Stepping off a plane at Miami International Airport, 6-foot-5, 310-pound Brandon Washington could be donning an Adidas Notre Dame football shirt. The Irish, like everybody else, are interested in the Edison Senior High offensive lineman/defensive tackle. Notre Dame has sent a lot of mail.
"Just about all the top programs, the Florida schools, Oklahoma, Michigan, Southern Cal, Ohio State, Notre Dame, you name em, they've been in contact and shown a great deal of interest," Edison Senior High head coach Corey Bell said.
How can they not. On the offensive line, playing both tackle and guard over his three prep seasons, Washington has not allowed a sack since his freshman year. He was the starting defensive tackle, but was asked to fill in for an injured guard. He has since moved outside to tackle, and plays only spot duty on defense.
Last season, Washington registered 32 pancakes, and had three sacks and two forced fumbles.
For a kid his size, he is real athletic and talented," Bell stated. Washington said he has been to camps at Florida State and Tennessee. Rutgers hosted a camp at his high school. He reported he can bench press 315 pounds three or four times, and can run the 40-yard dash in 5.0.
"He can play either side of the ball (on the next level)," Bell said. "I like him on the offensive side of the ball, maybe at a guard position because he is so athletic with the pulling. So many teams like to pull and he does it well.
"He loves playing defensive line also. It doesn't take away from his passion to play, if he is on the defensive side of the ball."
Washington just loves contact, that's his passion.
"I love d-tackle," Washington said. "I love dishing out punishment. I love hitting the quarterback and I love the crowd saying oooh and aaaah."
On Tuesday, Washington was talking to Bell about the future and the possibility of him going away to school. He threw Notre Dame's name out there as an option.
"I would go to Notre Dame because they are trying to build their program up," Washington said. "I saw Armando Allen from Hialeah-Miami Lakes came up there, and that they got a couple other players. I would love to block for a back like Armando Allen.
"I don't know too much about Notre Dame. My family members were always screaming University of Miami. That's all I ever knew as a little boy. Now as a high school football player, I'm learning about more colleges."
Washington is also learning that different coaches like him at different positions. He thinks that Miami and head coach Randy Shannon would want him at defensive tackle.
"He came out and saw me practice my freshman year, not to watch me, he came out to watch some seniors and saw me at d-tackle, and he said he liked me."
Washington lines up at nose guard on the field-goal unit and punt-block team. He only comes off the field for kickoffs and punts, but thinks if he gets a little faster he could even play on those downs.
The thought of Notre Dame switching to a 3-4 defense intrigued Washington enough to include the Irish among his early favorites with Miami, Georgia, Rutgers and Florida.
"If that was the case, I would love to go up there," said Washington, who has a 2.6 GPA. "I love the 3-4, I love breaking double teams."
Washington hasn't been on any unofficial visits, and he wants to see a lot of campuses. He wants to get up to Ohio State, Oklahoma State, Alabama, Notre Dame, LSU, Rutgers, Michigan, Nebraska to name of a few of the many he stated.
Though he's not a lock to leave the state of Florida, which is good news for the Gators, Miami and Florida State, Washington could be hitting the road in a little over a year.
"Everyone is asking me where I'm going to go," Washington said. "I was like I want to go far from home. I want a plane ride home. They were like don't do that, you don't know what you're getting into. I'll figure that out when I visit. I decided when I was freshman or sophomore that I wanted to go to like Oklahoma or Ohio State."
Then Notre Dame climbed back into the national picture, and Washington added the Irish to the list.