Washington, Eugene headline Destrehan junior class

Destrehan (La.) will have two of the more highly recruited players in the state on the defensive side of the ball for the Class of 2006.

It all starts up front with highly touted defensive tackle Chaz Washington (6-3, 295, 5.0).

Washington has good size and quickness for his position but the thing that separates him from others is his strength. He benches 315-pounds and squats 420 but according to Destrehan assistant coach Greg Boyne, those numbers do not tell just how strong of a presence he carries on the field.

"Chaz is probably the strongest kid we have ever had here," Boyne told Tiger Rag. "He is a real aggressive player. For his size, he is pretty quick too."

During the course of his junior campaign, Washington emerged as a leader on Destrehan's defense. He finished the season with 52 tackles, three sacks and three forced fumbles, but it was the leadership he displayed off the field that made a bigger impression on his coaches.

"He is such a hard worker and is very dedicated in and out of the classroom," Boyne said. "He is one of the last guys to lock up the weight room and is just a real well-rounded kid."

Two years ago, Destrehan had one of the top defensive tackles in the country in Darryl Richard, who went on to sign with Georgia Tech. While the two former teammates have a lot in common, there is one major difference in their style of play.

"On the field they are very similar," Boyne said. "What separates the two is Chaz plays with more brute strength, while Darryl played a lot smarter. He relied on his head more while Chaz just overpowered you."

According to Boyne, Washington should not have any problems qualifying because his GPA is on course and he is waiting for the results of the ACT he took in January.

The schools already pursuing the talented tackle include Ole Miss, Miami, Michigan, Michigan State, USC, Alabama, Texas and many others.

Expect the offers to start rolling in for Washington over the next few weeks but there is one offer he is really looking forward to.

"He has been a big LSU guy since he walked in the door over here," Boyne said. "Someone is going to have to steal him away from LSU."

Those same schools inquiring about Washington have also expressed a strong interest in quarterback/cornerback Jai Eugene.

The 6-1, 185-pounder will be one of the fastest players in the state next season with a reported 4.35-forty-time and a time of 10.3-seconds in the 100-meter dash.

Eugene played cornerback and spent half the season at quarterback to give Destrehan a threat on the offensive side of the ball. He will likely spend more time on offense as a senior but look for him to move back to corner permanently once he gets to college.

"He has great instincts and his obviously his speed doesn't hurt," Boyne said. "He has a great feel for the game. He is a good-looking corner prospect because he has great hips and good body control. His best days are definitely ahead of him."

LSU head coach Les Miles has already made contact with Destrehan head coach Steve Robichaux to let him know that the Tigers are very interested in the tandem and they could both land an offer real soon.

One thing is for sure, Miles and the Tigers will have some stiff competition for these two players because all of the major colleges will be flocking to Destrehan in the next couple of months to get a look at the dynamic duo.

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