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January 5, 2004

Washington will not return to Clemson

The Pressbox message board

Tigerillustrated.com has learned that junior defensive tackle Donnell Washington will forgo his senior season to enter April’s NFL Draft. Washington, a native of Beaufort, signed with Clemson in February of 2000, head coach Tommy Bowden’s second recruiting class. This season the former Battery Creek star led all defensive linemen with 55 tackles.

The former two-star rated tackle, who was rated as the state’s No. 8 prospect by Tigerillustrated.com three years ago, has decided to end his collegiate career to turn pro following a stellar junior campaign.

This season Washington registered 55 tackles, nine tackles for loss, four sacks and 24 quarterback hurries. He was a big reason why Clemson’s defensive front allowed just 128.1 rushing ypg, the lowest allowed in three seasons.

As a sophomore, Washington logged nearly 600 snaps, totaling 55 tackles and 17 quarterback pressures. As a freshman in 2000 he was in on 431 plays, registering 44 tackles and four sacks.

Washington stands in at 6-foot-6, 322 pounds, and runs the forty-yard dash in less than 4.9 seconds consistently.

“He’s gone. He’s not coming back. He has made his decision to go ahead and enter the draft,” said a source who spoke with Tigerillustrated.com Monday evening.

Recruited by former wide receivers coach Rick Stockstill, Washington was one of the more highly regarded members of Bowden’s second recruiting class.

Before choosing Clemson, he had official offers from Auburn, N.C. State and South Carolina.

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