When Chris Grier attended the Ohio State-Michigan game with Wolverines superfan Stephen Ross last November, most assumed it was to get a close look at quarterback Dwayne Haskins.
Instead, it might have been to determine just how many Buckeyes he could squeeze onto the Dolphins’ roster.
Or to be more precise, four. Only one NFL franchise has more Ohio State players — the Saints, with six.
Grier passed on Haskins, even though the first-round quarterback was available when the Dolphins picked at 13.
But he saw enough out of offensive tackle Isaiah Prince during last fall’s big game — and then later at Ohio State’s pro day — to take him in the sixth round of April’s draft. That marked the third consecutive year Grier drafted a Buckeye, following linebacker Raekwon McMillan in 2017 and linebacker Jerome Baker in 2018.
So who’s the fourth Miami Buckeye?
The Dolphins’ newest player, defensive tackle Adolphus Washington, who signed with the team just last week.
“It’s always good reuniting with your old teammates,” Washington said this week. “They’ve been helping me out a lot since I’ve been here, letting me know where to go, what time to be at meetings, being on time is late and all that stuff. Kind of like it was at Ohio State, so I’m kind of used to it.”
Washington is on his fourth team in four years — and third in nine months — a sign that he has yet to live up to his third-round draft pedigree. In 35 career games, he has just 11 tackles for loss and 4 1/2 sacks.
But perhaps a change of scenery — with some familiar faces — will be the difference.
Washington’s length and athletic ability are still the same as they were when the Bills drafted him three years ago, and were enough for the Dolphins to take a flier on him.
“We saw a young man who’s got some versatility, got some pass-rush ability, does some good things in the run game,” coach Brian Flores said. “He’s had a little bit of production in the league. We felt like he would be a good addition to our team.”
Added McMillan, who was Washington’s teammate in Columbus in 2014 and 2015: “D.D. was a dog. I call him D.D. Great player. Everybody that I played with at Ohio State upfront was drafted, and I expect the same thing here with Dolphins.”
Will all four Buckeyes be on the Dolphins’ opening day roster? It largely depends on if Washington and Prince step up during training camp and the preseason.
“I have to work for it pretty much,” Washington said. “I have to go out there and prove myself to my teammates, to the coaches, let them know that they can trust me and I can go out there and play.”