Is Washington Still Interested in Rutgers?

Dillard High (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) linebacker/safety Daeruis Washington planned to camp at Rutgers next week with the intent of earning a written offer, but he had to cancel his trip. Washington talked to to explain why he is no longer coming, and whether or not he still remains interested in the Scarlet Knights.

Daerius Washington of Dillard High (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) did a little research on Rutgers, and quickly learned the Scarlet Knights have a built-in advantage in his recruitment.

Washington, a 5-foot-11, 190-pound linebacker, is being recruited by Rutgers receivers coach P.J. Fleck, and his position coach at Dillard is Benji Peacock.

The connection?

Fleck and Peacock played together at Northern Illinois, which means Peacock can explains the virtues of Rutgers and Fleck to Washington at any time.

And, so far, it is working.

"I really interested in Rutgers, but I'm trying to keep my options open until after my senior season," Washington said. "Coach Fleck has been telling me about the program, and the schemes they have up there at Rutgers."

Washington does not hold a written offer from Rutgers, but was poised to get one in the coming days. He was scheduled to camp at Rutgers, but finances became a factor and he is no longer attending.

"Coach Fleck told me I'd be getting a Rutgers offer when I came up there for the camp," Washington said.

He added his inability to camp at Rutgers should not be construed as a lack of interest.

"The interest is still there," he said.

One of the intriguing situations regarding Washington is where he will play in college. He holds written offers from Toledo, Buffalo, Middle Tennessee and Syracuse, and ones from Western Michigan and Toledo are supposed to be on the way.

However, some schools are recruiting him to play linebacker, but others want him for strong safety.

"I really don't care which one I really play," Washington said. "I want to see the field. My goal is to go to the NFL, and I want to go to a school that can put me in the NFL.

"So I want to go to a school that has good coaching, a coach that has some experience, a coach where they have linebackers that they put in the NFL, or made them great but unfortunately didn't make it to the NFL but are doing something else with their lives. I want to see the living conditions, the dorms, the type of weather."

Washington's size, especially his weight, is creating a question, but he said it is needless worry.

"Everybody likes the way I run," said Washington, who runs a 4.5 40-yard dash. "I wrestle, so I really have to watch my weight. I wrestle at 189, so I'm trying to stay close to 189 so when the season comes around, I really don't have to drop too much weight.

"In college, I'm going to be strictly football, so I'll be able to gain as much weight as they want me to, and play whatever position they want me to play."

In his second season wrestling, Washington qualified for the state tournament.

Washington added South Florida is also recruiting him, but waiting to see him in person before deciding whether or not to offer.

"South Florida wants me to come over to their camp so they can evaluate me a little more," he said. "They want to offer, but they want to see more of me working out. They want to evaluate me in person, and their linebackers coach said he wants to see my growth potential."

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