True freshman Keshawn Washington wants to prove himself as a reliable option at safety. He also understands the legacy there is at the safety position for the Miami Hurricanes.
Safeties that hail from South Florida are typically familiar with the legends that have played safety for the Hurricanes, such as Sean Taylor and Ed Reed. And Washington has taken notice.
“I used to watch a lot of Sean Taylor film,” Washington said in an interview with Christy Cabrera Chirinos. He was so aggressive. He knows how to read the field. When the ball is in the air, he’s always there to catch a pick.
The 6-foot-2, 170-pound Washington looks up to the great Taylor and was mesmerized by the legends play style. “That’s why I want to be like him. I want to come down hard, hit people and make plays, make big-time plays. Interceptions, forced fumbles, big hits”
Throughout high school, Washington battled with a few shoulder injuries. Instead of possibly affecting his game in a negative way, the injuries helped grow his appreciation for the game of football, as he went through rehabilitative work and physical therapy.
“I just kept working so I could get better,” Washington said.
Being at UM means the world to Washington, given that he’s able to represent for his hometown and possibly become one of the UM greats he grew up admiring.
“But when you stay home, you can make the crib great, make UM what it was back then when it was so good. We’re trying to bring all that back here. I want to play for the fans from Miami and it feels good to come to the program and play with so many people from down south. … I can fit in, play well and I can keep that tradition with all the down-south guys.”
While he hasn’t been on campus for a long time, safeties coach Ephraim Banda has is already impressed with Washington.
“I think skill-level wise, he’s a really good, physical, tackling big person,” Banda said. “He’s fearless and I think his length is going to afford him the opportunity to really cover people up. I anticipate him being a guy that really helps us his freshman year, similar to how Amari (Carter) helped us his freshman year.”
Banda added that Washington has been very coachable and hard during his time in Coral Gables, and will make an impact on special teams early.
“He started on kickoff, kick return, punt block, he played punt and was just a guy that could really give you a lot of great snaps in that area,” Banda said. “In my opinion, I think where he helps us most is those blue-collar tough, technique opportunities, especially on special teams. And in the long run, he can really develop into a very good safety.”
He was a three-star recruit out of South Dade High School, and held offers from ‘Power 5’ programs such as Georgia, Auburn, Flordia State and Tennessee among others. Washington, who was ranked as the No. 38 safety in the Nation, is a player to look out for in the future and will be a scary sight for opposing defenses.
“It’s time for me to make a name for myself,” Washington said.