Kelley vows to do it all this fall
''I'm blessed to be versatile — to be able to throw it around and run around a little bit and catch the ball,'' he said recently. ''You've got to use all your talents.'' >p> Tennessee's coaching staff is determined that he do precisely that. They plan to use him as a wideout, a slotback and a flanker this fall. The thinking is that moving him around will make it tougher for opponents to double-team him. Since he's a strong runner, he'll probably carry the ball on a few wingback reverses or end-arounds this fall. Because he is 6-4 and 225 pounds, he might line up at tight end occasionally. And, because the Vols have no proven backup for Casey Clausen, the strong-armed Washington might see some action behind center. He's even getting some work in practice as the holder on field goal attempts. >p> ''I wouldn't be surprised if I lined up anywhere ... tight end ... quarterback ...'' Washington said. >p> He starred as a quarterback in high school and completed his only pass attempt last season. That was a flanker pass to Donte' Stallworth in the Citrus Bowl win over Michigan. He expects to use his passing skills considerably more this fall. >p> ''I'll be throwing it around,'' he said. ''I'll be doing a little mix of everything this year. They got a taste of it in the Michigan game but I can do a lot more than that.'' >p> Although he caught a team-high 64 passes for a team-high 1,010 yards last fall, Washington isn't about to rest on his laurels. He says he still has plenty to prove. >p> ''Definitely,'' he said. ''I still have a lot to learn, and I'm willing to do that, day in and day out. I learn the position even more, because this is just a stepping stone for the next level. I go out every day and try to work harder than the next man, be the best receiver and the best leader I can.'' >p> Washington does not lack for confidence. He talks big off the field and talks trash on it. If he upsets an opponent — or even a teammate — so what? >p> ''That's just a way for me to get totally into the game,'' he said. ''I use it to feed off the crowd. I use that anticipation and excitement to really get going, really get guys worked up. I want their best. I don't want them to play 50 percent against me. I want everything, 100 percent of what they have, to get me better. That's no harm to a teammate or an opposing player. I call it survival tactics when I go out there to play.... It's a way for me to get totally into the game and understand that my family's on the line.'' >p> Asked if he's ever regretted one of his outrageous comments, Washington shook his head. >p> ''Never,'' he said. ''What I say is what's on my mind at that moment.'' >p> After four years in baseball's low minor leagues, Washington figures the rigors of major college football are no big deal. One game per week seems easy compared to one game per night, even when you're getting hammered by 250-pound linebackers every now and then. >p> ''You're going to get hit, you're going to get knocked down,'' he said. ''You've got to get back up. I've been through a lot worse in my life. I'm grateful to be out there. I keep saying it: I've got to support my family, so I've got to get back up.'' >p> What Washington accomplished as a college freshman last season was remarkable. Throw in the fact he was shedding the rust of a four-year layoff from football, and his achievements were downright mind-boggling. Most people were shocked by his performance, but not Kelley. >p> ''Internally, I believed I was destined for great things,'' he said. ''You always have to be self-confident. I just felt it was God's plan for me to experience adversity in the minor leagues, to work hard and put everything on the line for my family, come to college and do the things I've done on the college level so far. I always believed I was destined for great things, and it doesn't stop here. I feel I'm blessed.''
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