Weight and see

Adolphus Washington accidentally gained a freshman 50, but extra bulk is welcomed

Updated: August 21, 2012, 1:57 PM ET
By Austin Ward | BuckeyeNation

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The weight kept coming, and it wasn't by design.

Adolphus Washington was doing what he could to stay in shape, working out on his own after wrapping up his final season in high school and preparing for life at Ohio State.

But almost by accident, the incoming freshman expected to play defensive end had added 50 pounds to his frame by the time he stepped up for a weigh-in for the Buckeyes.

"As soon as I touched the scales, the coaches were like, 'Gol-ly,' " Washington said. "I mean, they all said they'd still give me a chance."

Washington has quickly capitalized on it during training camp, and in reality, there was nothing for him to feel sorry about.

[+] EnlargeAdolphus Washington
Tom Hauck for ESPN.comAdolphus Washington, shown at a 2011 camp, has gained 50 pounds and could contribute immediately at defensive tackle for Ohio State.
The Buckeyes might have signed the four-star as a potential pass-rusher on the edge at 245 pounds, but Mike Vrabel suspected that genetics eventually might force Washington to move elsewhere. And the defensive line coach certainly didn't need to hear any apologies after Washington dropped a few pounds down to 289 and flashed the same ability to get to the quarterback from the inside that Ohio State had projected on the outside.

"I mean, he's grown up," Vrabel said. "He's gotten bigger. I don't know if you guys have seen Adolphus Washington Sr., but he's a large individual. Dogs with black and white spots usually have puppies with black and white spots.

"Adolphus is a big kid, and he's a big, athletic kid. For us right now, our need was to have him play inside. He'd play wherever we needed him to -- he's that type of kid -- but he's big and athletic, and that's a good combination."

The Buckeyes are still trying to find the perfect one collectively for a defensive line bursting with talent, and the addition of Washington and three other talented newcomers have only added to the options in the rotation up front.

With veterans on hand ahead of the fearsome, freshmen foursome of Noah Spence, Tommy Schutt, Se'Von Pittman and Washington, Ohio State doesn't really need to rush the young guys into action early this season. But Schutt and Pittman both have proved they can handle the game physically, Spence already has shown his speed can create issues in the backfield -- and Washington's unexpected growth spurt has perhaps given him a better shot of contributing quickly on the interior.

"After last football season, I just didn't have anybody to work out with," Washington said. "So, I mean, I was just trying to go to a spot here and there, but it wasn't often. I just kind of picked up a lot of weight. I actually came in at 295, and they've got me down and I feel good.

"I made the position change, but it works better for the team, and I actually like it. I'm not sure if that's what they had wanted to do, but as long as I'm bettering the team, I'm all for it."

Like seemingly everybody else on the Ohio State line, Washington still has the ability to shuffle around to different spots, since he doesn't appear to have lost any quickness despite the additional size he's added.

But regardless of how he ended up at tackle, whether by happy accident or genetic engineering, Washington has no complaints about settling down there.

"I'm getting a lot of positive feedback," he said. "All the coaches just keep telling me to work hard. I heard they talk about me a lot in the meetings, and they keep telling me that if I work hard I can be something good.

"They moved me down to the three-technique, and I did good at it. It's fun -- I think I'll probably just stay."

After all, Washington is obviously much harder to move now.

Austin Ward | email

Ohio State/Big Ten reporter

ALSO SEE