Defensive end Devin Washington is a junior at Jones High School in Orlando, Florida. Although disappointed with the end product, he had an impressive junior season.
"It went pretty well. Overall as a team, we didn't do as well as we expected, but we were young. So I know this year our eye is on one thing, and that is a state championship. My stats were pretty good: 55 tackles, seven sacks, and 11 tackles for loss with one forced fumble."
The 6'-3", 225 pounder knows what it takes to turn dreams into reality.
"It is very reachable for us. We just have to work hard in the off-season and minimize mistakes. If we keep that mindset, then the rest will fall in place."
Washington also added what he can personally do to help improve his teams' chance of reaching their goal.
"I just want to be a leader for the team; I don't worry too much about stats. I just want to help improve my team overall and make sure we all work together to accomplish the task at hand, which is reaching state."
Cincinnati, Illinois, Kansas, Louisville, Mississippi, South Carolina and South Florida are among 15 offers for Washington. Scouts are taking notice of his abilities.
"My strengths would be that I use not just power but technique and finesse to get around and manipulate linemen. I use my hands effectively, and it allows me to get off the blocks well. I have a quick first step, which gives a big advantage."
Washington admits his game is not perfect; he knows improvements are needed.
"I feel as though I could improve everything. There is always need for improvement, so I just need to work hard in the off-season to try and perfect everything about my game."
Being so far away, Washington has not had the luxury of taking a visit to Illinois yet. But that is in his plans.
"I am trying to get up there in the summer. I will look at the coaching staff and the feel I get from being there. If I feel at home, then that's a good sign."
Illinois cornerback coach Steve Clinkscale has the privilege of recruiting Washington. Through conversations on the phone, Washington is impressed with him.
"I think he is a very chill and laid back coach. I feel as though he knows what he is talking about, and I can't wait to get to know him more."
Washington expressed what would be essential to him when choosing a college.
"I'm just looking for a family-oriented team, and a place where I feel I could spend the next four years of my life."
He has visits planned for the near future.
"This spring break I am going to Duke, South Carolina, GT and one other. Then I'll have a bunch in the summer, such as Illinois."