UCLA Pursues Utah Safety

He's Chris Washington, the 6-2, 187-pounder from Layton (Utah) Northridge, who had one of the most impressive summers of any 2009 recruit in the west, earning the Defensive MVP at the B2G Camp over many highly-rated Californians...

Layton (Utah) Northridge safety Chris Washington (6-2, 187) was hoping to make a college decision in the next few weeks, but now those plans could be on hold.

"I wanted to do it before my season starts, but I'm waiting maybe a little longer," said Washington. "I'm thinking about going up to UCLA at the beginning of September when they play Tennessee. I'm going to be at St. George for a game (against Encino Crespi), so we're going to head out there after. Maybe I'll see what happens with them. Same with Oregon. I'm really interested in them and want to see what happens there."

Washington has scholarship offers from the three in-state schools, BYU, Utah and Utah State, and more schools have been showing interest in him.

"I'm getting a lot of letters from Arizona State, Oregon State and UNLV," said Washington. "I just got the first letter from UCLA, too. And then the schools who have offered me."

Two of those are on his list of favorites -- Utah and BYU -- who join Arizona State, UCLA and Oregon in rounding out his top five.

"My top school changes a lot, so there is not necessarily a leader," said Washington. "When I make my decision, that will let people know who the top school is."

While Washington is hoping to find more national attention, he's plenty happy with the attention he's received from the in-stae programs. He said: "I think BYU and Utah are quality programs and both would be good places for me to play. I'm not really feeling any pressure to commit to any of the schools. BYU, obviously, they're a really good team and a lot of people here are fans of BYU, so a lot of people are telling me to go there. One of my best friends, Peni Maka'afi, committed to BYU too. I wouldn't go to just any school just because it's in the Pac-10 or Big 12. I'm serious about Utah and BYU."

Washington admits his junior year wasn't eye-popping in terms of statistics, but his strong spring and summer has catapulted him to one of the top safeties in the country.

"I didn't have that strong of a junior year, but so far everything I've done, either in Vegas (at the Badger/New Level 7-on-7 tourney) or at the B2G Elite (where he was named Defensive MVP), showed that I could play," said Washington. "I've definitely thought about if I had a good performance, what that could do. At the B2G, there were three safeties committed to USC, and I got MVP."

Washington said while he prefers safety, if a coach wanted to add weight to his frame, and move him to outside linebacker, he'd be OK with it.

"I'm up for anything, whatever the coach thinks is best and wherever he thinks I'll succeed more," said Washington.

Washington also said that if he were to commit somewhere soon, he'd still like to keep the door open to other schools, potentially taking some official visits if those opportunities presented themselves.

He and his Northridge teammates will open their season next weekend, the 30th, in St. George against California Top 10 program Encino Crespi. He got to know a few of the Crespi players at the B2G.

"I talked with Lucky Radley and then played with Kevin Cummings so it will be cool to play against them. I'm not sure how often we get to play California teams, so it will be cool," said Washington.

Washington, three-star prospect by Scout.com, is currently ranked #24 at safety and the #7 player in Utah.

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