August 29, 2007
Washington spending lots of time in Norman
Football fans across the country are ready to get there fix of pigskin, and Oklahoma's first commitment R.J. Washington is no different. The 6-foot-3, 245-pound defensive end does have a leg up since he'll be getting to play some football. The advantage of the Keller (Texas) Fossil Ridge five-star over Sooner fans becomes even more extreme considering he'll be getting first-class treatment while attending Oklahoma's season opener against North Texas.
The nation's No. 1 weakside defensive end has been going through growing pains with his school with Fossil Ridge's scheduling change. Washington then took a chance to break down his season opening opponent, Rowlett.
"Nothing much has been going on, it's just the same old same old. We've been playing, going to practice, and we've got a new schedule. We have A and B days and five classes instead of block scheduling," Washington explained. "We start with Rowlett, it's one of those games where they aren't better than us, but if we make a lot of mistakes they can beat us. We've got to respect them."
"It's one of those little country schools, that is about two hours from us so we won't have a lot of our fans there. It's just us against a lot of people really. We beat them like 35-13 last year though so we just need to take care of business."
While many other official visitors are being set up for the Sooners season opener against North Texas and the even bigger weekend of Sept. 7 against Miami, Washington has no such plans of an official trip. However, that won't stop him from taking in both games.
"I'm going to be there at both games, I don't know when I'm going to take my official because I've got to take my SAT before I can take my official," he said. "I was supposed to take it this summer and then they changed my registration.
"See I had used my coach's e-mail to register and they told him on the last day. I was already at the school I was registered to take it at and they told me I couldn't. I'll take one the next time it comes up."
So what does he expect of Oklahoma's season opener against Todd Dodge and North Texas?
"That is going to be bad, I feel bad for coach Dodge. I think he is going to get smashed on. I know him some and how he thinks, he is the kind of guy who wants to walk up to the biggest guy in the room and start something. That works in a fight, well actually it really doesn't," he said. "He should have taken on some small-time school to see what he has to work with.
"Instead he's going to play Oklahoma and get pounded on."
Washington is excited about the chance to spend some time around Sooner recruits and reacquaint himself with a Sooner gameday, or two, but says that there are some new opportunities available for him this coming season with the Panthers.
Best of all Washington says it's something a lot of opponents won't see coming as they'll expect less from his defensive line due to the graduation of Chris Perry.
"I got doubled a lot last year, so things won't be changing that much. Our defensive tackles this year are in better shape and have better technique, they aren't as much as an athlete as he was but this year it's actually going to be easier for me," he said. "The best part is nobody knows who they are yet."
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