2009 Prospect Dijon Washington

Lawndale (Calif.) Leuzinger junior safety prospect Dijon Washington did the Meet and Greet with the UCLA coaches Saturday, saw an old friend play basketball, and came away with a good impression of UCLA and how it fits into his recruitment...

Joining a host of other Southland prospects at UCLA last weekend for a Meet and Greet was Lawndale (Calif.) Leuzinger safety Dijon Washington (6-1, 180).

Washington and teammate Semaj Harris both made the trek up the 405 to visit Westwood, and Washington enjoyed his time on campus.

"UCLA has a beautiful campus and I had a great time at the game," said Washington. "The game was really exciting because of how they won and it made the atmosphere great. I know Russell Westbrook, his brother plays for my football team and he also played Pop Warner. We're like family. So that was cool."

The football aspect didn't disappoint Washington either. "It was really great talking with the coaches," said Washington. "They told me I'm a really great player. They might offer me soon. They said I could play in the box at safety and they would just want me to gain a couple of pounds. Coach (Todd) Howard was who I talked with mostly but I talked to pretty much every coach when I went up there, like the head coach, Coach (Rick) Neuheisel and Coach (Tim) Hauck. They all seemed to really like me and I'm feeling pretty good about UCLA."

The visit to UCLA concluded a good week for Washington, who received his first scholarship offer just days before visiting Westwood. "I received an offer from Washington State, and I was really excited about that," said Washington. "The coaches said they were really excited to see me in person and that I would fit in well with the scheme they run."

Washington said that his preference is to play in the Pac-10, and his list of schools indicate that. "UCLA is at the top right now and I think Oregon, Oregon State and Washington State are my other schools," said Washington. "I also like Arizona State and USC, too, and want to hear more from them."

The latter two signed Washington's Leuzinger teammates, Ottis Jones and Uona Kaveinga. Washington credits those two with getting his foot in the door.

"Having Ottis and Uona get recruited was a spark for me and it got me exposure and gave me a lot of chances to meet coaches early, see how things are early, see how the recruiting process works, what classes to take, all of the important stuff," said Washington. "I know more about the process, too."

Washington said he wasn't sure if the right offer came that he would he take it. "Right now, I'm not even really sure what I want to do," said Washington. "People keep telling me to take my time. But if it's a good school, and I get down to it and it's the best option, why not commit?"

Washington, an only child, said his mom is open to the idea of him leaving Los Angeles for college. "She doesn't mind, she just wants the best for me and my future," said Washington. "Since I'm her only child, she said she might even move to be close by so she can see me play."

This summer, Washington is planning on visiting Cal and UCLA for camps while hoping to land more offers.

As a junior, Washington had 40 tackles, a pick, a sack and a fumble recovery for Leuzinger.

Academically, he's carrying a 2.8 GPA and he's taking SAT prep classes in preparation of taking the SAT on June 7th.

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