florida as my front-runners," said Destrehan, La., defensive tackle Chaz Washington (6-4, 300, 4.9). He claims over 26 offers.
"Miami is on the top of my list because of coach (Larry) Coker. He's a great guy. I also like their graduation rate, and the chance that I can come in and possibly play right away caught my attention. I mean, playing for the Miami Hurricanes is a huge step up for a high school ball player. Coach Curtis Johnson (wide receivers) has been calling a lot and coach Coker also takes the time to touch bases with me.
"Miami has a lot of respect in the classroom as well," he said. "They are a private university, which means you can get a good education. I would like the opportunity to be in a classroom where I can talk with the professors and be in a smaller classroom setting. I saw a presentation on the university recently and it said they only have about 28 people in an average class, which is great for the one-on-one attention that I am looking for.
"I am looking at them to get a Business degree with a minor in Communication, and at that presentation that I saw, they had a great video about their Communication Dept." Washington visited the campus as a freshman for camp and the experience has stuck with him.
"At Oklahoma, they have a coach (Bob) Stoops. He is a great coach that has brought his team to many national championship games -- and though they haven't always won, it's amazing just to get that far. I am a very coachable guy, and I think that with coach Stoops' direction and expertise that leads them to these national championships, that I think I can go far in their program. It could be a great fit for me.
"USC is my choice for a west coast school. My dad was born in California and we visit there a lot. You've got to like the view and the surroundings there. Plus, I watch that show Laguna Beach -- I can't miss it -- that whole lifestyle seems good to me.
"Coach (John) Blake (defensive line) has been recruiting me at Nebraska. He's really a great guy. He's supportive and I know that whatever my decision will be, he will back me. Coach Blake is like a father to me and wants me to succeed no matter what.
"Coach (Sonny) Dykes calls me every night from Texas Tech," Washington said. "They were the first ones to call after Hurricane Katrina. He asked if I needed anything, and if we were okay. I totally appreciate the concern that he showed for me and my family. He holds a special place in my heart.
"At Florida…it's coach (Urban) Meyer who has attracted me. What a great, great, great guy! This is the most positive guy I have ever spoken to. He just says that right things, and I know this coach could take me somewhere.
"Miami, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, and Tennessee have been recruiting me the hardest. I have been getting phone calls from pretty much all of them though. These were just the teams that seem to put just a little more into it."
Washington's official trip schedule is Mississippi (Nov. 18), Texas Tech (Jan. 13) and Miami (Jan. 20). He's trying to set one up for Nebraska and plans to try to catch a game or two at some of the other teams recruiting him such as Tennessee, Georgia, and Georgia Tech. "I'm visiting Mississippi because the are recruiting me so hard."
He said his parents will likely accompany him on his official visits. "They want me to go where I want to go, but I want their input in deciding," he said. "I am the baby of the family, so my mom may not want me to go too far away. She loves all of her family, but she loves her baby boy the best. So mom may play a big role."
Destrehan has a record of 4-0 with a big victory over Saint James on Sept. 30, coming back from a 19-7 halftime deficit to win 28-25. Washington, a team captain, said he believes his speech at the half inspired his team which plays Erath High School at home on Oct. 7.
GPA 2.8/18 ACT--October retake.