As we move deeper into the countdown of the Top 60 players at UM, we hit the big 5-0, No. 50 on our list. That would be freshman offensive lineman Brandon Washington, who spent a year in prep school and is probably ready to contribute this season.
> What we heard about him on Signing Day '08: He was ranked as a consensus Top 15 guard in the country by Rivals, Scout and ESPN coming out of Miami Northwestern in 2008. But after some academic struggles, Washington was forced to attend Milford Prep for a season. The 6-4, 354-pounder resigned with Miami after being tabbed the second-best prep school player in the country by Rivals.com.
> What he's done as a Cane: He came in the spring and competed at right guard and left guard. He was on the second team at left guard in the spring game. Said offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland of Washington: "You talk about a bright kid, he’s very, very intelligent. We can do a lot of things with him and you only have to coach him once. He’s not going to [make a mistake] next time. He could actually, like Orlando [Franklin] did, end up helping us this year. He can play tackle, center. He’s extremely bright. Right now we got him playing left guard. Before he’s done here, who knows where he’ll play." He's also a strong kid. He's already benching 400 pounds. Only Harland Gunn (425) and Allen Bailey (405) are lifting more. His other numbers, however, 365-pound squat and 242-pound power lift need to improve.
> What Eye On The U expects from him in '09: Washington is the most highly regarded offensive lineman UM has signed in the last three years. The bottom line is he's probably the most talented offensive lineman on the team among the newcomers. He's played offensive line at the high school level since he was a freshman under UM Director of Football Operations Corey Bell. If Washington isn't starting by the end of the season or seeing significant playing time in the rotation at guard, you have to believe his 2009 season has been a failure. But I don't think that's going to happen. This is a guy who could and probably will be a three-year starter in his career at UM.
RECAPPING THE COUNTDOWN