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South Carolina football 2014 preview: Michael Washington

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You don't necessarily want him on that line, but you might just need him on that line.

Player’s Name
Redshirt junior defensive end
6’3, 241 
Fairfax (S.C.) Allendale-Fairfax

Recruitment:
Washington had offers to play for South Carolina, Clemson, and North Carolina but turned them all down to enlist in the United States Marine Corps.

College Career:
In 2011, Washington walked on at South Carolina State but did not appear in any games. The following year, he transferred to South Carolina. Washington walked on for the Gamecocks during the past two seasons, serving as a member of the scout team in 2013.

2014 Outlook:
If there's a position on the field where a walk-on could break through to make a significant contribution, it would be defensive end. The Gamecocks are inexperienced and small on the perimeter, and Washington brings decent size and a wealth of experience -- even if not the kind of experience that's directly translatable to success of the football field.

Depending on how many of South Carolina's defensive end signees qualify -- specifically, Dexter Wideman and Jhaustin Thomas are otherwise ready-to-play linemen with significant academic concerns  --- Washington seeing the field in some capacity may become a realistic possibility. For what it's worth, Washington was given the Outstanding Walk-On award at the spring game.

Trivia:
When I first learned that Washington is 26 years old (he turns 27 in August), I thought, "Wow, that's really old." Then I realized that he's actually younger than me and that we're all hurtling toward the unforgiving blackness of death.

Hold me.

Beat writer's terrible double-meaning lede:
"To Lorenzo Ward, Washington isn't just the 42nd state admitted to the union or what happens when I forget to do laundry for a week, he's a 27-year-old walk-on defensive end who's making a big push for meaningful playing time."