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Atlanta-area standout ‘felt at home’ at Clemson

Malik Washington can do just about everything on the football field, and that’s what he did as a sophomore for Parkview High School in Lilburn, Ga., last season.

The 5-foot-9, 180-pound athlete completed 11-of-13 passes for 106 yards and three touchdowns, caught 41 passes for 649 yards and four touchdowns, and rushed for 369 yards and another touchdown. On defense, he recorded 45 tackles with five interceptions and seven pass breakups. He returned punts, to boot.

Auburn was first to offer Washington last March before Cincinnati offered in November. This year, he has added offers from Duke, Mississippi State, Tennessee, Vanderbilt and Wake Forest among others. The Volunteers pulled the trigger on Tuesday.

Schools such as Clemson, Florida, Georgia Tech, Iowa State, Missouri, Penn State and Stanford are showing early interest.

The Tigers invited Washington to attend their junior day on March 4.

“I loved it,” Washington said of the visit in an interview with TCI. “Got a chance to see the stadium, fields, facility, as well as dorms. I was able to speak to some coaches also.

“Being able to talk to the coaches about myself and the program was the highlight. Also the facility/locker room.”

Washington said he spoke mostly with co-defensive backs coaches Mickey Conn and Mike Reed as well as defensive coordinator Brent Venables. He believes the Tigers are looking at him as a defensive back, the position he hopes to play at the next level.

“They talked about how they got a chance to watch my film and really liked what they saw and would love to have me down any time,” Washington said. “Coach Venables and Conn noticed me my freshman year.”

What piques the coaches’ interest about Washington’s game?

“Mostly my explosiveness,” he said, “and how I’m always around the ball.”

Washington has also visited Florida and UCF recently, and said he might return to Clemson over the summer.

Clemson would leap to the top of his list with an offer.

“It would mean a lot to me and instantly become one of my top schools,” Washington said. “I felt at home last time I visited and I’m hoping an offer comes in the future.”

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