For former Georgia Tech quarterback Tevin Washington, it was a pretty simple deal Thursday at the school’s Pro Day inside the John and Mary Brock football practice facility.
“I’m a football player at this point,” said Washington, who was attempting to impress NFL scouts. “Whatever position they want me to play, I’ll play.”
After becoming the ACC’s career leader in rushing touchdowns (38) and finishing third in career rushing yards by an ACC quarterback (2,225), Washington hoped to show scouts that he’s athletic enough for a position conversion.
Washington did all of the quarterback drills, but also will consider a switch to wide receiver or defensive back. He played some strong safety in high school and believes that would be the easiest transition.
“It’s a different mindset because when you are playing quarterback, you get the ball on every play, and you’re in control of the game,” Washington said. “While playing another position, you’re a part of the game, but you’re not in control.”
Former Tech quarterback Joshua Nesbitt was on hand to help Washington and to try to get another shot in the NFL. He spent most of 2011 on the Buffalo Bills’ practice squad, but his transition to safety in the NFL was cut short by injuries.
“He just said to humble yourself and be welcoming to the change,” Washington said. “We’ve been playing football since we were little, so we know football. We are football players at the end of the day.”
Washington has thought about the move to defensive back and considers learning how to backpedal as the most difficult part of the move.
He can rely on his quarterback days to adjust.
“Playing quarterback, you have to understand coverages,” Washington said. “If you are playing anywhere in the secondary, you pretty much know what the safeties are doing and what the corners (are responsible for).”
Washington was pleased with how he performed in the drills. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.63 seconds (hand-held time). Nesbitt ran a 4.53 and a 4.51. Wide receiver Chris Jackson had the fastest time of the Tech players, at 4.5 seconds.
“I slipped in a couple of drills, but other than that I gave it my best,” Washington said. “I’m at peace with myself.”
If pro football doesn’t work for Washington, he said that he has an entrepreneurial spirit and could look to start his own business or attend law school.
“If I get a shot, I’m going to pursue football to the fullest,” Washington said. “But, if I don’t, then I’ll have to make a living somehow. I’ll have to go back to school eventually.”
Defensive tackle T.J. Barnes, defensive end Izaan Cross, wide receiver Chris Jackson, long snapper Tyler Morgan and cornerback Rod Sweeting also participated in the Pro Day. Offensive linemen Omoregie Uzzi, who is recovering from an injury, did only the bench press, where he lifted 225 pounds 22 times.
Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson watched most of the drills with Falcons coach Mike Smith.
“Really, you are just out here to offer a little support. … You are pulling for them to do well,” Johnson said. “We had a small senior class, so there are not a bunch of them this time. Hopefully, we’ll get a couple of guys drafted.”
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