Washington Still Solid For the Pack

Pack Pride talks with tailback James Washington about his recent official visit to NC State.

Florida is loaded with division one running backs for the class of 2009 and Orlando (Fla) Boone RB James Washington has proven over the past two seasons that his name belongs up there with the state’s best.

After rushing for 1,760 yards and 16 touchdowns while leading his team to the 6A state championship game in 2007, Washington has picked up right where he left off last season.

Through four games, the senior running back has totaled 766 yards on 82 carries- averaging better than nine yards per carry.

That production is exactly what led NC State to extend a scholarship off last spring. Washington promptly made the trip up for the Wolfpack’s football camp in June and committed shortly thereafter over offers from Rutgers, South Florida, Cincinnati and Memphis.

At 6-0, 175 pounds, Washington is a talented running back with tremendous vision and the ability to make people miss and then run away from defenders. This past weekend he was in Raleigh for his official visit with NC State and Pack Pride talked with Washington in this Q&A.

James, how has your season gone so far?

We’re 4-0 right now. So far I’ve been averaging 195 yards per game and I have eight touchdowns on the season. The last few games I’ve only played two or three quarters because of the score. I think we’re going to be able to make it far in the state playoffs and hopefully we can get another state championship. Probably Dr Phillips (High School) is going to be the toughest team on the schedule from here on out.

Talk a little bit about your official visit and how it went.

I really loved it. I was able to spend some time sitting through some of the player’s meetings. I got to sit with coach O’Brien before the game and see how everything goes behind the scenes so I would know how it would be when I get there.

Academics are obviously a big part as well. Did you get to spend some time looking at that aspect of it?

We spent some time with the academic coordinator and we talked about majors and how your schedule would be once you enroll in school. It’s cool to get all of that out of the way so you know like 6:00 in the morning you’re going to be lifting weights or working out and then what you’ll be doing after that the rest of the day.

The game against USF obviously didn’t go the way State would’ve liked. As a recruit, what were your thoughts?

It was like I saw that I can go out there and help them but mostly I looked at the fact that they didn’t give up. They were trying even though things weren’t going right so that really stuck out for me. After the game, the team was okay. They were mad that they lost but coach O’Brien told them that the game was behind us, now we have to prepare for Boston College.

Who hosted you on your visit?

Toney Baker and Curtis Underwood hosted me on my visit. They were telling me that there at State they really care a lot about football and how coach Swepson is a great guy and I’ll love playing under him. They were also talking about how coach O’Brien was getting everything going in the right direction.

Did this visit solidify your commitment to NC State?

When I made my verbal commitment I was staying with them but with the official visit, I knew this was where I want to be. I can’t wait to get there. I’ve been getting mail from some other schools but I don’t really care. I’m just focused on playing and getting up there to NC State.

You made your official visit with another player from Florida. Any idea where Julius Forte may be leaning?

I think Julius is just checking all the schools out right now but if everything works out, to me it seems like he might go ahead and commit to NC State. He was talking about going to Ole Miss so I think it was out of NC State and Ole Miss.

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