Hold up Football fans…. Before you come after me with a slingshot full of Silver Bullet glory, we need to talk. You see, there is an incoming freshman to the class of 2012 that is an extremely talented athlete. Not only does he have the god given ability to play football – his drive to be the best has him as a top prospect in this year’s class.
Cincinnati Taft defensive end Adolphus Washington might be best known as the top football prospect this year out of the state of Ohio. Others across the country see him a top five player this year at his position. For Me, Aldolpus will forever go down as the guy that first gave us hope on a new Urban Development in Columbus. When asked about whether he was worried about the coaching staff at his college announcement, Washington responded that he was excited to play for the Urban Legacy.
It was at that moment when Ohio State football junkies reached for their
needles nearest social media device to share what had come to pass.
Not only had one of the most promising recruits of the class become a Buckeye after one of the most enduring seasons in school history. In the same moment, a never ending dark tunnel filled with exposed truths shed some light at the end of it.
Fast forward six months later and on the hardwood, this great university is about to begin a new era of basketball. William Buford and Jared Sullinger begin a new phase in their respected careers, as they look to make the jump to the professional basketball ranks. Two pieces of the future in J.D. Weatherspoon and Jordan Siebert have moved on to different programs.
Meanwhile Deshaun Thomas and Aaron Craft begin their assault on the Big Ten as undoubted leaders of Thad Matta’s well oiled machine. With them is an assorted mix of talent. From the size of Amir Williams, to the shot of LaQuinton Ross, the precision of Shannon Scott and all-around durability of Lenzelle Smith Jr –this team is going to be a top contender in the conference.
Yet this year’s top recruit on the football field could add a much needed spark on the basketball court.
Despite landing offers from nearly every major college football program in the nation, Adolphus Washington landed his first opportunity to play under scholarship as a basketball player. The Gatorade Ohio Player of the Year this season averaged 23 points and 14 rebounds in his final season at Taft, leading his squad to the Division II quarterfinals. A two time all-state selection, Washington has excelled as an undersized 6’5″ big man.
Rob Taylor, the founder of Buckeye Prep Report and the Buckeye Prep Elite Showcase has watched Aldophus play since he was a fifth grader. He has no doubts that the power forward could add some depth and character to the program.
“He’s a vicious competitor,” said Taylor. “He might be undersized, but just because he is relentless and physical, he’d compensate. He’s that strong and physical. I think he would struggle scoring in the big ten with their size in terms of getting his shot off, but he’s always done a good job of finishing. He can find a way to be productive.”
Taylor, who has seen the likes of Jared Sullinger, 2013 commit Marc Loving, Brandon Dawson, Trey Burke, Braxton Miller and many other notables participate in the Buckeye Prep Showcase and Camp, believes that Washington’s game on the court could directly translate to his growth at defensive end.
“I think basketball is a great compliment to football because it’s about the hands. Adolphus has a great pair of hands and when the ball gets to him, he can move around and use his great footwork. That would translate directly to his position on the football field. He not only doesn’t mind contact, but he embraces it on the court. ”
Exactly the type of mentality this team needs to add to it’s depth in the frontcourt.
Guards Aaron Craft and Lenzelle Smith have shown that they don’t mind going
after through their defender. Deshaun Thomas is willing to be as physical as any other swing play maker in the conference. But what about inside the post?
Evan Ravenel has proven to be a solid addition and will be called upon his senior season as a primary player off the bench. Amir Williams is aggressive in front of the hoop defensively, but still seems tentative to be aggressive with players around him.
Adolphus Washington might not be starter worthy, or even a number one option off the bench. Every successful team though, needs a spark plug off the bench.
Last year, it was Sam “All Jam” Thompson. In 2011, it was Aaron Craft. Washington presents that type of energy every time he hits the court. He plays with a controlled aggression and determination that was unmatched in Ohio at the high school level.
It’s been quite some time since we’ve had that spark in the front court. To compensate for his lack of size, Washington brings a solid fundamental approach to the game. He combines that with a solid approach in transition to score points. Plus, he’s got the athletic ability we’ve become accustom to on the gridiron. Trust me - it does translate to the court.
So… Urban and Thad (The two best first names in coaching history)… What’s it going to take to set up that lunch where you discuss this as a possibility.
Cause if you’re even willing to have the discussion, and Adolphus has interest in playing basketball, then the meal is on me.