ORLANDO, Fla. — Theo Johnson has a pretty clear opinion regarding the decision announcement for 5-star Darnell Washington. That reveal will come later today at the Under Armour 2020 All-American Game.
Those two elite TEs were both wanted by Georgia, but they will not be college teammates. Johnson committed to Penn State in December and then signed with that program during the early period.
Johnson doesn’t have a pick for his decision. But he does have an opinion about what it would mean for the Bulldogs if Washington winds up in Athens.
“I think it would be huge for Georgia in just a lot of ways,” Johnson said. “Just because he brings so much to the table. It would bring a lot of momentum for the team and for recruiting. Because once you get a guy like Darnell, it is a lot easier because it’s hard to recruit tight ends right now. They don’t have guys like Darnell. So if they were to get Darnell would be huge for them this season and seasons to come because they can say, ‘look at our guy Darnell.’ The kids can then say, ‘Look at Darnell, I want to be like that guy. Bang, I’m going to Georgia.’ It would be a lot easier for a kid to trust in that decision seeing like a very dominant tight end like Darnell. I think it would be huge for them.”
Washington’s decision will come during halftime of the Under Armour 2020 All-American Game on ESPN2. That broadcast will begin at 6 p.m. from Camping World Stadium. He rates as the nation’s No. 1 ATH for this class and the No. 10 overall recruit on the 247Sports Composite ratings.
Those hopes also say something Georgia tight ends coach Todd Hartley, too.
“I would be very happy to see Darnell go to Georgia, just so I know that he (Todd Hartley) didn’t get me, he is going to be just fine with Darnell. And I know if Darnell goes there he’ll be in good hands and he will obviously enjoy it there.”
That statement also says something about Johnson, too. Georgia was right there with Michigan as his second choice behind the Nittany Lions.
When he backed up his decision initially during his process, it was actually going to be Iowa. Not Georgia or Michigan or Penn State. That’s a good snapshot that reflects how these recruiting decisions can go sometimes.
Hartley was one of the two toughest coaches to tell he wasn’t going to join their team. The other was Sherrone Moore at Michigan. To his credit, Johnson made those calls. Right before he committed live.
Then he felt terrible walking out for his big decision reveal.
“I just didn’t even want to like commit and even walk out,” he said. “It was just a terrible feeling calling those coaches. Coach Hartley and I went back to when he was in Miami. It was tough saying no to him because we had a really good bond outside of football and stuff and I just felt like I really connected with him, but it is just part of the process. It just sucks having to go the way it did having to say no to him and stuff.”
Check out the size and catch radius here with Washington. He was an unmistakable option in the red zone periods at the Under Armour practices in Orlando this week. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)
Darnell Washington: The things to know about his decision
The funny thing about the drama of his decision announcement is it has already been made. Washington signed during the early period but will use the ESPN2 platform to make that decision known to the world.
His decision came down to five schools. Alabama. Georgia. Florida, Miami. Tennessee.
“I think I made a great decision,” Washington said last week in Orlando.
Washington will make that decision right before the second half of today’s ESPN2 broadcast. He was able to share his thoughts on his upcoming decision in the 1-on-1 interview below with DawgNation.
What would be the single biggest reason why he would pick Georgia?
“Dell McGee or Todd Hartley,” Washington said. “Just the whole coaching staff. If it was Georgia, I think just being there is a great atmosphere. But that is every college. A great atmosphere. But the coaches if it is Georgia, I would trust them in developing me.”