2016 Season Countdown: #54 Keith Washington

2016 Season Countdown: #54 Keith Washington

July 20, 2016
Keith Washington 163x

Keith Washington (image via Maize and Blue News)

Name: Keith Washington
Height: 6’2″
Weight: 170 lbs.
High school: Prattville (AL) Prattville
Position: Cornerback
Class: Redshirt freshman
Jersey number: #6
Last year: I ranked Washington #74 and said he would redshirt (LINK). He redshirted.

Mostly a quarterback in high school, Washington was bound to redshirt as a freshman unless something drastic happened. Nothing drastic did happen, so he was afforded a chance to spend the year learning the position and getting ready physically. Now listed at 6’2″ and 170 lbs., he’s clearly taking the Reon Dawson- and Roy Roundtree-approved path to physical fitness. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a cornerback at Michigan contribute with those dimensions.

However, Jim Harbaugh likes his attitude, and Washington may have edged past redshirt sophomore Brandon Watson this spring. With three senior corners returning and two blue-chippers entering the competition, I can’t put Washington any higher. He needs to bulk up and work on his technique, but I think he looked okay enough in the spring to start earning some late-game snaps this season if the situation is right. Keep him away from the other team’s best receiver, and maybe Michigan can groom him into a more prominent role for 2017.

Prediction: Backup cornerback


  1. Avatar
    Comments: 30
    Joined: 9/3/2015
    Jul 20, 2016 at 10:05 AM

    “I don’t think I’ve ever seen a cornerback at Michigan contribute with those dimensions.”

    Wasn’t Stribling about that size during his freshman season?

    • Thunder
      Comments: 3849
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Jul 21, 2016 at 12:22 AM

      He was. I guess you have a point to some extent, but I’m not sure how much Stribling “contributed” as a freshman. He got outmuscled and outplayed by guys who were bigger and older than him. So it kind of reinforces the point that 170 lb. cornerbacks need to add weight, but he did indeed get on the field, so I’ll concede that point.

      • Lanknows
        Comments: 6285
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Jul 21, 2016 at 2:27 PM

        Guys or guy?

        Stribling and Lewis were pretty comparable performances as freshman. Both helped the team. Lewis surged ahead in 2014. Stribling is still skinny (181 according to the roster) for 6’1 or 6’2 but his performance goes to show that Washington might not be too far off if he can gain 4 or 5 pounds by fall.

  2. Avatar
    Comments: 22
    Joined: 8/20/2015
    Jul 20, 2016 at 12:49 PM

    It would be awesome if he could work out well as a backup this year, add some more weight, and then really contribute next year. I just think Long or Hill will play more this year than Washington and I think they’ll continue to play more moving into next year. I would flip this spot with one of the other two. My guess, I would flip this with Long.

  3. Lanknows
    Comments: 6285
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Jul 20, 2016 at 1:11 PM

    Washington is the kind of red-shirt I like — needs physical development, changing positions, and has high long-term upside.

    If I’m understanding correctly you have the backup CBs ranked: Long, Washington, Watson, Hill. I won’t really disagree even though Watson seemed on the right track a year ago and has the experience edge. You could rank them in any order and it would be defensible IMO.

    I keep seeing parallels with this class of DBs (including Washington) and 2013’s.

    Hill reminds me of Jourdan Lewis, PSL kid who flew a little under the radar in national recruiting because of doubts about size (even though Hill is a bit bigger).

    Long reminds me of Ross Douglass, high-character kid without elite athleticism from outside the area that Michigan convinced to decommit from a respected program.

    Washington reminds me of Stribling, southern kid that fits the mold of the new ‘long’ CBs but needs time to develop. Stribling didn’t red-shirt – but probably should have.

    Not saying the outcomes will be the same – just that the situations have some similarities.

    Anyway, one of the interesting things to watch this season (via garbage time snaps and practice rumblings) is which of these 4 emerges as the presumed ’17 starter. at CB If all of them struggle – expect to see CB recruiting kicked into gear. Maybe Donovan Johnson finally gets that offer. If they can land Aubrey Johnson, he’ll be in the mix for a starting job next year too.

    • Avatar
      Comments: 182
      Joined: 9/15/2015
      Jul 20, 2016 at 3:23 PM

      long is not an elite athlete? hes not woodson 2.0 and he might not have been one of the top handful of freakish athletes in his class but hes pretty darn athletic. not sure how you came to that opinion

      • Lanknows
        Comments: 6285
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Jul 20, 2016 at 5:41 PM

        Maybe he is. There were some recruiting reports that implied he didn’t have elite speed. His offers were good, but didn’t include the top SEC schools like LSU and Bama. Elite athleticism seems to be the only possible concern with him (besides size).

        I do expect him to be a lot better than Douglass ended up, but that’s not saying much.

        • Thunder
          Comments: 3849
          Joined: 7/13/2015
          Jul 21, 2016 at 12:18 AM

          Long is plenty fast enough, IMO. He’s no Trindon Holliday, but that’s not required to be successful all the time.

          • Lanknows
            Comments: 6285
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            Jul 21, 2016 at 2:21 PM

            So what held him back from being a top 50 recruit? Only 2 of the CBs above him were listed taller.

            Long sounds great. I don’t mean to come off as a doubter, but this isn’t a Gary/Peppers level sure-thing.

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