DAY ONE PM: Interview with Tavares Washington

Tavares Washington will take on a new challenge this season. The 6-4 320 offensive lineman has battled through injuries during his entire Florida career. Washington spoke about his new role after practice today and how he prepared for it.

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"I've never played guard in my life," Washington said. "I've always been a tackle. The biggest change in a three point stance is one of the biggest changes for me. I'm going to get it down and everything will be good."

Washington said that he feels great and is looking forward to the upcoming season, in part because of the hours that he has spent getting ready to take the field.

"We, Mike Degory and some of us other offensive lineman got together and went out and worked on plays," he said. "We worked on getting down in the three point stance and different zone steps. We really worked on it all summer, so we'll be good. I love the zone blocking assignments. I'm comfortable pulling to, because I really being out in the open field and working."

Coaches and his fellow linemen aren't the only ones who are comfortable with the changes that face Washington and offensive tackle Lance Butler.

"Those guys are the hardest workers on the team," quarterback Chris Leak said. "They put a lot into what they do and take a lot of pride. They're really the leaders of the team. We (offensive backfield) worked out with guys that we usually don't work out with. We worked out this summer with the linemen. You come to appreciate everything they do and how hard they work. They're athletic guys. They have the ability to move around and play different positions. I mean, Mike (Degory) can play every position. They're very athletic and smart enough to that."

He faces a seemingly tougher task in trying to compete without injury. Washington came to Florida with accolades at both the high school and junior college level. He is eager to prove it.

"I rehabbed my knee all summer and made sure that I got it healthy and strong," he said. "And I'm just steadily rehabbing, so I'm not going to stop. I got a lot stronger this summer working with Mick. A lot stronger. I also learned how a team is supposed to come together and work. That will also help us in moving to a different position. Everything will be fine."

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