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South Carolina football 2014 preview: Devin Washington

After missing all of 2013 with a lingering head injury, the former high three-star defensive end is trying to stay healthy and work his way into the Gamecocks' defensive end rotation.

Devin Washington
Redshirt freshman defensive end
6'3, 226 pounds
Orlando (Fla.) Jones

Three stars, No. 18 weakside defensive end in the 2013 class

Like Bryson Allen-Williams in the 2014 class, Devin Washington committed to South Carolina early in the process (June) and spent the next seven months doing some recruiting of his own.

Other offers: Boston College, Cincinnati, Clemson, Duke, FIU, Illinois, Iowa State, Kansas, Louisville, Minnesota, Missouri, N.C. State, Ole Miss, Pittsburgh, Purdue, Rutgers, SMU, South Alabama, South Florida, Temple, UCF, Vanderbilt, Wake Forest, West Virginia, and Western Kentucky

College Career:
Washington suffered a concussion during fall practice and struggled with post-concussion syndrome for the remainder of the 2013 season.

2014 Outlook:
Any time a player is trying to overcome a long struggle with post-concussion syndrome, it's cause to pump the brakes on whatever expectations his recruiting accolades might have brought with him. The next step for a player in Washington's situation is to simply get on the field while evincing no further long-term effects from the concussion he suffered last year.

If he's able to stay healthy throughout fall practice, he'll have an opportunity to work his way into game situations -- in garbage time, if nothing else. Washington came into spring practice listed fourth on the depth chart, but there may be no position on the Gamecocks' depth chart as volatile as defensive end. Mason Harris and David Johnson have but tenuous claims to the spots ahead of Washington. Only Gerald Dixon and Darius English are firmly ensconced atop each defensive end position at this point.

If there's one area where Washington could clearly stand to improve, it's his weight. At just 226 pounds during spring, Devin was the lightest of an already unusually lightweight South Carolina defensive line. How much muscle he's able to add by fall camp and his ability to stay healthy during it will determine how much he's able to contribute as a redshirt sophomore.

Washington deletes his Twitter account and creates new ones with great frequency, a phenomenon occurring frequently among South Carolina athletes and one that we touched up on here. Right now, he tweets from the handle @DSC_51, mostly about praying.