Washington adjusts to ASU defense

Published 12:00 am Sunday, November 14, 1999

Alcorn State junior free safety Ken Washington knew what to do with the ball both times he grabbed an interception this season.

That’s because Washington played running back at Natchez High and at Copiah-Lincoln Community College.

&uot;I’m used to carrying the ball,&uot;&160;said Washington, who has 46 yards in interception return yardage.

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Washington is the second-leading tackler on the team going into Saturday’s final contest of the season against Jackson State.

The 6-foot, 210-pound Washington has 31 unassisted tackles and 16 assists for the Braves. He has 12 pass break-ups to go with his two interceptions.

&uot;It’s been an all right season for me,&uot; Washington said. &uot;This is the first time I’ve played defense since high school.&uot;

Washington said he prefers the defensive side of the ball.

&uot;I like hitting people,&uot; he said. &uot;Offense brings the crowds, but defense wins the games.&uot;

Washington rushed for 721 yards at Co-Lin as a sophomore, after gaining 532 yards as a freshman.

He had 89 yards rushing against No. 1 Hinds as a sophomore.

&uot;I was very surprised to get the start in the secondary at the beginning of the year,&uot; Washington said. &uot;But I just worked hard in practice every day and did everything I was supposed to do on the field.&uot;

Washington rushed for 871 yards his senior year at Natchez, including a 182-yard effort against Meridian, a game in which he also had 21 tackles.

&uot;It’s a big difference at Alcorn than at Co-Lin,&uot; Washington said. &uot;The games are much more intense here. In the SWAC, every game counts. It’s another level and I have to raise my game to that level.&uot;

Washington admitted he expected a better season than the 3-6 record Alcorn sports.

&uot;That’s a big question mark,&uot; he said. &uot;We’ve got a good team, it’s just a matter of putting things together and doing the right things at the right time.&uot;

Washington said he is satisfied with how his football career has gone.

&uot;Next year I need to turn it up another level to see if I might can go on to the level after that and test those waters,&uot; he said. &uot;I’m going to work hard in the spring and summer to continue to improve. The main thing is bringing a winning season to Alcorn. Everything is going to fall into place for us.&uot;