Recruitment speeding up for Washington

Florida defensive end Devin Washington is hearing from a ton of schools and holds 16 offers. He's taken in a couple junior days and has more scheduled for the coming weeks, but his top priority right now is to get his body ready for spring football.

Devin Washington's recruitment is moving at a faster pace than he anticipated.

"It's speeding up," he said. "I'm up to 16 offers, so things are going really well."

The 6-foot-3, 225-pound defensive end out of Jones High School (Orlando, Fla.) holds offers from schools like Duke, Kansas, Louisville, Ole Miss, Rutgers, SMU, South Carolina, UCF, Vanderbilt and West Virginia, among others.

The 2013 prospect is also hearing from Florida, Miami and Texas A&M.

"Hopefully they'll come through with offers," Washington said. "I know some of them are coming to my spring practice and spring game, so hopefully I'll have a good spring and get some more offers."

Washington doesn't have a No. 1 right now. He's too focused on schoolwork, training and getting ready for spring football to worry about that yet.

"I'm just letting it all take its course," he said. "Once spring is over, I'll figure out a school I'll really consider."

Spring football begins May 1 for Jones High School, so between now and then, Washington is preparing his body for the season by running, spending lots of time with the weights and doing some exercises not many athletes his age do.

"I was going to run track, but I decided I had some goals I wanted to reach in the weight room," he said "I'm working out five days a week [in the weight room] and then I do yoga on Saturdays. I'm training to get my body ready for the season and trying to stay healthy. I'm ready to get back on that field again."

Washington said he's on pace to achieve his weight room goals, which are to increase his squat and cling, which he says he's already done by about 40 lbs. He also hopes to get up to 235 lbs. on the scale.

"I'm at a solid 225 right now, so I just need to put on about 10 more," he said. "I know if I keep working hard, I'm going to reach that goal."

One's hard-pressed to find many high school boys who not only practice yoga, but also like it. Washington said he's been going to classes at a nearby LA Fitness for about a year.

"People think it's easy, but that stuff is hard," Washington said, laughing. "It helps me clear my mind, be flexible and keep the body limber. It helps you on the field and most people don't know about that."

Washington has a hard time finding friends to join him, though.

He said he took a teammate once, but it didn't work out so well.

"He hasn't been back since," he said. "I'm going to get him back in there one day."

Though he's been focused on his training, Washington has fit in a couple junior days recently. He's been to Miami, Auburn and Florida, and plans to visit UCF, Duke, NC State and Georgia Tech in the next couple weeks during his spring break.

Washington said the visit to Auburn was his favorite.

"We got to sit with Coach [Gene] Chizik at breakfast and it was a great experience," he said. "You see him on TV and stuff, but to see him face-to-face, you get kind of nervous and don't know what to say. But he's really laid back and made me feel welcome there and I really like the campus. The campus is amazing and the facilities are top notch, so I can't wait to go back and check it out again and hopefully get that offer."

Washington took in the Auburn visit with his brother Nick, also a junior (but they're not twins). Nick is a safety and committed to Florida a couple weeks ago. Asked if the two would like to play for the same program, Devin said it would be cool, but it's not a deal-breaker.

"We've talked about it," Devin said. "If that becomes an option, it comes, but I'm picking a school that's the best for me, not for him, just best for me and where I feel is my best fit."

The two are close and Devin says it's nice to have someone around to discuss the whole recruitment process with that understands exactly what he's going through.

Ultimately when choosing a school, the most important thing to Washington is his education.

"I'm a big academic guy, so I'm looking for academics first," he said. "So great academics as a whole and then I'm looking for a family environment. A team where I can come in and they'll teach me and I'll learn from the juniors and seniors. And the coaching staff will be one that I can talk to not just about football, but about college. I want to go to a place where I'll enjoy my time there and see myself for the next four to five years of my life."

Washington admitted he doesn't know much about SMU—only that he's seen the "Pony Excess" documentary on ESPN—but would like to learn more once the spring is over.

He also said he definitely wants to take a visit to Dallas.

"I know that it's a great academic school and I have family that lives in Dallas, so I wouldn't be too far from anyone I know, and I just can't wait to come and check it out," he said. "I'll probably come visit in the summer or sometime next fall."

Washington stressed that although he doesn't know much about SMU, once spring is over, he will do some research about the program as well as all the others that are recruiting him to be better informed.

"But right now, I'm just focusing on spring football and the team. That's what's most important to me right now," he said.

Washington, who is in a medical magnet program at his high school, plans to major in healthcare administration and would like to run a hospital some day.

For more SMU coverage, follow Laken Litman on Twitter!

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