Washburn Cashes In His Chips

Las Vegas was good to Jason Washburn. Through his play with the Michigan Mustangs he proved his worth and in turn the colleges marked him hard. However, it was a program out West that finally locked him down.

The Utah Utes scored a significant recruit and the timing couldn't have been better. Jason Washburn, a 6-foot-11 center out of Battle Creek (Mich.) High is headed to play for Jim Boylen.

Washburn experienced a strong bump in his recruitment last month. Considered a fringe high-major prospect at best this spring, Washburn showed up in July with more offense, confidence and in turn, results on the AAU trail. Towards the end of the month, according to his AAU coach, he was drawing big time crowds.

"I noticed there were a few and then a few more," Michigan Mustangs coach Norm Oden told Scout.com. "He was picking up schools pretty regularly. I thought he had a great July.

"Towards the end he was picking them up pretty quick. He had SMU and LSU. Virginia, Penn State and I'm not sure where Indiana was with his recruitment but they kept coming to games."

Each time a new school arrived on the scene, Boylen and his crew was there to greet Washburn. In a unique recruiting twist, Boylen and assistant Jeff Smith each recruited Washburn but at times for different schools.

"Jim Boylen and Jeff Smith got it done for Utah," Oden said. "Jeff recruited him at Oakland and did a real good job. Jim recruited him for Michigan State and always liked him. When he went to Utah the interest followed the coach and it helps to have 2 of them there you really like. That's what did it."

Washburn's play in Vegas put him in the "must watch" category for schools needing bigs. Not completely a finished product, those with knowledge of his game have documented his development and projected him out as a player who sat squarely on the mid-to-high-major fence. Washburn then won over admirers by month's end.

"He works hard. He wants to be a player. I think that those that want to be (a player) will do what's necessary. He said he was going to run and he was in great shape for Vegas. He put in a lot of road work. He feels running the floor is a big part of his game. He's going to be good because he's willing to work" .

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