February 19, 2010

Washington ready to audition

Georgia fans aren't the only one speculating where certain players might line up in Todd Grantham's new 3-4 defense.

Players like Cornelius Washington are wondering, too.

During a recent interview, Washington - who played defensive end in the Bulldogs 4-3 last fall - talked about the forthcoming changes and what positions players like himself may eventually line up in.

"It hasn't been completely set yet," Washington said. "I'm just getting myself ready to go. I'll let the coaches make those decisions. I'll go wherever they ask me to go."

Washington admits some players might have initially been unsure about the change, but after listening to Grantham, everybody is 100 percent on board and excited for the coming change.

"Change is good," Washington said. "I think it's going to be great. I'm looking forward to seeing where everybody is going to fit in."

On paper, Georgia's 3-4 defense should give the Bulldogs two advantages that perhaps the team didn't enjoy last fall.

First, as Grantham has a stated, it will allow him to get his best athletes on the field.

Second, because you have more versatile, athletic players on the field, it allows coaches like Grantham to use his players differently.

Washington believes Grantham will have plenty of options from which to choose.

"I feel we've got a lot of guys who can do a multitude of different things," Washington said. "I think he's going to try us all out and have us do different things to see who fits where the best."

The idea of being able to "audition for job is something Washington said the entire defense is actually looking forward to being able to do.

"He hasn't specified when he's going to let us know," Washington said. "All we know is we've been told is we're basically going to audition for him. We'll do the best we can and let the coaches make the decisions."

Washington's teammates are apparently excited about their respective opportunities.

"I think everybody is," he said. "Everybody's going to get a chance to show what they can do. This season, there's no such thing as a freshmen player because everybody's going to be in the same boat. Everyone is going to get their chance."

Washington is ready for whatever challenge awaits him. He's already met some.

Just 224 pounds when he arrived in Athens two years ago, Washington has added 32 more pounds of muscle to his 6-4 frame and is now a chiseled 256.

"I've come a long way there," Washington smiled. "Physically, I'm ready to go."

He's not the only one.

When asked about Richard Samuel, whose moving from running back to linebacker this spring, Washington said he's been impressed.

"That kid likes to come downhill," he said. "Richard played linebacker in high school and he was pretty good. I think it's going to be a good change. I don't think it's going to hurt, that's for sure."

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