Expanded Role

<b> Torrance Washington </b> was a 1,000-yard rusher in high school, a big, physical running back who made an impact each game. Washington would love to recapture that feeling at Florida State. Well, Seminole fullbacks could have an expanded role in the offense this year. Plus, Washington is feeling better following a knee injury. Click here for all the details. "That's why I came to Florida State," Washington said. "I don't mind blocking but I want to be in the offense, too."

Torrance Washington was a 1,000-yard rusher in high school, a big, physical running back who made an impact each game. Washington would love to recapture that feeling at Florida State

Washington and his fellow fullbacks are looking to play an expanded role in the Seminoles' offense this season. The group emphasized pass-catching and conditioning during spring drills, and not much has changed this off-season.

That could be good news for the athletic Washington, who also boasted a 4.52 40 and 33-inch vertical jump at nearby Madison High School.

"That's why I came to Florida State," Washington said.

"I don't mind blocking but I want to be in the offense, too. I want to play football. I know I can help this team. I just want the chance to help this team. This year we will be used more hopefully in terms of being a bigger part of the offense.

"Hopefully, we can get the ball more. Touch the ball. I like playing fullback but I came from a high school where I used to run. Hopefully, I will be able to touch the ball more and make more of a contribution. I've been working on my blocking and pass-catching. I want to have a complete game."

At the moment, however, Washington also his concentrating on his health -- his recovery from a spring knee injury continues.

In fact, walk-on James Coleman , turned out to be a key contributor at fullback for the Seminoles last spring as injuries slowed both Washington and B.J. Dean. Coleman was voted the Top Non-Scholarship Player on offense and also earned the unit's Most Improved and Big Hitter Award.

The 6-foot-1, 245-pound Washington showed FSU fans glimpses of his talent last season as a freshman. He played in 13 games overall, starting three, and was one of only two Seminole running backs to go the entire season without a negative yard rushing. Washington finished the season with 18 carries for 86 yards -- his 4.8 average was third on the team.

On the flip side, however, Washington had the fullback's lone catch, going for five yards. The group was used primarily for blocking and short-yardage situations. Washington believes the unit can be much more effective this season.

"We have more plays involving the fullbacks and we even lined up in a single-back set during the spring," Washington said and smiled.

"We have the talent. That's the thing about this offense. Everyone has to be dedicated to it. I think last year we had a lot of inexperience and we just have to stay focused and be willing to work hard during the season."

Washington also continues to work hard on his recovery, though he has not been cleared for the start of two-a-days yet.

"I am feeling good," Washington said.

"It's just a matter of me getting my knee stronger. It doesn't hurt or anything. I am just trying to get the muscles around it (stronger) so I can get back to 100 percent so it doesn't get fatigued. I still have the take the Cybex (test), but I am feeling good, ready to go."

Washington, who selected FSU over North Carolina, Mississippi State, Kentucky and West Virginia and helped lead the Madison County Cowboys to the Class 3A state championship in Doak Campbell Stadium, wants to contribute like he did in high school. FSU also is known for its versatile fullbacks, starting with Washington's childhood favorite in Edgar Bennett.

Washington had a season-high 38 yards on six carries against Clemson and a career-long rush of 20 yards at Louisville. He also scored touchdowns against Notre Dame, Virginia and Duke.

"It's frustrating when you want to play and you get injured," Washington said. "But you have to keep the faith. I feel like God does all things for a reason. You just have to keep your faith and work hard and that's what I am trying to do. I am excited about the season -- the entire team is. We are ready to get started."


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