When he committed to LSU nearly a month ago, 2014 tight end Jacory Washington surprised many Tiger fans. Standing at 6-5 215 pounds, Washington will provide a weapon that the LSU passing game has not had in several seasons. Coach Shawn Demeritt believes that Washington brings a very special set of skills to the table for the Tigers.
Even though he has never played a true tight end position at Westlake High School, Demeritt believes that Washington will learn the other aspects of the position very quickly, starting this fall. That, coupled with fact that Washington possesses great athleticism, has Demeritt thinking that he will be an impact player for LSU.
"I think Jacory can be the player that LSU has been missing over the last several years," Demeritt told TSD. "He is a 6-4 to 6-5 guy that weighs right around 220 pounds right now, and he has great speed."
"I think he will add a little weight once he gets to LSU just to handle the beating of the SEC. He can be split out easily because he has been a wide receiver his entire life. We are just starting to have him put his hand on the ground."
Not only does Washington already have the athletic ability to be a playmaker, but Demeritt explained that he also has the drive to be a great player at LSU.
"Jacory is a great kid that is very eager to learn," said Demeritt. "He works very hard on and off the field to be a great player, and I don't see that changing at all. He has basically been living in the weight room to try to get stronger."
When Washington took a visit to LSU for their Boys from the Boot junior day nearly a month ago, he went into the visit looking to get questions answered. Demeritt explained that Washington had some reservations about what his role would be for the Tigers.
Given that he left Baton Rouge as a member of the 2014 class for LSU, Demeritt believes that the Tiger coaching staff made it clear what the role of Washington would be.
"The ultimate reason that he committed to LSU is because he was comfortable there," said Demeritt. "That's what I was told anyway. Heading into the visit he had some questions about what his role on the team would be if he went there."
"From what I was told, coach [Les] Miles and the rest of the coaches did a great job of answering those questions. It was one of those things where he just felt right about it, so he committed."
Even though Washington is only currently a junior, Demeritt explained that LSU has been on him hard since the beginning. The LSU staff has also had a steady presence around Westlake since receiving a verbal commitment from Washington.
"The LSU staff has done a great job with him so far, even after he committed. Coach [Steve] Ensminger and Coach [Corey] Raymond have been by several times to check on how things are going for him. They really stayed on him consistently leading up to his commitment and I don't see things changing any time soon."
With LSU not having a player on their roster in the mold of Washington, Demeritt explained that the coaching staff plans to use the talented tight end in a manner that the LSU offense hasn't seen in a while.
"The LSU staff is planning on using him as a hybrid tight end that they will split out at receiver and have block," said Demeritt. "I definitely think he will be able to handle that if he goes in there with the mentality to learn."
Demeritt believes that Washington, coupled with a 2013 signee, will provide a boost to the LSU offense because of the fact that they provide threats from multiple aspects of the game.
"The tight end position at LSU is changing quickly with how the staff is recruiting now," said Demeritt. "By the time Jacory gets there Desean Smith will have a year under his belt. Jacory will just add height and athleticism to the position and I think that he and Smith can be a deadly combo. I could see him contributing early."
Washington made it clear following his commitment to LSU that he would like to take visits to other schools. Demeritt explained that if that is the case, then he plans to let the family of Washington figure that out.
"If he decides to take visits, that will be something that is discussed between his family members," said Demeritt. "I try to stay out of that aspect of the recruiting process of my players."
Coach's Corner: Jacory Washington
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