Sorry this is late. I was detained by other work stuff, principally an interview with women’s basketball coach MaChelle Joseph and then some reporting at the South regional at the Georgia Dome. Onward to the second half of the interview with Georgia Tech quarterback Tevin Washington, covering a variety of topics.
1. On playing Virginia Tech in the opener: “I’m excited, to be honest. We don’t have to wait until game 8 to play them. We get to come out, give our best shot to them coming out of the gate. I think it’s going to be a big game. I mean, I’m excited. I know everybody on the team is excited. It’s a big game, on Labor Day. I think it’s going to be a good game.”
He said it’s a motivation to players to play Virginia Tech instead of an FCS team in the opener.
“There’s a lot on the line coming out on the first game,” he said. “It’s a conference game, we’re going to get a chance to make a statement in the conference and I’m pretty sure nationally. So everybody’s hyped up and just ready to go.”
2. He noted that in the past two seasons, playing the Hokies later in the season, players are “kind of banged up” by that point. He said he didn’t mean to use that as an excuse for losing, ” But I just think we’re coming out of the gate playing them first. We’ll get a chance just to go out, everybody’s going to be fresh and get a chance to see who’s been preparing better in the summertime.”
3. Washington said he feels like a senior already (which he should, I suppose, as he already is one in academic standing). For one thing, he said, he has teammates asking him for his opinions on professors and classes. He looks around the locker room and can remember all the past teammates who have worn numbers, played positions and lockered in stalls that have been taken over by newer teammates.
Said Washington, “It’s changed totally.”
4. On the quarterback competition in spring practice: “It’s always a competition, especially at quarterback. Everybody always wants to see who the quarterback’s going to be. You just go out there and compete. Competition brings out the best in everybody. I’ll be ready to compete and they’ll be ready to compete. So we’ll bring our best.”
5. On Synjyn Days and Vad Lee: “I think both of them are good quarterbacks. They’re both competitive and they both like to compete. Synjyn, he likes to run the ball. Synjyn likes to get more involved with everything. He’s still young but he’s growing and just learning in the offense. Vad, he’s been in the offense through the season doing the option drills and going through offensive drills during the season, but from looking at him, you can tell he’s going to be a good player. He’s real athletic and he can do a lot of good things.”
6. On how much he has paid attention to Stephen Hill’s draft status: ” You can’t miss it. Steve’s on ESPN, NFL Network. You see him scroll across the screen when they have top receivers and top prospects coming out for the NFL draft.”
7. Washington said he was happy for Hill for achieving “every college athlete’s dream” to go professional. “You can’t do anything but be happy for him,” he said, particularly knowing how much work he put in to get to this point.
(Speaking of which, LSU receiver Rueben Randle, who is about in the same draft range as Hill, has his pro day today in Baton Rouge. Hill’s place on draft boards could be adjusted up/down based on Randle’s performance today. Sports Illustrated draft expert Tony Pauline places Hill behind Justin Blackmon, Michael Floyd and Kendall Wright and competing for fourth with Randle. Pauline’s blog is a good place to get an update. The 1:21 p.m. update reported Randle ran a 4.45 in the 40-yard dash.)
8. I asked Washington if Hill was the best athlete he’s played with. He hesitated, naming Morgan Burnett, Jonathan Dwyer, Derrick Morgan as other candidates, not to mention Michael Johnson and others I’m likely missing.
“I couldn’t put a finger on which one’s the best, but I’m pretty sure he’s up there with the rest of them,” he said. “You see him on the football field, but if you see him on the basketball court, you’ll see really all his athleticism. He’s real athletic. Steven can do stuff on the track, too. Steve, he’s a freak athlete.”
9. His assessment of receivers Jeff Greene and Darren Waller:
“Jeff, physically, he’s a big, tall receiver. He can go up and get the ball. Darren’s big, too. Darren’s more of a physical guy. You put your hands on him, hes’ going to let you know about it. Between the two of them, Jeff’s probably got a little more speed. I’m excited about it. Both of them are big receivers and anytime you’ve got a big receiver to throw to, they’re like two twin towers standing in the huddle. I’m excited.
“They’re both young. Both of them are eager to learn. It’s always a good feeling when you’re around other people that want to learn, want to work.”
10. On his summer plans (he interned with a law firm last summer):
“Right now, I don’t know what I’m going to do this summer. I’m looking into some internships right now, but I haven’t solidified any of them yet. But I’m going to be working an internship, get some co-op hours for the summer.”
11. On a Twitter account that apparently is trying to pass off as his:
“I had Twitter last summer, but I deactivated it. I got off it. … Real waste of time. I’ve got better stuff I’d like to be doing.”
12. His plans for spring break:
“Going home. Get some sleep in and just get ready for spring practice. That’s it.”
Thanks for reading.
Ken Sugiura, Georgia Tech blog