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5-star PF P.J. Washington includes Texas in final 8

The ‘Horns are still in the mix for the Team USA big.

Photo: 247Sports

Only eight schools remain in contention for five-star power forward P.J. Washington and not so surprisingly, the Texas Longhorns are among those finalists.

In addition to Texas, Kentucky, North Carolina, UNLV, Arizona, UCLA, North Carolina State and Kansas are still in being considered, as well, but reports have suggested the realistic destination pool is only half of that list. As 247Sports’ Chris Hummer has noted on multiple occasions, the only candidates with more than some hope and a dream of landing Washington are Texas, Kentucky, North Carolina and Arizona.

Such sentiments align with Washington’s comments about planning to visit each of the four during football season and making a decision shortly thereafter.

Surprisingly, considering the basketball powers Texas will be tasked with competing against for Washington’s services, the ‘Horns look to be in pole position with the Dallas native and Findlay Prep product.

Washington’s interest in Texas has been known for quite some time now, and that interest will likely only continue to grow. A considerable factor in that can be credited to Shaka Smart’s time as the Team USA U18 head coach, in which Washington started all five games en route to a gold medal.

During his experience, Washington raved about Smart, per 247Sports:

“He’s a great coach," Washington said. "He bonds well with you on and off the floor with everybody. He’s just a wonderful human being. I love playing for him.”

In addition to Smart coaching Team USA, it certainly can’t hurt that Washington was teammates with current Texas big men Jarrett Allen and James Banks, along with heavy Texas lean Matt Coleman.

Ranked as the nation’s No. 16 player and No. 6 power forward, Washington could ultimately become the headliner of yet another elite class in Austin. Texas currently leads in Washington’s Crystal Ball.