PITTSBURGH – Hines Ward not only set the tone for the charged-up Steelers on Monday night, he set a…
Snapshot: Nate Washington
"I'll do whatever is necessary to make it in the NFL," said Washington, who was signed by the Steelers as an undrafted rookie free agent following this year's draft. "To play in the NFL has been a dream of mine forever. When you're at a Division II school, you realize it's a longshot. But here I am."
The Steelers, however, would like to see more of him - as in about 10 pounds more.
At 6-1, 185 pounds, Washington was more than big enough to dominate at the Division II level. In fact, he caught 69 passes for 1,428 and 16 touchdowns as a senior, ranking third in receiving yards per game at 129.8.
But by NFL standards, he's a little more thin than the Steelers would like.
"They've asked me to put on some weight, but I don't think that will be a problem," said Washington. "I put on a couple of pounds the first couple of days that I was here."
But can he put on that kind of weight and keep his speed. He was timed at 4.53 seconds in the 40-yard dash at his pre-draft workouts and also owns a 39-inch vertical jump.
"I think I can keep that explosiveness," said Washington, a native of Toledo, Ohio.
Washington is the record-holder for receiving yards in a career (4,214), touchdown receptions in a career (47), receptions in a career (212), receptions in a game (13), receiving yards in a game (299), receptions in a season (70), receiving yards in a season (1,428) and touchdown receptions in a season (16).
"He's the best player to ever play at Tiffin University," Dragons coach Nate Cole told the Toledo Blade. "He's probably one of the best wide receivers ever to play at the Division II level. He was just unbelievable as far as playing at this level."
Washington hopes that translates to the NFL.
"I'm trying to work hard, learn and do everything I can to get my foot in the door," Washington said. "I'm learning from guys like Hines (Ward) and Antwaan (Randle El). They've been great. I want to show that a guy from Tiffin can make it in the NFL."
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