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January 7, 2012
SAN ANTONIO -- Not long into the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, Adolphus Washington learned what it's like to go against one of the nation's top offensive tackles in a game environment.
Matching up against the wall that is four-star prospect Zach Banner will give even the best pass-rusher something of a reality check.
"He's big," Washington said. "He plays every play the same, he plays hard. He just made me bring my 'A' game every play. I play every play hard just as well. That's how I was taught to play. If the ball is running away from me, I'm just trying my best to make the play from the back side."
Banner would only slow Washington for so long even as the West squad mustered a 24-12 victory over the East thanks in part to a standout performance from quarterback Cyler Miles.
Washington got untracked with roughly six tackles, 1.5 sacks and another tackle for loss.
After turning in a strong week of practice, Washington delivered on the expectations he set upon arrival. Washington hoped to prove himself worthy of playing in the game as one of the top defensive players in the country.
"I think I proved something for my state because there's not many kids that go to college from where I'm from," Washington said. "I just kind of put on for my area and my city, just trying to show it's good football out of Cincinnati."
Now Washington will shift the majority of his focus to his college career at Ohio State.
Washington entertained a few other suitors seriously before making a commitment to the Buckeyes. The 6-foot-4, 230-pound prospect will finish out the basketball season before shifting his focus entirely to football.
"I'm still doing basketball right now but I do football at least twice a week," Washington said. "I'm just going to continue doing what I've gotta do for basketball and do the football as well."
The U.S. Army All-American Bowl week experience is something Washington plans to carry with him into college and beyond.
"This has been a real good experience for me," said Washington, who is rated the No. 36 prospect overall by Rivals.com. "I'm not trying to down the Under Armour game but I really recommend this to a lot of people."