Around the Hedges in 80 Days: Washington

Four days remain until Georgia kicks off its season opener against Buffalo on Saturday. In the days counting down to the opener, DawgNation will profile, with our “Around the Hedges in 80 Days” series, a Bulldogs player we expect to make an impact. We will review each player’s career thus far and project his long-term potential as we progress through our alphabetical list, from center David Andrews to receiver Rantavious Wooten.

4. Cornelius Washington

Senior, Defensive end/Outside linebacker

6-foot-4, 268 pounds

Fall forecast: Although Washington will probably still play outside linebacker in a limited capacity, his springtime shift to defensive end could pay dividends this fall. The Bulldogs’ pass rush from Washington’s new position could use a boost and he’s sure to provide it. Washington was second on the team with five sacks and 29 quarterback pressures last season and should at least match those totals this fall, if not surpass it.

Career highlight: Washington played a leading role in Georgia’s win against Mississippi State last season, registering four tackles and a pair of quarterback sacks. He also sacked Ole Miss quarterback Randall Mackey for a 17-yard loss on the final play of the Bulldogs’ win in Oxford the previous week.

Experience thus far: Washington is one of Georgia’s most experienced players, having appeared in 37 games and started 15 over the last three seasons. He started six games last season and finished with five sacks and six tackles for a loss.

Possible career impact: While he has never been a big star, Washington has been one of the Bulldogs’ better pass rushers for most of his career. He has the chance to complete his career on a positive note if he provides a more consistent pass-rushing presence at defensive end this fall. He is unquestionably one of the team’s leaders and expects big things this fall. If he delivers, Washington should have a good chance to become an NFL draft pick next year.