5-star TE Washington dominant at Paradise, talks Canes and Van Dyke

5-star TE Washington dominant at Paradise, talks Canes and Van Dyke

Stefan Adams
2020 5-star TE Darnell Washington made his second cross-country visit to Coral Gables to check out the University of Miami and compete in UM’s annual Paradise Camp this weekend.

If the Desert Pines (NV) star had any lingering doubters still out there on whether he was one of the top players in the country, he pretty soundly put the lid on that talk quickly on Saturday. Washington was by far the standout of a loaded camp, and he dominated from start to finish. In what was no coincidence, the coaches had him mainly working with Miami 4-star QB commit Tyler Van Dyke, and Washington enjoyed catching passes from the Connecticut gunslinger.

“He’s a good quarterback, he knows how to put it on the money,” Washington said of Van Dyke. “If he wants it back shoulder, he can put it back shoulder. He’s a smart quarterback, he’s got that high IQ I believe. He makes smart decisions.”

Van Dyke has quickly developed a reputation as a recruiter and leader in Miami’s class, and he noticeably spent a lot of time talking with Washington at the event.

“I had seen him at couple Rivals (camps), but I haven’t really spoken to him until today,” Washington said of Van Dyke. “So, I guess we’re just starting to build this relationship.”

Someone that Washington has been building a relationship with for much longer is Miami TE coach Stephen Field.

“Coach Field, he’s a good guy. He’s relaxed,” Washington said. “He talks to me about anything and everything, we just got that vibe.”

Field has been looking for a second tight end in the 2020 class to pair with current commit Dominic Mammarelli, and is pitching Washington on the vast cache of NFL tight ends that came through and developed their game at Miami.

“Just how they use their tight ends, their tradition,” Washington said. “Also, iron sharpens iron, they have great defensive players there. If I want to be the best, I have to compete against the best.”

The 6-8 250 pound prospect enjoyed the star power that Miami and coach Manny Diaz brought to Paradise in the form of UM’s past great athletes, and Washington felt his favorite former Cane was a national champion and 3-time Super Bowl winning receiver.

“Michael Irvin, he a dude, he a stud - a hall of famer,” Washington said. “His speech was great, I think he’s a good motivational speaker. He’s a good dude, I talked to him a little yesterday, like a 1-on-1 talk at the dinner. Just a good dude and I like him a lot. I don’t know his background, but he gets where I come from.”

With Irvin getting in on the recruiting action, it’s clear Miami put on the full-court press with Washington, but it didn’t stop there. Miami sophomore TE Brevin Jordan also spent some time getting to know Washington and the pair have a connection as tight ends from Las Vegas.

“We came from the same background... I knew Brevin in Las Vegas, but we didn’t talk much because we went to different schools,” Washington said. “I didn’t really start looking into recruits until my sophomore year, and that’s when he was already going to college. I heard of him and seen him play a little bit.”

What was Jordan’s message to Washington about what it’s like to be a Hurricane?

“He told me how much he likes it here and how they use him,” Washington said. “He tells me how coach Field is, he tells me good things about coach Field.”

In terms of other schools, the Alabama Crimson Tide have been making a move with Washington lately and he took some time to talk about what attracts him to Tuscaloosa.

“Alabama is just Alabama, they win. You can’t really say much more, it’s obvious,” Washington said. “Nick Saban, he’s a good dude.”

Washington is planning to set up his official visits during the fall and wants to take each OV for a game weekend at that school. Where does he see those official visits going?

“I’m not 100% sure,” Washington said. “With my top 5, I don’t want to say something now, and then I change my mind. I’m going to release that in a couple weeks, for sure those will be the schools I want to take my officials to and my final top 5.”

After his officials, Washington anticipates he will make an announcement of his decision at the Under Armour game in January.


Comments (154)

Great interview! This kid has legit interest in us and our tradition as TEU. It’s going to be a battle till the end with the big boys but I can guarantee you find two more productive TEs this year than Brevin and Mallory.
0% chance
I think it’s 10-15, but it might as well be zero. Has nothing to do with our staff’s effort or shortcomings, we just aren’t at that level right now.

For all the silly comparisons to Clemson, this much is true: it took them awhile of proving they were elite before they started crooting like it. Manny could be a top tier HC (not saying he is) and a kid like Washington still won’t come when Bama is a revolving door for national championships.