Distance from home key factor for Washington

RECRUITING A TIGHT END poses a unique challenge in that the prospect needs to have the skills of a wide receiver and an offensive lineman, all in a big enough package to boot. One in the black and orange orbit you haven't heard a whole lot about who has an Oregon State offer hails out of Ventura, Calif., and he gives an update on recruiting.

Raphael Washington (6-4, 255) holds offers from Oregon State, Nevada, UNLV. He says he has been hearing from those three schools "big time" since Sept. 1.

Other schools he's heard from or have been down to see Mater Dei play in the last six weeks include UCLA, USC, Arizona, Oregon, Washington State and UW.

Washington said he has not yet taken his SAT and won't until next month so official visits are likely not in the offing until after the season. He said he may take some unofficial trips over the next month or so, however.

"My grades are high up there, so (coaches) can be looking out for those," said Washington.

AS FOR OREGON STATE, Washington said he's certainly interested but distance could also play a big role in his decision.

It should be prefaced that the history of recruiting is peppered with prospects who develop a decidedly different perspective after an official visit to an out of state school, and as the recruiting season rolls along in general. But as of now, while he does not hold an offer from a school in the Golden State, Washington said were to land one, they have a built in advantage.

"I'm interested (in OSU) to a point, where I would go up there and check it out. And I'm staying open minded of course. At the same time, I'm in love with California," said Washington. "...And I'm very highly interested in two California schools, UCLA and USC."

Oregon State and others, save for USC, are looking at Washington as a tight end. Southern Cal is talking to him about playing the three-technique spot on the defensive line, he said.

"Somewhere where I know can succeed academically and somewhere where I can succeed on the football field (is important). I'm really interested in the California schools. I know tight end is a big spot out here. I know it is out in Oregon, too... Another big part of the decision will be the coaching staff and how practice is run, that will be a big, big part," said Washington.

WASHINGTON SAID he's been focusing this season on the areas he most needs to improve in order to succeed at the next level.

"Everybody knows I can catch, I don't really care about showing that. I want to show that I can block and that I'm not afraid to get dirty," he said.

Washington, out of St. Bonaventure High, said he does not have a position preference in college.

"I'll do whatever," he said.

As a junior, Washington caught 15 passes for 132 yards with three touchdowns.

Raphael Washington


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