As far as Georgia and its recruiting momentum has gone the last few days, there’s a good chance that DawgNation would be primed for any good news. Anything. Yet with that said, the news today from explosive 2022 ATH CJ Washington will soar a lot higher than that.
The commitment he made today is most deserving of a few barks from those that would deem themselves to be the most die-hard members of DawgNation.
“When I went to my first game at Georgia, I just knew,” he said. “The atmosphere. The coaches. They knew me. They knew I was Cedric Washington from Chubbtown. It was like they all actually already knew me. They knew me and then they got to know me and they showed a lot of love and respect.”
He said he knew it as far back as the seventh grade.
“That’s really when it all started for me and my connection with Georgia,” Washington said. “I’ve been knowing that I wanted to be a ‘Dawg ever since I was in the seventh grade. It just felt like my home even back then.”
And he also knew it when the Georgia coaches greeted him on a FaceTime call last month on his birthday with a celebration. The staff had a cake on their side of the screen and they were celebrating his birthday on June 15.
“That actually meant a lot to me, too,” Washington said. “I got on the phone with them and they sung to me and they had a cake. So I saw that and was like ‘Whoa’ with that and I said to myself ‘okay so this really is my school’ when they did that.”
CJ Washington now becomes the second public commitment for Georgia in the 2022 recruiting class. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)
CJ Washington: 3 things to know about the new commitment
1) There will not be a lick of entitlement or de-recruiting with this young man
Washington is a different sort. While 2021 recruits are still figuring out their top 8s and top 12s and the like, he settled on a top 3 earlier this summer. Then he announced he was making his commitment on July 22 shortly thereafter that big news.
“I don’t mind going through the whole process of hitting me this way and that way but I just wanted it to be those three because those were the three schools that were hitting me up and really talking to me and wanting to get to know me and build a relationship,” Washington said.
He’s doing so on the 22nd day of July because he will be in the class of 2022. It is also in honor of a Cedartown teammate’s birthday. Jayden Johnson is committed to South Carolina in the class of 2021 and he chose to make his pledge to that program on Washington’s Birthday last month.
Washington is simply returning the favor.
CJ Washington said he grew up with Georgia as his dream school. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)
“So I just want to show the same respect,” Washington said.
He said he will only recruit the players in the 2022 class that Georgia asks him to talk to.
“Once I commit I’m committed,” he said. “I am not going to be cocky about it. Once I commit, it is over with. I am still just another high school player. I have got to get better every day. I still got to push myself in the weight room. I’m not going to hold back on anything. When I commit, it is going to be just another day.”
“I’ll commit one day and boom it will be done and then I will be right back in that weight room grinding and working to keep getting better. I have to keep getting better every day.”
2) Position fit can go all over the place
Washington is rated as an ILB in the 2022 class on the 247Sports Composite ratings. He’s listed as the nation’s No. 5 ILB prospect and the No. 98 overall recruit for 2022.
That said, he has played tailback and defensive end and outside linebacker so far in his career and looking quite excellent and explosive and athletic in all phases doing it. He has the speed and strength and athleticism to be an edge player in the SEC, but his overall height and length are just shy of the ideal prototype metrics to be an elite edge prospect for UGA at DE or at OLB.
Let’s definitely make sure no one misinterpret that statement, though. He could still be a very effective ILB or OLB for the Bulldogs in the SEC. He’s that type of worker and athlete and a physical player.
“I can play running back,” he said. “I can also play linebacker. I can rush the passer. I can play where ever. Where ever they need me to play really.”
3) He loves the fact that he is going to play for his dream school
“I love the fact that the whole world knows that I am a Bulldog,” he said. “That’s been my school. That’s been my dream school since I was in the seventh grade.”
Washington said his “heart dropped” when he picked up the offer from Georgia last December after the Sophomore Elite Classic game.
“That’s really always been my dream school,” he said.
He plans to wear No. 27 for the Bulldogs. That’s good timing. Eric Stokes will likely head to the NFL after the 2020 season.
“I am going to take over that number,” Washington said. “Nick he certainly had his time but I am actually going to try my best to take over that No. 27.”
Check out his sophomore year highlights below. He had more than 18 sacks last year for the Cedartown Bulldogs while playing on both sides of the ball.