RECRUITING: Louisiana DT doing fine

DT Chaz Washington talks about Hurricane Katrina and what's in store for him this season.

Chaz Washington, DT, 6-3, 300, 5.2, DESTREHAN (ST. ROSE HS), LOUISIANA:

JH: I hear that your area didn't get hit real hard by Hurricane Katrina, but give us an update on your situation?

CW: "We returned home about a week or so OK and our phone service has been down until a few days ago. We were in Houston for a week and a half with my cousins. Actually, we were in Missouri City, but we were lucky because while most of New Orleans was under water. We just had some roof damage and we were able to move back in to our house.

JH: So you got out of Louisiana before the storm hit?

CW: "We got out that Saturday before the hurricane hit. We got on the road and it took us 10 hours to get to Baton Rouge from our house. Traffic was so backed up and everybody was trying to get out of town, or at least it seemed like that. Then it took us another 16 hours to get to Houston, and that is where we were when the Hurricane hit."

JH: Thank goodness you got prepared to leave?

CW: "We were prepared for about three days, but when our stay in Missouri City stretched that long we weren't prepared for that. At least we could go home. That is better than most of the people in New Orleans. It is a tough scene in New Orleans right now. The water is receding and they are finding bodies, which is terrible. In the Convention Center they have about 700 bodies at this point in a freezer. It is just horrible. It is tough to think about and gruesome to watch on television, but you watch because you feel you know these people. It is just terrible what has happened to New Orleans."

JH: Have you been able to find all your friends and relatives?

CW: "I have been able to contact all my friends who lived in New Orleans, and all my friends are OK. All my relatives are as well. But they have lost their homes and all their belongings and many of them have moved to Houston."

JH: Are you actually playing football again and going to school?

CW: "We had a game Sunday and we won 14-0. We didn't have any tape on those guys so we couldn't prepare like we normally do, yet we let it fly and won 14-0. I had a sluggish first half, but in the second half I had about six tackles and two sacks. The coaches were mad at me, but I was happy with my play. Considering everything that is going on to just play in a game was fantastic. I will get better as we get back into a groove. We will return to class on Thursday."

JH: How is recruiting going?

CW: "A lot of coaches have called to see how I am, so I am taking it day by day. I want to work hard this year to do well at the next level. I want to work hard in the classroom to make sure that I am ready to go. I want to take care of business on the field to make sure I can go where I want to go. There has been so much going on that it is hard to concentrate on recruiting, but it is great to hear from all the coaches."

JH: Who are you still considering in recruiting?

CW: "Oklahoma, Miami, Tennessee, Florida, Auburn, Texas Tech, Nebraska and Florida State."

JH: Where does Oklahoma stand in recruiting with you at this time?

CW: "Oklahoma is still No. 1 with me right now. Coach Wilson has contacted me a bunch of times to check on me and make sure that I am alright. Coach Wilson and Coach (John) Blake at Nebraska have been the two coaches who have gone out of their way to check on me to see if I am doing OK. I thank God for Coach Wilson and Coach Blake, because I know they really care for me and are looking out for me."

JH: What is your top three at this time?
CW: "I would say my top three would be Oklahoma, Miami and Nebraska."

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