Ready to lead

Gamecock DE signee Devin Washington spoke with prior to his enrollment at South Carolina to look back on the recruiting process and forward to his career as a USC student-athlete. "I want to go back to the recruiting process a little bit first. You ended up having how many offers?
Devin Washington: "I had 33."
GCC: "Do you remember the first piece of recruiting mail that you got from anybody?"
DW: "I think my first letter was from like Dartmouth. I went to high school at East River. I got a letter from them and a letter from Georgia Tech. My first real letter was probably Florida. Florida started first and then FIU was my first offer, so they started sending stuff."
GCC: "When you first started getting recruited and started thinking you would have a chance to get some scholarships, did South Carolina ever cross your mind? Or did that come on later?"
DW: "They came in fairly early during my junior year, but that year I wasn't thinking too much about them. My cousin is Ahmad Christian and I talked with him about it. I didn't know too much. I wasn't thinking too much about it. I went to the bowl game down here in Orlando, and was like 'wow, they're doing a lot.' Watching Jadeveon, Alshon, and Melvin Ingram, it sort of opened my eyes to what they had to offer. That's how it first started."
GCC: "Once you started taking visits and getting offers, do you remember the moment when you knew South Carolina was where you wanted to go?"
DW: "That specific moment would have had to been after my first visit in the spring. It was my first stop on a little road trip. I was like man, this is it. Once I stepped foot on campus that spring, I was like 'alright I'm ready to commit.' My mom told me to slow down and check out every school. Every school had to compete with Carolina now because they were number one."
GCC: "What was it about South Carolina that you liked so much?"
DW: "I would have to say the country feel of it but the city feel. Mixing them both together is perfect. I didn't choose a school for the coaching staff, but the coaches are family oriented. The team is family oriented. The players actually spoke with my family. It's just the vibe you get when you get there and being in the South. I went to other schools and some players acted like they didn't want to speak. It just felt right. I loved the city, the coaching staff, the players, the facilities are obviously amazing and getting better every year."
GCC: "Was there anything you didn't like about the recruiting process?"
DW: "I didn't really have any dislikes. I kind of set my stuff up to where I did interviews to when I wanted to. I didn't have reporters calling me at crazy times of the night. Mine wasn't bad at all. I got kind of tired of getting called out of class. Overall it was good and I enjoyed it."
GCC: "You just finished what, fourth in your class? Tell me about that."
DW: "My goal was to be valedictorian but I got beat out by some kids. They're weighted higher. Just for being a regular AP student, I was number one out of them. That has been my main goal since I've been in kindergarten. Since kindergarten, I've only had three Bs or four Bs. Academics are first and football is second."
GCC: "Tell me about yourself on the field. For someone who hasn't seen you play, what do you bring to the table?"
DW: "They don't really talk about my play that much. I don't really like to compare myself to other players. The thing that separates me is my motor. I may not be the biggest or the strongest, but I keep going. I use my hands and my technique. I've got some good coaches that have played in the NFL. I use my hands to get around the edge."
GCC: "Off the field, you're a smart and nice kid. Are you mean at all on the field? Do you talk some trash?"
DW: "I'm not really a big talker. I like to show what I can do and at the end of the game when they shake your hand in the line, they say 'that guy was good,' not 'he talked a whole bunch of trash.' I'm like the quiet guy that kills you. That's kind of my game plan. I'm not nice on the field, though. I don't say sorry."
GCC: "Have you had a chance to talk in-depth with Deke Adams?
DW: "I talked with him and stuff like that. I really like his coaching style from what he tells me. I've talked to a few players on the team already who went through spring and they liked him. It's kind of building a new relationship. That comes with anything. In college, you have to be prepared for that because coaches come and go. I know he's ready to put me to work and I'm ready to work also."
GCC: "What are you doing in the offseason to get ready for summer workouts?"
DW: "I've been training pretty much five days a week. I haven't been doing as much heavy lifting so I've been doing more techniques. I've been working out for so long that I know how to work out. I've been working on my endurance and cardio. Before every workout I run a mile. We do footwork drills and my hands. Just getting my body mentally and physically prepared. On Fridays I do yoga to be flexible. Yoga, footwork, and speed and just keeping my body up to par so this summer they can pretty much mold me into what they want to get me to look like."
GCC: "What are some of your goals at Carolina whether it's your first year or your entire career?"
DW: "Just get out there and show my team that I'm not an individual. We all want to make it to the NFL, but show them that I can be a leader. I want to be a part of a great team once again."
GCC: "I spoke with your mother after signing day and she said something about how you wanted to start up a mission project at South Carolina."
DW: "I'm trying to do a trip with the team. I'm going to get on that when I get up there. I want to go to a different country and help rebuild. I recently won a charitable donation so I'm donating the money to the Special Olympics of Carolina."
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