It had been three years since Elliot Washington II had stepped foot on the campus of the University of Alabama before Monday.
Prior to this week's visit, the now-2023 defensive back prospect traveled to Tuscaloosa with his father, Elliot Washington, who played basketball for the Crimson Tide from 1991-1993, to visit with a former coach.
On Monday, however, it was the younger Washington's turn at earning an athletic scholarship on the gridiron. Washington worked out in front of Alabama coaches and, in turn, received good news from defensive back coach Jay Valai and coach Nick Saban.
"I spoke with Coach Valai and Coach Saban," Washington told BamaCentral. "They like that I’m versatile, can play outside on the island, inside or nickel and safety."
As a sophomore in 2020, the Venice, Fla. product recorded 51 tackles, five pass break-ups and two interceptions.
Since Washington's last visit to the Capstone, Alabama's athletic facilities got a nice facelift with the new Sports Science Center and football locker rooms. The 6-foot-1, 190-pound defensive back was taken aback by the upgrades and his conversation with Saban.
"I was just amazed then and still now at the facilities," Washington said. "I was younger but realizing I’m back inside 'Bama as a prospect was a great feeling. Speaking with Saban was cool, seeing him on TV for years on the sidelines and now having a 1-on-1 about me as a defensive back at Bama must mean I’m on the right path as a 2023 prospect."
Washington admitted that he grew up a fan of both Alabama, due to his father's roots, and Florida because of his home-state connection with the Gators. He also boasts offers from Ohio State, Florida State, Georgia, UCF, Tennessee, among others.
"Kinda strange but living in Florida it’s natural to like your home state schools," Washington said. "I grew up watching Bama football as a fan. Fast forward now having an offer from Florida and now Bama, along with my others, is a blessing."
Washington is visiting South Carolina on Wednesday, then Oklahoma over the weekend. As his recruitment moves along, he is hoping that his relationship with the Crimson Tide coaching staff continues to blossom.
"I’m hoping the relationship grows, from what I know they are best at developing DB’s along with a couple other colleges (Ohio St., Florida) that’s offered," Washington said. "Hopefully they see the full value in my abilities to be an elite player in their system. With my size and speed, 6-foot-1 and 190 pounds and versatility being able to play outside, nickel and safety, not all prospects can play all three spots."
What has Alabama in play for Washington's services is the Crimson Tide's elite ability to develop defensive backs and position them into further success at the NFL level.
"Bama is the standard lately for defensive backs and that’s big for me," Washington said. "Coach Saban is hands on with this group so knowing he’s the goat of development, it’s a big deal for me. In the recruitment process, I just got to see if they truly want me to be there and a priority to be a part of the Bama family. Bama has offered a lot of DB’s in my class so I’m very appreciative of the offer.
"Me and my dad will evaluate closely what’s best situation for me to be elite at the next level. I’m excited for the opportunity and being blessed to be considered at Bama."