Yesterday, I had the chance to watch DE Adolphus Washington from Cincinnati Taft do his thing against excellent competition, and he put on a show. His effort, as well as the entire Taft team against a bigger, stronger Washington DC team was unreal.
When I watch players, there is so much that goes into an evaluation. Strength of competition is one. A player's motor is one. A player's instincts is one. Player's potential to improve over the next three years is one. Can a player start for the best team in Ohio is one. Of course, the eyeball test is another. Lastly, character is huge for me.
The "Diesel" can play for any school and play well. Before this game, I thought that he was a national recruit as an athlete, and a Midwest recruit as a football player. His motor never stops running. He plays fast and finishes plays. On one play in the fourth quarter, he ran a RB down from the other side of the field. Late in the game, he had a QB sack. He finds the ball, gets off blocks, and makes tackles. Uses his hands really well to separate. Plays pad under pad. Natural at dropping inside shoulder on pass rush. Toughness to play inside shade of TE.
His dad reminded me that I once told him that when Adolphus was a sophomore that he was the best in his 212 Class. That was against Dunbar, not Friendship HS. I never knew how well he would play against top competition. Last summer in camp, he ran well, had the burst, and changed direction. I would be very selective in offering a prospect just because he does well in shorts and t-shirt. Yesterday, I saw him for real and he was excellent.
Although he is a defender, he has excellent ball catching skills. Solid blocker with soft hands.
Finally, he is no chest beater, no head-bopper, and no excessive celebration showtime guy. He plays every play and finishes plays. Adolphus was as strong in the fourth quarter as he was in the first. One time late in the game he showed some emotion. His actions did his "chirping."
Might see him one more time this year, but really like what I saw Sunday afternoon. Obviously, one of the top five recruits in the Class of 212.