Isaac Washington committed to Tennessee, de-committed after the departure of Tracy Rocker, and re-committed after hitting it off immediately with Jimmy Brumbaugh. Since then, Tennesee has exploded on the recruiting trail, and Washington played a key part in this. Other schools remain in pursuit, and Washington talks about all of this and more here.
Washington said on the COVID-19 shutdown, "personally, at first, I did not know what was going to happen because it hit us so fast, and I was like wow. I did not know what to do. A lot of people took this time and worry, but I knew God was not going to let me catch a virus like this. I have just been working out, coming home, play a game a little bit, read my Bible, and sleep. That is pretty much it."
Before that shutdown, Washington made it back to Tennessee's campus, and it was a huge visit, in terms of his re-commitment. He said, " it was really big because Rocker was the one recruiting me the hardest. He was talking to me every day. I did not know who Brumbaugh was, so I am glad I got to go back, I found out that Brumbaugh is a really great coach. He is going to teach you and show you the way to play D-Line. I am really happy I got to back because if not, I probably wouldn't have re-committed."
Washington is hearing from other schools, but Auburn is the school attempting to make the biggest push for him. He recently did a virtual tour with the Tigers, but this was not his first trip to the Plains. He said on the virtual tour, "they showed me a little bit of everything- the facilities, the dorms, the practice field. I have been up there twice, but I did not get to see anything but the field. I was up there for the Auburn-Georgia game, and that was a pretty good game."
He added on the key appeal with Auburn, by saying, "Auburn is really family-like. Everybody at Auburn is close-knit. That is what I love about Auburn is that everybody is close."
Defensive Line Coach Rodney Garner is one of the main reasons Auburn has been able to keep Washington's ear. He said on that, "I like listening to coach Garner because he tells me, he doesn't care if I come to Auburn or not. I mean, he wants me to go, but he wants to build this relationship to where I can come to him for anything. Relationships are number one. You don't want to go a college where you don't know any of the coaches. That is what I like about Garner."
Despite the push from the Tigers, Washington is not wavering on his commitment to the Vols, and he is continued to grow his relationship with the coaching staff in Knoxville. He said, "They are coming hard. I talk to Brumbaugh every day. I just got off the phone with coach Pruitt last night. I feel like Ansley, Brumbaugh, and Pruitt are the ones I talk to the most. They are really close-knit too. That is what I like about them. They don't care where you go, and stuff like that. They just want you to do good for yourself. That is what I like about them the most."
Washington has continued to work on other top DL targets like Tyrion Ingram-Dawkins and Payton Page, and he has been direct in his message to them. He said, "I am telling them, "would you want to go somewhere where they have been good, or would you want to go somewhere and build a school back up?"
He added, "this D-line class, they are losing so many guys, so they are expecting a lot of guys to come in and play early. So, I am telling them they will get on the field regardless. The depth chart at other schools are big, so you probably aren't going to get on the field until like your Sophomore or Junior years. I am not saying they can't, but it is a high possibility. At Tennessee, it is crazy. I am telling them the fans, everything at Tennessee is crazy, and they will love it."
Washington has specific plans set for whenever the recruiting world opens back up, and he said on them, "when everything opens back up, I need to take an official to Auburn, and my official to Tennessee. I need to get my mom up to Auburn because that is a place she really wants to go see, but that is really all. Just to take the visits, I couldn't take because of this."
Until that happens, Washington is ready to start gearing up for another state title run at East Surry. He said on that, "I feel like, for myself, you are never too good. You can always be better, and I need to keep working towards that. From a team standpoint, we are going to be pretty young this year, so we are going to have be disciplined and know what we need to do and what the team needs. You can't be selfish and win a state title."