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Former Grayson football Lorenzo Washington, right, and his daughter pose for a photo in 2019.

Lorenzo Washington, the first high-level football recruit at Grayson, died over the weekend. He was 34.

Details of his passing have not been released.

Washington, a 2004 Grayson grad, played college football at Alabama and won a national championship with the Crimson Tide in 2009. He signed with Alabama in 2004, spent one season at Hargrave Military (Va.) and redshirted at Alabama in 2005 before playing the next three seasons.

The 6-foot-4, 295-pound defensive lineman spent a brief period in the NFL with the Cowboys, Patriots, Jets and Lions.

“(Washington) was a great kid, an unbelievable kid that was part our first team at Grayson (in 2000 as a freshman),” said former Grayson head coach Mickey Conn, now an assistant football coach at Clemson. “He was just a great person, a great kid, a hard worker. He was full of life, happy, smart. He was our first player that signed a big scholarship. Just a great person. It’s just a really, really sad day.”

According to Washington’s LinkedIn profile, he had worked as a finance manager for David McDavid Lincoln, a dealership in Plano, Texas, since May 2020. He also ran his own business, Gorilla Protection Services, a private security company, since 2016. He worked in the auto sales industry in Texas since 2012.

Brent Tisdale, Washington’s position coach at Grayson, said Washington was doing well in Texas and had a young daughter.

“Losing a former player is always tough, and we’re at the stage in life now where these guys have families of their own,” said Tisdale, now the director of student services for the Heard County School System. “He had daughter he named Zoe. She couldn’t be 9 or 10 years old. … It’s tragic any time a father passes away, especially when he has young children. We’re praying for him and his family.”

Washington made an impact at Grayson beyond the football field, his coaches said.

“What I remember about Zo is him being a hard-working kid who always got along with his teammates,” Tisdale said. “He was a great teammate early on when we were building that program. He’s kind of the first kid I can remember getting a big-time scholarship. He was always a huge kid physically, and he had a big personality, too. His teammates loved him. His coaches loved him.”

Washington’s loss also was felt heavily in Tuscaloosa, where he played college football.

“We are devastated to hear of the passing of Lorenzo Washington,” Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban said in a statement posted on Twitter. “Our thoughts and prayers are with Zo’s family, friends and teammates. He was an integral part of our 2009 national championship team, a wonderful son, father, friend and a loved teammate.”

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