One of the top defensive backs in the state of Maryland is Pha’Terrell Washington, a 6-0, 185-pound prospect who plays either cornerback or free safety on defense for head coach Dominic Zaccarelli. With five interceptions last season (he had seven as a sophomore), he was a big part of a squad that went 9-3 and that is looking forward to an excellent 2005 campaign.
Washington is not only a force on defense, but he is a very good offensive player as well.
“We tend to move him around a lot,” Zaccarelli said. “On offense, he plays our wing position usually. We’ll do a lot of different things with him. He’ll get a chance to run a lot and we’ll throw to him a lot. We try to get him the ball in open space because of his speed and his ability to make people miss.
“And defensively it depends on what we need. Sometimes we face taller receivers who are pretty good athletes and we want to take one of our best athletes and put him on that person. When we don’t have that type of match-up, we usually play him at free safety.”
Washington’s main asset is his speed. Coach Zaccarelli says his star has been clocked at 4.39 in the 40-yard dash. A very good performer in track as well, Washington posted a 10.6 in the 100 meters earlier this year. He also runs the 200, 4X100 and 4X200 events.
“Athletically, he’s probably the best player I’ve ever coached at the skill positions,” Zaccarelli said. “He’s got excellent speed and quickness. And I don’t think he’s even gone as fast as he can on the football field. I don’t think he’s needed to. I think he has a lot of different gears, so he’s got the ability to really turn it on.”
Division 1-A programs to have offered the speedy Washington include Boston College, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, North Carolina, Syracuse and Virginia Tech. Those are just a few of the over 20 scholarship offers he possesses.
While Washington replied “not really” when asked if he had any favorites, he did mention two schools whose offers stand out to him.
“Florida and Virginia Tech,” Washington said. “I like Florida basically because it’s in Florida. I like their stadium. I’ve watched them on TV and stuff like that.
“For Virginia Tech, I’ve liked them because of Mike Vick, his brother and Kevin Jones. I followed them because of those players.”
As for position, Zaccarelli said “I think he’s being targeted as an athlete, but if you talk...
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