Washington Set To Join Eaglet Teammate At OSU

Taurian Washington

Prior to him getting an offer from Ohio State, many people connected to Taurian Washington of St. Mary's Preparatory in Orchard Lake, Mich. were saying that he would most certainly become a Buckeye if they extended a scholarship offer to him. Well Ohio State did and Washington followed through when he commited to OSU on Aug. 14. He'll now join another former Eaglet, Aaron Gant, at OSU next fall.

After a couple of weeks of rumors and speculation, it finally became official.

Last Tuesday, Aug. 15, Taurian Washington of St. Mary's Preparatory School in Orchard Lake, Mi. formally announced his verbal commitment to attend The Ohio State University.

"It felt great to finally get it out of the way," Washington said. "I told a lot of people that I wanted to commit before the season and I felt like the 15th would be a perfect time. We had our Red and White game on the 15th and I just felt like that was a great time."

A local television station from Detroit covered his formal announcement.

"Fox 2 was there and the guy just asked me ‘are you going to be a Seminole or are you going to be a Buckeye,' " Washington said. "I was like ‘I'm going to be a Buckeye.' "

Ohio State was unofficially known to be the ultimate destination for Washington for some time.

"I grew up watching Ohio State and I was really waiting for Ohio State to offer me," he said. "I told my father that as soon as Ohio State offered me that I was going to commit. And it all worked out."

Washington, who put on a great performance at Ohio State's senior camp on June 23, just needed to have patience while he was waiting for an offer to materialize.

"Dionte Allen kept telling me, ‘Taurian just be patient and it will come. Just be patient,' " Washington said. "So I told him I would be patient, and I was patient, and it came for me. So as soon as it came I jumped on it."

Word of an eventual offer from and commitment to Ohio State may have gotten out sooner than Washington may have wanted it to but in the end it obviously didn't effect his feelings toward the Buckeyes in any way.

"I really didn't effect my decision at all," said Washington of that late July revelation on the Internet in which he originally denied that it happened. "At first, honestly, it was kind of funny at first. I know it's a reporter's job, they got something from my grandmother and threw it up on the Internet so fast, but it didn't really effect my decision at all. I couldn't holler at my grandma though, I couldn't holler at her. But in the end it worked out all right."

And now Washington has confirmed to all that he will indeed be a Buckeye at the end of his senior year. He formally committed to Jim Tressel on Aug. 14, the day before he officially made it public.

"It feels great. I can finally focus on my season and focus on school more now," Washington said. "With all the different reporters calling it got kind of frustrating. At first it was kind of exciting but then it got to kind of frustrating and it could distract you from your school work. So I'm kind of glad that I've gotten it out of the way."

But now is not a time for Washington to rest on his laurels.

"This kind of serves as motivation for me. This is just going to make me work even harder," he said. "I see that I got (the scholarship) now but I'm still not there yet so I still have to work hard. I want to end my senior year with a bang."

When it's all said and done at St. Mary's, Washington will join his former Eaglet teammate, Aaron Gant, at Ohio State.

""It was kind of helpful that Aaron went there. He put out some good words for me from down there in Ohio," Washington said. "We're real close, we're always together, so he's just going to look out for me."

The collective we that Washington is referring to includes Gant's cousin Allen who recently made a verbal commitment to Florida State, the college team that he's always wanted to play for.

"Like me, Dionte is just living out his dream," Washington said. "He's pretty solid with Florida State. Like I said Dionte is just living out his dream."

As for now, anyway, the two will have one more year to play together and Washington wants to make the most of it. Their quest for a state championship in football eluded them abruptly last season.

"I'm just going to work hard my senior year and win a (state) championship," said Washington who helped his team to an 11-1 record last season. "We want to win a championship together in our senior year."

And then Washington can carry that winning momentum with him into his first year at Ohio State.

"I just want to go in my freshman year and play," he said. "I'm going to work real hard so I can play in my first year."

But whether he eventually plays in his first year at Ohio State or not, Washington is just excited to finally have the opportunity to go there right now.

"I love Ohio State's program and I love the coaching staff," Washington said. "Coach Tressel is real cool and I love talking to Coach Tressel, Coach Haynes and Coach Hazell. Those are the three coaches that I talk to the most. Ohio State definitely has a great staff and a great program."

And to top things off, Washington recently got a raving report from Gant who is going through his first preseason camp with Ohio State at this time.

"I just talked to Aaron (Saturday, Aug. 19) and he just told me ‘Taurian when you come here you're going to love it. It's really nice down here,' " Washington said. "And he wasn't just saying it to fill up my head, it's not like Ohio State is trying to get me still because I already committed. So he was just telling me some real talk that Ohio State is great."

At 6-2 and 185 pounds, Washington, who's been clocked at 4.5 seconds in the 40-yard dash, was a member of his school's two state championship relay teams in the 4X100 and 4X200 this past spring along with Gant, Allen and Anthony Bowman, who has since matriculated to Iowa via a football scholarship.




"Track has made me a better football player," said Washington who's previously run the 100 meters in 10.7 seconds and the 200 meters in 21.9 seconds. "It gets me looser for football and things like that and it's helped me get a lot of faster. The competition in track has helped me get faster."




Washington, who has no plans at this time to enroll early at Ohio State, intends to give track another go at St. Mary's next spring.

"I'm going to stick around the whole year and run track," said Washington who also averaged 11 points with 3 assists and 6 rebounds a game on the hardwood for St. Mary's last winter. "I'm not quite sure about basketball this year but I'm going to run track."

But before he actually gets to Ohio State, Washington, who has a 3.0 GPA and scored a 16 on his most recent ACT test, will try to improve on his 30 catch for 550 yards and 13 touchdown season of a year ago. Then he'll finally get to join Gant and fulfill his dream of becoming a Buckeye.

"I'm just excited that I'm living my dream," Washington said. "I know I'm not finished yet, I've got a long way to go, but I'm just excited that I'm getting this chance to go to the University of Ohio State."

Gant will definitely have to help Washington with that.

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