As of September 1, college coaches could start sending out scholarship offers to high school juniors. One of the first athletes from the class of 2011 to receive an Irish offer was Jabriel Washington (5-foot-11, 165-pounds).
"One of the Notre Dame coaches called the school, and I also got a fax offering me a scholarship." Washington said. "I got something in the mail from Notre Dame, but I haven't looked at it yet. So things are going good.
"The offer kind of shocked me. Notre Dame is a really good school, and I really do have interest in Notre Dame football, all the history, the coaching staff, so they're definitely not out of my top-five schools. It would be a good college to go to.
"They were interested in me a bit little last year," he said. "One of their coaches contacted one of my coaches, but I really don't know much (about Notre Dame). I don't know any current players on the team right now, but I know Charlie Weis is the coach.
Tennessee, Georgia, and Colorado have also offered Washington, but his options will grow as he moves through his junior year. Deciding which school is best suited from him will be one thing, but what position he plays at the next level will also need to be decided.
"I haven't really decided which side of the ball I want to play on," Jabriel explained. "I play quarterback for my high school. We kind of run a spread and a wing-T offense. People tell me I have good feet, and that I could play either cornerback or wide receiver. I think I bring speed to the offense. I'm a small player and very quick."
Despite living in Tennessee, don't immediately assume Washington will end up in Knoxville. Jabriel is open to exploring schools coast-to-coast.
"Actually, I was born in California," Washington said. "Then I moved to Tennessee and have been here for eleven years now. A lot of my family lives in Georgia, so I've become a Georgia fan.
"I guess going (to a school out-of-state) would be something different. I'd have to visit that college and see if it's for me. You have to see it for yourself and make a decision based on that."