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2017 Tech football rankings: No. 9 Broderick Washington Jr.

Washington was a stalwart in the middle of the Red Raider defense

NCAA Football: Kansas State at Texas Tech Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Broderick Washington Jr. had high expectations coming into the 2017 season after finishing his freshman campaign on a high note. Still young, still learning, he did not disappoint. Washington proved to be a pillar on the inside of the defensive line.

9. Broderick Washington Jr., DT (Preseason Rank: 10)

2017 performance

Washington started all 12 games this season and tallied 24 solo tackles while assisting 14 more. He added two sacks, forced one fumble and recorded two quarterback hits. His performance earned him an All-Big 12 Honorable Mention.

All of this from a player who arrived on campus in 2015 as an offensive lineman, not too shabby. The defensive line as a unit was by far the most improved from last year and was the best that Lubbock has seen since the days of Mike Leach. Red Raider fans were all too familiar with opposing offenses running roughshod over Tech’s “defense” and racking up historic numbers in the process. Washington was a leader on the unit that made the transition from being a joke to being quietly impressive.

The main difference from years’ past was an ability to stop the run. That effort keyed around Washington and his fellow interior lineman. He ate up blockers, often drawing double teams, which allowed the linebackers freedom to get into gaps and make the necessary stop. Considering this is the main goal of a run-stuffing defensive tackle, it makes Washington’s stats even more impressive.

2018 outlook

Going into next season, Washington will be a redshirt Junior. He’s essentially a lock to come back to Lubbock and once again be a leader on an improved defense. The entirety of the defensive line is returning with the exception of Mych Thomas and he’s being replaced by the big Joe Wallace. With so much returning, we can expect even bigger things out of Washington next year. Of course, statistics can be somewhat deceiving for Washington’s position. The main priority is to stuff the run. That means commanding as many blockers as possible in order to free up teammates.

Washington should see his fair share of double teams, but we expect him to dominate his one-on-one match ups when they present themselves. The biggest area for improvement available to Washington will be in passing situations, creating even more pressure up the middle of the pocket than he has to date.

With Washington’s work ethic, we have little doubt that we’ll be looking at an even larger presence on the defensive line next season.