Tennessee wanted Darnell Washington bad enough that it gave him impermissible benefits on multiple occasions and was willing to break NCAA rules in order to try and land him as a member of the 2020 recruiting class.

He still signed with Georgia anyway, where he went on to become a two-time national champion.

A recent report from Mike Wilson of the Knoxville-News Sentinel shows that former Tennessee assistant Brian Niedermeyer committed numerous violations while recruiting Washington. Niedermeyer reportedly gave Washington $750 in cash during a January 2019 visit to Washington’s high school. Washington was a junior at Desert Pines High School at the time.

During two visits Washington took to Tennessee in 2019, the Volunteers gave Washington impermissible benefits totaling $1,713. NCAA documents show that Washington received benefits in the form of free lodging on one occasion, free meals on two occasions and UT apparel on two occasions.

Washington was the No. 34 overall player in the 2020 recruiting cycle out of Las Vegas, Nevada. He committed to Georgia in January of 2020 over offers from Tennessee, Alabama and Miami. The Pittsburgh Steelers drafted Washington in the third round of the 2023 NFL Draft.

Washington started all 15 games for Georgia in 2022, posting career-bests in receptions and yards. He brought in 28 passes for 454 yards and 2 touchdowns. He was also a dominant run blocker for the Bulldogs, as he used his massive 6-foot-7, 270-pound frame to punish opposing defenders.

Tennessee received no bowl ban for their numerous violations but the University was fined $8 million and will see the reduction of 28 scholarships over a five-year period, among other recruiting-based penalties. The numerous infractions— over 200 in total — occurred during Jeremy Pruitt’s time as the head coach of Tennessee. He was fired in January of 2021 and received a six-year show-cause penalty from the NCAA. Pruitt has occasionally appeared on DawgNation programming.

Niedermeyer received a five-year show-cause penalty from the NCAA.

Georgia has beaten Tennessee the last six times the two sides have met, including a 27-13 win this past season when Tennessee was the No. 1 ranked team in the College Football Playoff rankings and Georgia was the No. 1 ranked team in the AP Poll.

Georgia will visit Tennessee on Nov. 18 this season. The two sides are expected to finish first and second in the SEC East, with the winner of the game likely punching a ticket to Atlanta as the SEC East representative.