COLUMBUS, Ohio -- ESPNU Watch List defensive lineman Adolphus Washington (Cincinnati, Ohio/Taft) is ready to cut his list.
The 6-foot-4, 251-pound Under Armour All-American says Michigan, Ohio State, Kentucky, Alabama and Miami have made the top five.
"I like Ohio State because of the tradition and I'm from here and I just love the program," Washington added. "Michigan and Miami are both rebuilding their programs and they are willing to play young talent.
"When it comes to Kentucky, I like them, my dad likes them, it's SEC football and it's close to my family."
The Crimson Tide, while not close to home, has a family connection that could work in their favor.
"My cousin, Alfred McCullough, plays there so going there would be like going to another home," Washington said. "My dad is from Alabama, actually most of my family is from there."
While Washington is still a ways away from making a commitment, he did spend some time during Saturday's NFTC camp to talk recruiting with another one of the state's top defensive lineman.
"I am really impressed with Se'Von Pittman," Washington said. "I've been talking to him a lot and we have a lot in common."
When asked if the two Watch List performers had talked about possibly playing together at the next level, Washington said yes.
"I think we can be part of a terrific defensive line and with Dwayne [Stanford] on the other side catching the ball it would be great," Washington said. "Anything is possible."
Big men come up big
There was no match in one-on-one drills for defensive tackle Ondre Pipkins (Kansas City, Mo./Park Hill) as the 6-2, 325-pounder dominated en route to taking the defensive line MVP honors.
"This was a very instructional camp and they worked with us on a lot of fundamental elements and the coaches spent time in the drills working with us," Pipkins said. "Most camps just run you through a couple drills and go straight to one-on-ones but this was much different."
Pipkins has offers from Alabama, Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Tennessee and several others. His appeal as a pure nose guard makes him a coveted prospect for teams running a 3-4 defense.
"It's rare to find a player coming out of high school that is physically ready to play nose guard," Pipkins said. "You have to be ready for a lot double teams, triple teams, cut blocks; it's all very demanding on the body. It takes a lot work and a lot of training."
Pipkins said he's going to spend much of the summer with his teammates but plans on taking a couple of unofficial visits and doing some one-day camps.
Another nose guard, Dan O'Brien (Flint, Mich./L.M. Powers Catholic) skipped the agility drills due to a lingering hip injury but performed well in the individual drills.
"I think I competed well and I gave it everything I had," O'Brien said. "I screamed a little and that's how I like to do it."
O'Brien's latest offers are from Alabama, Arkansas, Iowa and Vanderbilt. He has been talking with Tennessee, Michigan and Michigan State regularly. Although O'Brien played some at the five-technique position at the camp, he's generally being recruited as three-technique tackle.
"I just play the five technique for the fun of it," O'Brien joked. "Everybody wants me as a nose tackle, but if they want me outside or want me at wide receiver I'll play that."
O'Brien, who says he's about 285-290 pounds, doesn't want to get to a size that will sacrifice his speed.
"Most of the nose guards are 340-350 but I don't want to be that player," O'Brien said. "I want to hit you with my quickness and everybody likes to compare me to [former Michigan defensive lineman] Mike Martin but that's the type of player I like to be."
O'Brien has changed his weight training to help his conditioning as he working with more resistance bands instead of free weights. He expects to attend summer camps at Michigan, Michigan State and Tennessee.
NFTC news and notes
• Class of 2013 prospect Jaylon Smith (Fort Wayne, Ind./Bishop Luers) took home linebacker MVP honors, but the 6-2, 210-pounder is aware he could outgrow the position soon enough. "I know there's a good chance I could end up at defensive end," Smith said. "I do a lot of that now."
Smith had 11.5 sacks as a sophomore on defense and eight touchdowns on offense as a running back. He will be back in Columbus to attend the Ohio State camp over the summer and the Buckeyes already have an advantage in his recruitment as his brother, Rod Smith, will be a redshirt freshman in the program this season.
• Defensive back John Turner (Indianapolis, Ind./Cathedral) recently received his first Big Ten offer -- Minnesota. The Golden Gophers join Ball State, Bowling Green, Miami (Ohio), Temple, Toledo and Western Michigan in offering the 6-foot, 195-pounder.
"I'm being recruited as a free safety but some schools are talking about me becoming a will linebacker or a hybrid," Turner said.
• Defensive back Cameron Burrows (Trotwood, Ohio/Trotwood-Madison) was one of the top underclassmen on hand Saturday. The 6-1, 186-pounder already has offers Missouri, Cincinnati and Illinois. He says he's also receiving a lot of interest from LSU, Florida, Ohio State, Michigan and Michigan State.
• Running back Jordan Hughes (Indianapolis, Ind./Arsenal Tech) was a late addition to the roster but had a strong showing. The 5-10, 181-pounder said that Minnesota, Ball State and Purdue are heavily interested and Eastern Kentucky visited him on campus. Hughes had over 1,500 yards and 20 touchdowns as a junior.
• Class of 2013 prospect Shane Morris (Warren, Mich./De La Salle), a recent Michigan commit, was named the quarterbacks MVP. Other MVP award winners were running back Ray Harris (O'Fallon, Mo./Fort Zumwalt West); wide receiver Trey Parmalee (Shawnee Mission, Kan./Bishop Miege); offensive lineman Kyle Knapp (Portage, Mich./Central) and defensive back Sebastian Smith (Pickerington, Ohio/Central).
Corey Long has been covering high school football and recruiting in the Sunshine State since 1995. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.