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Washington to Be Honored Friday at His Alma Mater
Posted Aug 28, 2005
Starting Seminole tailback Leon Washington knows a thing or two about being honored. Coming out of high school in 2002 he won the coveted Mr. Football in Florida award. As a member of the Seminole football team he has been named to the All-ACC second-team and was named the MVP of the Tribe’s Gator Bowl victory last January.
Now, the 5-foot-9 offensive specialist has earned another honor: a retired jersey.
High School in Jacksonville will officially retire Washington’s No. 3 jersey in a ceremony before his Alma Mater’s game against Ribault High School Friday evening.
“(Andrew Jackson) Coach (Kevin) Sullivan called me up this summer and said, ‘hey man, we are going to retire your number at Jackson,’ and that is something very special to me because it means my number will never be worn again,” Washington said. “Andrew Jackson High School has done a lot for me. If it weren’t for Coach Sullivan giving me the opportunity to football I wouldn’t be where I am today.
“A lot of people don’t realize that I didn’t play football until really my junior year in high school. He gave me a chance and I made the best of it.”.
Despite a fairly short prep career, Washington put up unbelievable numbers as a high school senior on both sides of the ball. As a cornerback, he recorded 88 tackles (52 unassisted) and three interceptions while as a punt and kick returner he returned a combined four kicks for touchdown.
On the offensive side of the ball, Washington gained 2,437 yards and 28 touchdowns. His stellar numbers on the football field were enough to earn Florida Times Union Player of the Year honors and No. 3 ranking of all high school players in Florida by the Orlando Sentinel, just to name a few.
“I love Andrew Jackson High School to death and I am excited to get over there and give the guys a pep talk before the game,” Washington said. “I will be leaving early from practice Friday. Hopefully I can pump them up and get them ready to take care of business against Ribault High School.”
FSU’s leading rusher from a season ago now hopes that his prep predecessors can have the same success that he had playing for the Fighting Tigers four years ago.
“I got some young buddies on that team that are going to want to wear number three but they are going to have to make a name for themselves in another number now,” Washington said. “It’s just a great honor and hopefully we can have some guys come through that get the privilege of having their number retired also.”
Washington enters his final season in the garnet and gold after averaging an ACC best 95.1 yards per game in 2004. His 6.9 yards per carry average was good enough for second best in the entire NCAA.
With his career total of 1,611 rushing yards, Washington has the opportunity this season to become only the 10th player in FSU history to gain 2,000 or more rushing yards.
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