West Virginia, despite mostly being known for their elite offensive units over the years, has been home to some of the best secondary players in college football recently. Within the past couple of years players such as Daryl Worley, Rasul Douglas, K.J. Dillon, and Karl Joseph have all been drafted into the NFL. Add in a guy like Kyzir White this year, and its easy to see why defensive back recruits would be intrigued about playing in Morgantown. On Tuesday night, junior college cornerback Keith Washington decided to follow in the footsteps of those players, and committed to play at West Virginia.
First I would like to thank God for allowing me to play the sport I love. I would also like to thank the CoLin coaching staff, the Michigan fans, and all the coaches who recruited me. I will be continuing my career at West Virginia University 🏈⚠️ #TakeMeHome18 pic.twitter.com/oQ2eRTY3pE
— Keith Washington (@im_grindin2) December 12, 2017
THE WASHINGTON FILE
Washington is 22nd commit in West Virginia’s 2018 class, and the third cornerback commit in the class. He joins Jayce Rogers and Joshua Norwood as the cornerbacks in this class. Washington is the second player originally from the state of Alabama in this class, the other being junior college commit Charlie Benton. Washington is ranked as the 13th best cornerback in the junior college ranks, and is just outside the top 100 junior college players nationally. With this commitment West Virginia is now ranked 4th in the Big 12, and 24th nationally for 2018.
Washington picked West Virginia over offers from schools such as Texas Tech, Kansas, Memphis, UAB, and Toledo. Auburn has also shown interest in Washington, but has not extended an offer. Washington originally was committed to Michigan coming out of high school, and did enroll in Ann Arbor. After a couple of years there though, Washington decided to transfer out, and went the junior college route ending up at Copiah-Lincoln Community College in Mississippi.
On film Washington jumps out as extremely athletic. Washington runs with receivers stride for stride, and has exceptional hand-eye coordination. His height is a huge plus, at 6-foot-2 few receivers will ever have a height advantage on him. Washington has great instincts on knowing when he needs to turn his head to look for the ball. He also knows when he needs to go for the interceptions and when he needs to just swat the ball away. Too many defensive backs get caught trying to go for the interception only to get burned on the play. Washington is smart about when he goes for the interception.
Washington might still be a little bit raw at the cornerback position. He played quarterback in high school, and despite playing the position at Michigan, and now in junior college, could still use some refinement at the nuances of cornerback. Defensive coordinator Tony Gibson should have no problem getting him ready though. I think Washington is a steal for the Mountaineers, and exactly the type of player that could come in, and make an immediate impact in the Big 12 next year.