USFNation Class of '08 Q&A: John Lejiste

In just over a month the next USF class will arrive on campus, and Delray Atlantic's John Lejiste, a hard hitting safety with speed to burn is one player to keep an eye on. In today's exclusive Class of '08 interview find all about Lejiste, what type of a player he is, what team he is most looking forward to playing against, and much, much more. Only on! Get it First, Get it Fast!

John Lejiste Profile  What have you been up to since the season ended?
John Lejiste: I've just been training. After school I train at our schools weight room, and then have been going down to the beach and running, that's about it.

USFN: What were the main reasons you chose USF?
Lejiste: The main reasons I chose USF, were that it's a great program with a great coaching staff, a great team coming back, and I think they have a great chance at going far this year and future years. It's something that I look forward to being part of and starting the run.

USFN: Have you been following the Bulls this season?
Lejiste: Yeah, I watched every game I could, and went to the game they played against FAU.

USFN: Did you follow the draft and how the USF corners faired?
Lejiste: Yeah, I followed the draft, and noticed where both of them went. It was really great to see two USF corners get selected, and makes you think.

USFN: How long have the Bulls been recruiting you, and who made the biggest impression on you during your recruitment?
Lejiste: Before signing day I spoke a lot with Coach McCarney, Coach Leavitt and Coach Douglas. Coach Douglas made the biggest impression on me, and seems like a great coach, real down to earth. We have kept in contact since signing day, he makes sure that I'm working out and getting prepared for the fall, and I look forward to working with him.

USFN: Do you know any of the current players on the Bulls?
Lejiste: The only one I know is No. 2, the receiver, Carlton Mitchell. We hung out on my visit, and he's probablt the player I'm the closest with right now.

USFN: What position are the Bulls recruiting you for, and do you play any other positions?
Lejiste: They're recruiting me at both safety and corner. Which ever one I adapt to faster, is probably the position that I'll play. I did play mostly safety in high school, but it really doesn't matter to me, which, I can play both and can play both. 

USFN: What kind of numbers did you finish with last season?
Lejiste: Last season I had one interception, with three forced fumbles. I don't remember the total tackles but I also had one blocked field goal and one blocked punt..

USFN: What type of a defense do you like to run the most?
Lejiste: I like the cover-2, and man, but can play in any type.

USFN: What type of offense do you like to see when you get to the line?
Lejiste: I like to see them in an I-formation, pro set, and stuff like that. It's easy to read. But it really doesn't matter, whether they come out in spread or anything. I just read the quarterback, and react.

USFN: Do have a favorite play that you like to run?

Lejiste: Well last season we ran Man/off-man a lot, so I'd say that was my favorite because we ran it so much.  

USFN: Do you enjoy playing special teams? 
Lejiste: I played kick-off and kick return in high school, and always enjoy running down the field and delivering a big hit, especially early in the game to se the tone.  

USFN: What are some of your strengths as a player? 
Lejiste: I'm a hard worker and a great listener. I'm very coachable and will listen to what a coach say's is best for me. I got good speed and am a pretty good tackler.  

USFN: Is there anything that you would like to work on as a player?
Lejiste: Probably getting quicker. I'm pretty fast, but want to get even quicker.

USFN: What is your favorite thing to do on the field?
Lejiste: To make a big hit, a crowd pleasing hit. Yes sir, that's what I enjoy doing the most.

USFN: What is the perfect play to you?
Lejiste: The perfect play? To get an interception and return it all the way for a touchdown.

USFN: What is your most memorable moment on the field?
Lejiste: This past year in a game against Dwyer, both defenses were stopping the opponent offenses in a tight game. And on one play their running back broke out and I put a pretty big hit on him that caused him to fumble. That pretty much switched the momentum, and our team scored. We ended up winning 21-14 in a defensive struggle. It was a big hit, a crowd pleasing hit. Just the way I like it.

USFN: Is there a player on another level, college or pro that you model your game after?
Lejiste: One of my favorite players is Bob Sanders. I like the way he plays and sort of model my game after him.

USFN: What are your current height, weight and 40 yard time?
Lejiste: Currently, I'm 6'0 and 190 pounds, and run a 4.44-40 yard dash.

USFN: Do you play any other sports?
Lejiste: I also run track, I compete in the high jump and in 4x1. Last time I check I jumped a 37. 

USFN: What are you going to do to stay in shape before you get to Campus?
Lejiste: I'm just following the book that the USF coaches sent me. That and lifting, running and making sure I'm in the best shape possible. 

USFN: Do you have any issues if they ask you to redshirt?
Lejiste: No, that's totally up to the coaches. If they feel that is what's best for me then I have no problem redshirting.  

USFN: What do they plan to accomplish while here at USF?
Lejiste: I'd like to play early, or as early as I can, and help the team get to that next level.

USFN: When I say USF, what three things come to your head?
Lejiste: USF, a team on the rise, a great program, playing in a great city.

USFN: What team are they most looking forward to playing against in the next 4 years?
Lejiste: I'm looking forward to playing West Virginia, Rutgers, and pretty much all the Big East teams. Also Miami, we play them in two years and that would be a great match-up, and I can't wait to play them.

USFN: Do feel that you were overshadowed at all by your teammate Karnel Hatcher or have something to prove?
Lejiste: No, not really. Karnel is a great player, I played next to him for three years, and don't look at it that way. I do have a couple things I that I have to prove, but prove them to myself.

USFN: Are you already qualified?
Lejiste: Yes I'm already qualified. I have a 3.4 GPA, and scored a 990 on the SAT.

USFN: What is with the signing of every text with ‘The One'?
Lejiste: Pretty much for everything I do, I call myself ‘The One', and it kind of became my nickname.

USFN: Are you excited to get to campus?
Lejiste: Yes very excited, I can't wait. Oh. I'm real excited that I'll be at USF real soon, I can't wait.

USFN: Is there anything you want to say to USF fans?
Lejiste: Tell them, I look forward to being a Bull, helping start a trend, and to a great season.

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