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Five-star athlete Darnell Washington names Tennessee to top five

Can Niedermeyer pull another one from the west coast?

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 01 Belk College Kickoff - Tennessee v West Virginia Photo by Dannie Walls/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

We’re officially in the first game week of the 2019 season and Tennessee is starting to pick up some momentum on the recruiting trail. Coming off of a huge win to land pass rusher B.J. Ojulari, Tennessee has cracked the top five for another top prospect.

Darnell Washington, a five-star athlete out of Las Vegas, named Alabama, Penn State, Georgia, Miami and Tennessee to his top five on Tuesday afternoon.

Washington is the 12th ranked player in the 2020 class, according to 247 Sports. The 6-7, 261 pound prospect projects as a tight end. Washington also uses that size on the basketball court, averaging 11 points and 12 rebounds per game as a junior.

Tennessee is in on a similar prospect, Arik Gilbert, who attends Marietta High School in Georgia with Vols’ quarterback commit Harrison Bailey. Gilbert is also a five-star prospect, but would likely play receiver if he ended up in Knoxville. Stay tuned there.

Washington visited Tennessee back in March during spring practice. His primary recruiter is Brian Niedermeyer, who is the tight ends coach for the Volunteers. Niedermeyer was credited with pulling in four-star linebacker Henry To’oto’o from the west coast during the 2019 cycle — can he beat out Alabama and others out west once again? For what it’s worth, Washington has an official visit lined up to Tuscaloosa already for November.

With Tennessee set to lose Dominick Wood-Anderson after this season, the path to playing time would be fairly clear for Washington. There’s no denying what he instantly brings to the table as an athlete.