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November 7, 2014
Washington scores one of his two TDs vs. Mercy in 2011 (Photo credit: Bruce Jeffrey)

Washington scores one of his two TDs vs. Mercy in 2011 (Photo credit: Bruce Jeffrey)

The buzz continues over Jerome Washington’s ’12 commitment to the University of Miami. Here is a great piece about him written by Matt Shodell of, an affiliate of

Call it an out-of-the-blue commitment that was a long time coming.

Tight end Jerome Washington landed a Hurricane scholarship offer Tuesday, and committed to coach Al Golden last night.

But that moment was a few years in the making.

Washington wasn’t recruited by any programs out of Stony Brook (NY) School, and he also didn’t get interest during a post-grad year playing at Gunnary Prep in Connecticut. So this year he enrolled at Mercer County Community College in New Jersey and signed up for the Gattaca Football club team, a program with locations in Delaware, Tampa and New Jersey that faces regular junior college programs.

A relatively new organization, Gattaca is designed to help overlooked recruits get more film out to colleges.

That’s just what happened here.

Gattaca sent out an email blast with a link to Washington’s highlights last week. The list of colleges receiving the blast included Miami, and several colleges took immediate note of the 6-foot-5, 255-pounder with a good combination of soft hands, speed and solid route running. It also helps that he’s 20-years-old and will be a redshirt freshman arriving in January.

Miami coaches watched his film and immediately called Washington’s coach. He put his star player in touch with UM.

“It happened literally in two days,” Washington said. “They saw my film Tuesday and wanted me to call them the same day. It was really a surprise to me because they hadn’t asked me for anything prior to that. I was really surprised. It was a quick process.

“It was a no-brainer once they offered. I know they have a great offense and that if they’re recruiting me for tight end that they really want me because they’re known for tight ends.”

Miami offered Tuesday, and quick to follow with offers after seeing his film were Alabama, Nebraska, Rutgers and Washington.

“Rutgers, I was talking to them for a year and a half and they never wanted to offer me (until this week) – I don’t know why – but then I got a call from Miami and I was like `That’s where I want to go.’ And then after that I got messages from Nebraska, Washington, an email from Alabama that I would get offers.”

He says an Alabama coach called him last night.

“He asked if I was interested in playing for them,” Washington said. “I said `I’m committed to Miami, done.'”

Washington will take his official Cane visit the weekend of Dec. 5 and be on campus for good the following month. UM will be his only official visit. He’s never seen the campus – the closest he’s come was a trip to Disney.

“I’m excited to get there and meet the coaches, coach (Larry) Scott [his position coach] – he’s really cool, seems like he’s going to push me, and I like that,” Washington said. “I watched video interviews with him and he seems like a really nice guy.”

Washington says he’s not entertaining any other schools regardless if more offers arrive.

“I’m closing down my recruitment, I’m done,” Washington said, adding that “Miami coaches said they liked the way I run my routes, the way I can catch the ball, that I’m big. They like what I can do with my size. I’m 255 but I can still run routes well.”

Washington says some programs asked if he’d play offensive line, but he prefers tight end.

“I want to play my freshman year, help the team win in any way that the coaches ask me, do whatever they tell me to do,” he said. “I want to just play to the best of my ability.”

Washington says he used to talk with a high school friend about going to college together … and they’d always say they wanted to go to Miami. Now that’s happening, at least for Washington. The friend? “He might transfer to Miami now (solely as a student),” Washington said.

Has it sunk in yet that he’s Cane?

“It really hasn’t,” Washington said. “It feels like a dream, but I haven’t woke up yet.”

His Gattaca coach, Manuel Galarza, says the Canes have landed a gem.

“He’s a diamond-in-the-rough, a kid no one knew about,” Galarza said. “He does so many things well. He’s 6-5, has physical talent. He creates mismatches. It’s hard to guard a guy like him with a DB or linebacker. I talked to coach Scott about it – they feel he can come in and play right away.

“He has so much character, comes to work every day ready to go. He knows the offense, every position on offense, what they have to do. He doesn’t talk a lot, just comes to play and leads by example. The intangibles for him – he’ll be in the weight room, in the classroom, will be bugging coaches about film. He’s a perfectionist. He’s 20, very mature, two years removed from high school. The last two years were difficult for him thinking it might all be over up until a week ago – `Was it worth it for me? Am I still going to play football at the next level?’ He made it happen.”

Galarza added “Jerome was a prospect for us that we learned about a year ago, in November or December of last year. After spring ball was over we had limited film on him – it’s just one game, tough to get recruited off that. This fall he played in the eight-game season we had, did a pretty good job, but we’re a small program and a new program in a lot of ways. From August until a week ago no one was even aware of him except for Rutgers. He was well off the map, well off the radar. We felt Rutgers was where he was going to go – about a week ago I had a conversation with them, but they laid it out why they were not going to offer. That was before the film was exposed to everyone else. The film was published, and we picked up offers from Washington, Alabama, the U. Rutgers tried to get back into the mix, but that was no longer a consideration for him.”



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