NEDERLAND — Learn his name and learn it well.
De Shawn Washington burst onto the Nederland football scene last season as a sophomore playing tight end. This year, though, he’s quickly turning people’s heads for his play all over the field.
The 6-foot-3, 280 pound junior has played at defensive end, defensive tackle, tight end and right tackle so far this season. Last week against Vidor, he played both ways for nearly the entire game and saw about 90 snaps total in the game.
“He played 51 on offense and 40-some on defense,” Nederland offensive line coach David Crommett said. “In the linemen category, he’s maybe the only guy on our team who could do that.”
Washington has been a force on defense this season, totaling 26 tackles, including six for a loss, with four sacks, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery and a blocked kick. That came during the Vidor game last Friday, as Washington took advantage of a tired Pirate special teams unit.
“I like to manhandle people,” Washington said. “When I looked at them, they looked a little tired. I knew I couldn’t take a play off, so I went hard. I got into my four-point stance and was able to get through and block the extra point. It felt good. I love getting in that four-point stance and just being able to go.”
A big man that is as skilled as Washington picks up plenty of attention for his play. But, against Vidor, when he’s starting both ways, one play in particular stood out. In the fourth quarter, Washington chased down Vidor running back Thomas Novak on a stretch play for just a two yard gain.
That may not sound like much, but Novak had enough speed to break a 70-yard touchdown earlier in the game and Washington ran him down near the sideline from his spot at defensive end, closing the distance very, very quickly.