Name: Keith Washington
Weight: 170 lbs.
High school: Prattville (AL) Prattville
Class: Redshirt sophomore
Jersey number: #6
Last year: I ranked Washington #54 and said he would be a backup cornerback. He made 3 tackles.
TTB Rating: 68
Washington entered college in 2015 with very little experience at defensive back. Instead, he was a standout dual-threat quarterback in high school. So the transition from high school QB to college CB was bound to take some time. He looked lost in the 2016 spring game, he got overpowered, he lost contain, and he didn’t look like he knew how to tackle very well. He was sprinkled in on special teams in 2016 and made a few tackles, but he largely went unnoticed.
Fast forward to the 2017 spring game, and everything may have changed. The first thing is that he looked noticeably larger than the 170 lbs. he had been listed at during his first two seasons on campus. Second, he looked like he knew what he was doing. His technique had improved, and he was playing faster. Washington is an example of why some people aren’t too concerned about an inexperienced defense under Don Brown, because a year of experience in a complicated defense can make a huge difference. In Washington’s case, he may have a bit of a breakout season. Hardcore Michigan fans know who he is, but a casual fan may wonder “Where did this guy come from?” when he takes the field this fall. I think Washington will take on a more prominent role, and to my eyes, he looked like the best cover corner on the team in the spring game.
Prediction: Starting cornerback; 20 tackles, 2 interceptions