Big Trip & Big Expectations For Washington

Chaz Washington is easily the top player in the Palmetto State without a scholarship offer. With his ACT scores set to come back any day expect that to change quickly. In an exclusive Q&A Washington talks about a cross country trip coming up soon, his growth as a leader, and expectations for next season.

If you haven't seen Chaz Washington play football then take few minutes to watch the youngster in action. Pound for pound Washington is one of the toughest players we've seen in the 2008 class. His ability to change directions and explode when tackling ballcarriers is remarkable. His speed also makes him a great cover guy as well. He may stay at linebacker but we wouldn't be surprised if he ended up at safety on the next level where things could get scary for offensive teams given his prowess as a big hitter. SCPrepNation.com sat down with the Richland Northeast star for an exclusive Q&A.

Chaz Washington Q&A

KF: Has your list of schools changed since the last time we talked?
CW: Nah not really except for Clemson. It's Colorado, Vanderbilt, Tennessee, Virginia Tech, with Clemson and Virginia together for fifth.

KF: You have a big trip planned for next weekend...where are you going and how excited are you about it?
CW: Yes sir I'm visiting Colorado next weekend. I'm real excited about meeting all the coaching staff, players, seeing the facilities, and basically seeing what all they have to offer out there.

KF: With you making such a long trip is it safe to say that Colorado is near or at the top of your schools currently?
CW: Oh yeah. Oh yeah most definitely.

KF: What have college coaches been saying to you lately?
CW: Just been checking in with me to see how I'm doing and waiting to see how my first 3 games turn out along with my test scores and that more than likely if things go well I'll get offers from them.

KF: What have you been doing this offseason?
CW: I've been working hard on improving my strength, my footwork, gaining weight, and improving my speed. My bench press is 295 pounds now but I'll keep working hard to get stronger overall.

KF: We hear you've become the leader for RNE being more vocal and leading your young teammates. Talk about it and what you've done lately?
CW: Basically some days while we're in the weight room I show them that I work hard each and every day that they'll follow. Our defensive coordinator won't let us walk around the weight room, no matter what. A couple of players were walking around and coach and I looked at each other and I had to get onto some of them about it. We feel that it would carry on to the field so we're trying to keep everybody on the same page while we boost the morale. We don't like any of the players standing around because we can't get lazy or complacent when we should be working hard.

I talked to coach Frye and told him that I thought it would be great for us on Thursdays to have somebody who's willing to let the defense stay at their house for a few hours....watch movies like Remember The Titans and Friday Night Lights. Say a group prayer beforehand and watch it...have some snacks. To me it's something we can do to bond and become closer as a unit. Come game time I've been really becoming more vocal and getting the guys after it in everything.

KF: Do you have any other trips planned in the near future?
CW: I'm planning on taking a couple of official visits right before the season starts...I'll probably start by visiting Virginia around the middle of August or somewhere.

KF: You've been hanging out with and working out with some college players...who and what have you learned from them?
CW: I've been hanging out with Syvelle Newton the former USC star, I started hanging around him this year. We've stayed in contact with one another and he's been through a lot. Me being a good friend and looking up to him I know he's been through a lot that many people don't realize. He tells me what he's doing to try and make it to the NFL by working out each and every day. He says he sees the drive in me that I really want to make it on the next level. He's got a great personality and he says he can see a lot of himself in me when I get to college being able to make plays.

KF: What's it going to be like for you when you get that first offer once your test scores come back? Is there a chance you may commit early or will you wait the process out?
CW: First thing that'll come to mind is to thank God. I've been basically waiting and trying to stay humble, focus on improving in the weight room, getting better in the classroom, on the field, and becoming a better person overall. It's going to be a relief for me. I've been patiently waiting.
I'm gonna try to wait the entire process out, one reason I may commit early not that I look for this to happen, but the chance that I might get an injury that may be a reason I might commit early. I've heard of guys who had offers but didn't commit and after they got injured during the season they didn't have those offers any longer. In all I'm looking to commit in December or January.

KF: Some including myself can see you playing safety in college, what do you think about possibly moving on the next level?
CW: I'm open to possibly moving, wherever on the defense they want to put me. If I had to change anywhere other than linebacker it'd be safety. Rover is a position I can see myself playing at in the future. That may be the position that I can be the best at overall in time.

KF: Talk a little bit about your relationships with some of the coaches recruiting you.
CW: I've been calling coaches even though they know nobody's offered me yet they've all been keeping in contact with me everyday on a personal level. Coach Caldwell at Vandy and I talk just about everyday and he says that he sees tons of potential in me and that I can make it regardless of where I go. Coach O'Cain from VT is another guy is who is really down to earth. After a game that I went up to see and visit he was waiting on the sideline. He was looking in the stands from the sideline while everybody else was celebrating in the middle of the field...I finally walked down to the bottom of the gate and he was looking for me in the crowd to talk to me. He took me in to the locker room after the game and let me sit in with the players and listen to Coach Beamer speak to them. I've been getting a lot of handwritten letters from him, coach Beamer, coach Foster...it made me feel real special. Colorado and coach Cabral they tell me that want to see me make it and that I can be an impact player wherever I go. Coach Dan Brooks from Tennessee also stays in touch with me to let me know how things are going. Clemson, I have a lot of love for their coaching staff...I can envision myself there...just talking to them Coach Rumph and coach West are great guys. Coach Beilein from UVa is another one I really have a lot of respect for because of how honest and down to earth he has been with me.

KF: What can the fans expect from you and RNE next season?
CW: For the fans this is going to be one year of excitement and big things going on. Richland Northeast is going to come out stronger than ever. It's gonna be a lot of people out there downing me but I get motivated by that to become a better player and stay humble. In reality get ready to look for a lot to happen for Northeast. We will be the #1 defense in the state hopefully.

SCPrepNation.com will have more updates with RNE's Chaz Washington as he prepares for his trip to Colorado and awaits his test scores which should change his tons of interest into some scholarship offers. Stay tuned.


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