Defensive tackle Lorenzo Washington of Grayson High School in Loganville, Georgia has emerged as one of the Peach State's top defensive prospects. The 6-5, 270 pound lineman (4.85 40) already has offers from Mississippi, UGa, South Carolina, Duke, Western Carolina, East Carolina, North Carolina, Middle Tennessee State, and Tennessee-Chattanooga, and he has certainly caught the attention of Ohio State's coaches as well.
"They said they're definitely really interested in me," Lorenzo said.
It turns out Lorenzo has some Ohio State roots. His father (Lorenzo, Sr.) played one year (1975) for the Buckeyes as a defensive back but gave up football to concentrate on academics. The Buckeyes are a school Lorenzo is showing a lot of interest in, and he said that coming up to Columbus all the way from Georgia wouldn't be a problem for him.
"Ohio State is a great school," he said. "I'd definitely go there."
The Buckeyes are one of Lorenzo's top schools, but right now, Alabama is at the top of his list. Following them were Georgia, OSU, UNC, Duke, Auburn, South Carolina, then Maryland. He said that OSU and Auburn are two schools he is really interested in despite no offer yet.
What's the status of an OSU offer? We may not know for a little bit since Lorenzo said the coaches would get back to him after they got back from their break, but there was a delay since the tape he sent them in May didn't wind up arriving until the middle of June. Lorenzo did talk with Coach Spencer back in May.
In the meantime, Lorenzo is working hard in the weight room (his bench is at 325, his squat is at 415 and his power clean is at 325... "I always love to lift weights," he said), and he has also been busy with camps. He has camped at Middle Tennessee State and Alabama, and he will be going to Georgia this Friday to camp and probably to Auburn as well next weekend.
Lorenzo is a lineman who can play on either side of the ball, and he said that some schools are looking at him playing offense as well as defense, but all schools are recruiting him on defense and that's where he likes to play.
"I like to get after the quarterback," he said. "I like to pass rush a lot... I just love to play defense."
Interestingly, Lorenzo attends a high school that is only in its fourth year of existence, but that hasn't prevented them from having playoff success. His team has won a regional title, and Lorenzo said that defending that title as well as getting to the Georgia Dome for the state finals are two big goals.
"I want to at least make it to the dome and win in the dome," he said.
As for personal goals, Lorenzo hopes to gain All-County and All-State recognition as well as surpass his totals he put up last season.
"My goal is to match or go over the total of tackles and sacks that I had last year," he said.
So what is Lorenzo looking for in a school?
"Definitely a good education is one," he stated.
Indeed, education is important to him as the possible majors he listed -- Sport Management, Microbiology, or something in medicine -- are demanding. He's also looking at football aspects as well, as he said he would like to play two to three years and that he'd like it to be against top competition.
"I want to play against the best schools around," he said.
Lorenzo will likely make a decision later in the recruiting season, and he said the exact date will depend on how late his team's season runs. Right now, he lists Alabama, UGa, Ohio State, and North Carolina as the schools he would visit, with the fifth being a toss-up between Duke, South Carolina and Auburn.
"As of now, I'm probably taking all five visits," he said.
OSU running backs coach Tim Spencer is recruiting him, and Coach Spencer is one reason why Lorenzo is high on the Buckeyes. He listed Coach Spencer as well as Alabama defensive ends coach Paul Randolph as two of the coaches he's most enjoyed talking with so far because he and the coaches have connected well. Of Coach Spencer, Lorenzo said "We connected... he was a really cool guy."
Off the field, Lorenzo enjoys hitting the weights, hanging out with friends and playing video games (like so many of the fans on Bucknuts, Lorenzo is looking forward to the release of the NCAA Football 2004). On the field, look for him to make a lot of noise this year and continue to see offers come in. This is definitely a player to keep an eye on.