Birthday: August 21, 1979
Strengths: Going going not gone. Kelley Washington, the former minor league baseball player turned walk-on freshman sensation for Tennessee in 2001, pulled a fast one on former Vol teammate Donte’ Stallworth and will be returning to college this fall. Washington is a multi-talented athlete that also played quarterback, safety, and even punter in high school. He is quite possibly a better prospect than Stallworth, and Stallworth was the first receiver taken overall in the 2002 draft.
The leading freshman receiver in the nation in 2001, Washington made a name for himself in his first game against LSU, hauling in 11 passes for 256 yards, a school record. In the rematch for the SEC championship, he led the Vols with another 9 receptions for 140 yards and a touchdown in a loss.
Washington will be 23 years old when the season starts and is literally a man among boys on the field. He possesses superior strength for a wideout and combines that with 4.3 speed. He is a leader on the field, and he has a good work ethic off of it.
Areas for Concern: Mature as Washington is, he does possess a cocky attitude. And though he is more consistent than Stallworth, Washington was still learning the game last year, limited in practice early on with a strained hammy. He was also struggling through a stress fracture in his foot that developed during the season, but he continued to play.
Washington could do a better job reading defenses. He also needs more consistency in his route running and blocking. Washington is not as explosive as Stallworth, though that may have been partially attributed to the stress fracture.
Don’t be concerned about Washington’s production without Stallworth around to take away a double team. His record-breaking performance against LSU was when Stallworth was out nursing a wrist injury.
How Would He Look in Steel Blue? Washington’s size and strength will draw some comparisons to David Boston, and having someone with that kind of talent around David Carr is a good thing.
Even with all of his ability, Washington will further his chances of being selected by the Texans if he uses his attitude to his advantage and proves he can play healthy all season.
(profile written by Keith Weiland
Kelley Washington’s 2001 Stats G CTH YDS AVG TD 12 64 1,010 15.8 5
Kelley Washington Return to The War Room
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