Q & A With Leon Washington

Last year freshman running back Leon Washington broke onto the Florida State scene by starring on special teams and backing up Greg Jones and Nick Maddox. This upcoming season, the 5-foot-9 and 197 pound standout plans to expand his role on and off the field. Check out this exclusive report on one of Florida State's future stars.

Q- What is your current weight?

A- Right now I'm about 197. Last year when I first came in I weighed 207. I want to be around 195- 200 and I feel real comfortable with that.

Q- How often are you working out and what are you and your teammates doing?

A- A lot of guys are back home for the summer but some guys are up here also trying to get better and get the extra workout in. Actually most of the guys report later in June. Most everybody will be going to the last secession of summer school. Some guys up here now trying to get that forceful workout in which is a good sign and that's what we're doing now.

Q- What kind of role do you anticipate for this upcoming year?

A- We are extremely talented in the backfield. We will get Greg Jones back at 100% and with me and Lorenzo Booker we got to be one of the best in country. We have all seen Lorenzo Booker in practice and he's going cause a lot of problems for people. He's a very shifty guy and he can make you miss in the open field. We got a mix of running. We got Greg Jones who is powerful and fast. You got me who kind of does both. You got Lorenzo that can flat out shake you out of your shoes. We got three guys right there that can do it all. The coaches got something planned for that. Obviously, I'll probably go in as number two guy because of the experience I got from last year backing up Greg Jones. The coaches are going to basically pool our talent and try and get all the guys on the field. We can't have any one on the bench too long because we are all playmakers.

Q- Last year you do it all on special teams. This year since you will be the number two back, will you play less on special teams?

A- Probably not. That's my thing. I like to play special teams especially returning kicks. I kind of want to do that because that's my forte and it will help me get to the next level. I think I kind of have talent for that. I'm the kind of guy that can get up the field and get those positive yards. I'm definitely going to work hard over the summer on catching the ball better. Last year I dropped a couple of balls. I felt pretty good about last year about what I did last year. I probably won't cover any kicks or punts this year though. If I can return some kicks, I can add to my game which will help me prepare me for the next level.

Q- What are you doing right now to get ready for the season?

A- Right now I basically work during the day and after I get out of work, I go workout. I get out at 4:00 PM. I have to work on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Some of the guys from Florida State and FAMU come out to the practice field and we run, do one on ones, run sprints, do cones drills and stuff like that. We are definitely getting extra work in. I came in early last year and I don't remember guys doing that before we had to. Basically all the workouts now are voluntary according to the NCAA rules. Basically, I just running, eating right, watching my weight and doing things like that. I don't want to get too big because I have three years left. I feel pretty good at 195 almost 200. I feel pretty good at that weight, especially being short and stocky. Basically I'm trying to increase my speed. My speed is pretty good. Basically, I'm doing the small things to help me get better. This year we feel very good coming into the season. It seems like this year guys really want it. Last year we had some guys that were awesome, this year we got some young guys that want to get that old Florida State tradition back.

Q- Who are some the guys that your working out with and who has impressed you so far?

A- Obviously, my roommate Buster. He's strong. Let me tell you he's very strong. Basically, all of our linebackers are impressive. A.J. and Sam are both strong guys. Greg Jones is impressive. A lot of guys are here now. We all workout out together about the same time. A lot of guys come in on their day off and workout between their summer classes. Guys are trying to be leaders on and off the field. I surprised by the amount of player working out this early. Guys like Bryant McFadden, Rufus Brown, Leroy Smith Chauncey Stovall, P.K. Sam, Lorne Sam, and Wyatt Sexton are all out there putting in their time trying to get better when they don't have to. That's the thing that makes champions. Do the things that losers don't like to do.

Q- What do you think of the chemistry is going to be like this year? Chris Rix had some troubles last year. Will the team rally around him?

A- Last season we had a couple of the field problems that kind of set us back. In the spring, everyone is around Chris now. Everyone understands that Chris is our leader and he's going to get us there. Chris is getting so much better. He looks much better reading his checks and reading defenses. He has the physical tools to take it to the next level. He needs to work on the small things. Not only Chris but everyone one us also have to work on the small things. With guys making mistakes in the past, we have established some leaders within the team. That was our goal for the spring was to establish some leaders. If we have leaders off the field, things will work out this fall on the field.

Q- Do you feel like some of the younger guys like Buster or you are stepping up to the plate in terms of leadership?

A- Yes. I feel like I'm a leader. I talk to guys all the time. I call guys that aren't here and make sure they are working out at home and doing the right things. We (Buster and I) constantly talk with guys and let them know we care about you. We talk about working hard and doing the right things on and off the field. We tell them they need to work on football and academics. I want to be leader out there and I think I will.

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