July 26, 2005 - by
Washington And Wimbley Talked FSU Football At ACC Media Day

July 26, 2005

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    Over the weekend, Florida State seniors Leon Washington and Kamerion Wimbley represented the Seminoles at the annual ACC Football Kickoff, a media gathering. This year’s event took place at The Homestead, a beautiful golf resort in Hot Springs, Virginia. While the scenery was indeed breathtaking, the trip was not a vacation for the Washington or Wimbley or any of the other 22 ACC football players who represented the other member schools. It was practically all work for the athletes on Sunday with a photo shoot, followed by lunch with ACC Commissioner John Swofford and the Bowl representatives and then a four-hour interview session where the players were shuffled between rooms with television and radio personalities and print media. Here’s a glimpse at what the Seminoles said during the hectic interview session.

    Tailback Leon Washington said…

    (on young QBs and outlook for offense)

    “Yeah, first game, let’s run every play. The young guys at quarterback, they are extremely athletic and they have been working hard in the off-season and both, I imagine, will probably play in the first game. But if things happen that were having a good running game behind them, me and Lorenzo, we can run the ball, and hopefully Coach Bowden will have the confidence in us, with the numbers we put up last year, to say let’s go out and put the ball in these guys hands. The best thing about having young guys at quarterback is that they’re not afraid to make mistakes, or so to speak, they’re not accountable for their mistakes when you’re a freshman. You make a mistake and that’s okay, but you can’t make that mistake next year or even the next game. Hopefully they will go out there and play mistake free and just go out there and have fun and hopefully we will take care of the other end of it.”

    (on sharing carries with Lorenzo Booker)

    “It’s one of those situations where me and Lorenzo have fun doing it. We possess a part of the ACC running game that a lot of teams don’t see. I come in fresh, he comes in fresh and you’ve got to be ready to play every down when you’re in the game. I think it’s a good thing, a good tandem that we have.”

    (On Lee and Weatherford and their maturity in being thrown into the spotlight)

    “I’ll tell you, those guys are very mature for their age. For the year that they’ve been here, they have handled the pressure very well. Both of those guys do a good job off the field. They’ve been doing a great job on the field also, so I think they are two guys that will be ready, and that will be prepared in the future and prepared to lead Florida State. I’ll definitely be watching those guys in the future because they are two extremely talented quarterbacks.”

    (on his own ability)

    “Personally, I don’t like to talk about myself a lot, I really don’t. But when I’m healthy, I can be one of the best backs in the country. I can do a lot of things. I can pose a lot of threats to the defense, but my thing is to go out there and try to do my best for my team. I love winning and I can’t stand losing. It hurts a lot and you’re thinking about it too much, and with a loss to Miami, five games in a row, I definitely don’t want that to happen again. I’m going to do everything in my will to not let that happen again. But I have a lot to improve on, in my game, just getting bigger, faster, and stronger in every aspect of my game.”

    (about how the team gets over losing good players)

    “The lucky thing about being at Florida State if that we get a Top 5 recruiting class just about every year and you know you’ve got somebody behind you that potentially can be as good as the guy in front of you. Losing (Antonio) Cromartie, it’s hard to make up for that. He scored two touchdowns last year and made plays but at the same time, we’ve got some young guys who are pretty talented also. It’s an opportunity for a guy to step up and make the plays and we’ve definitely got the players to do it. It’s hard when a guy like Antonio goes down. He is such an emotional leader on the defense but when you play football, things like this happen but I’m confident some of the other guys will get it done.”

    (on summer distractions)

    “When you are dealing with young men, period, you’re going to make mistakes and you’re going to have guys get injured, that’s the game of football. Our job as seniors and as coaches is to prepare the young guys that we have to step up. I think we have the athletes to get it done. So unfortunately, things happen and we don’t want them to happen at all, but we’ve got to keep playing, we’ve got to play the game.”

    Defensive End Kamerion Wimbley said…

    (on preparing for Miami)

    “Right now, Miami is our first game. It’s what we are focusing on whenever we lift, whenever we do drills, you know at the end of our drills we have a drill geared towards them. When I sleep, I dream about Miami, when I wake up and go to work, it’s about Miami.”

    “I think the fact that this game, pretty much, is loaded with NFL prospects. A lot of the guys who have come out of the Miami-Florida State rivalry have gone on to do great in the NFL and I think because the game comes down to maybe a last minute decision, it’s close all the way through, they’re not going to blow us out, we’re not going to blow them out, although we’d like to. It’s close all the way down to the end. If you are a Miami fan, it’s going to be a great game for you to watch. If you are a Florida State fan, it’s going to be a great game to watch. If you are just a football fan, it’s a great game to watch.”

    (on last year’s loss to Miami)

    “Anytime you have the lead and it gets away from you, you’ll be upset. We go out there and we train all summer to beat Miami, and then one of the main things Coach Andrews emphasizes is “finishing the drill” and we didn’t finish so we have to go back to the drawing board. And hopefully this year we will get it right.”

    (on Miami game being early)

    “I think it will be good. Everybody loves to see that game. Everybody in Tallahassee is excited about it. I hear about it all of the time and I look forward to it.”

    (on playing for Bowden and the continued Bowden Bowl)

    “Coach Bowden is a great guy. Anytime you get around him, you pick up on his great personality. He’s very charismatic. Every time he plays his son (Tommy Bowden at Clemson), it’s a big deal. The media loves it, people in Tallahassee love it. I know his wife is a big focal point in that game. She hates to see either one lose, but she’s very entertaining as well.”

    “You’re playing for a living legend. He can go anywhere in the U.S. and people know who he is. To say that you played for Bobby Bowden, people look up to that. A lot of people love to meet Bobby Bowden. He’s great with people. It’s great to play for him. He teaches you not just about football, but about life in general. He’s been through a lot. He has a lot of knowledge to give.”

    (on how Bowden gives players second chances)

    “With Coach Bowden, he is a man of his word. You don’t get to keep messing up and keep coming back. You’ll get a couple strikes and it depends on the severity of the issue but I believe he’ll give you a second chance when he can. You’re young and you’re going to make mistakes and it happens but if he feels like you’re going to learn from your mistake and be able to move on, he’ll let you come back.”

    (on how he stacks up against former defensive ends at FSU)

    “Those guys are great guys, I mean guys like Peter Boulware and Andre Wadsworth. Those are guys that I try to be like. Hopefully this year I will be able to have a great year like some of those guys in the past and put Florida State’s defensive ends back on the map again.”

    (on his improvements in the weight room)

    “I think I have made great improvements in the weight room this summer. I started out around 240 and I’m at 250 now. Hopefully I can get up to 255 by the season and play it that way. My bench press has gone up. Basically everything has gone up. I went from a 36 to a 391/2 inch vertical and I feel like I’m faster.”

    (on others viewing FSU as an underdog)

    “There are some benefits of going in as an underdog, but I don’t think anyone is going to take us lightly. Playing Florida State, they’re going to get up for that. If we lose to them, it’s a big game for them to win. Just because we’re underdogs as far as rankings are concerned, I don’t think teams will think of us as underdogs when we play them.”

    (on being a senior leader)

    “Being a senior, you’re expected to take on a leadership position since you’ve been through the program, the workouts, you’ve put in all of the work, you know what it’s like to win, you know what it’s like to lose. You’ve got to take the younger guys under your wings and show them what pitfalls to avoid and show them how to win and how to work hard. I think it’s a good thing to be considered a leader.”

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