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Six-Shooter: James Explains No. 28, Tells Best Fishing Story



Welcome to the Six-Shooter, a weekly segment with an Oklahoma State athlete where we ask six random, non-sports-related questions to get to know these athletes a bit better.

If you have ever watched an Oklahoma State football game, which you have, or seen a feature on James Washington, which you have, you know three things about him.

The President is good at the football. He wears No. 28, an odd choice for a receiver. And he loves fishing.

Washington represents almost every key value coach Mike Gundy trumpets over the Cowboy fans and national viewers, his “Cowboy Culture.” Good kid, goes to class, raised right, appreciates the outdoors. Mason Rudolph might be the poster boy for the program, but James is exemplary of what’s behind it.

He isn’t too chatty with media at press availabilities, so I wanted to get him going. With that, here is James Washington in the Six-Shooter:

I wanna know your best fishing story.

“OK, I got this. When I was younger, probably my first time fishing, my dad had this guy that he worked for on the farm, and he had a manmade little tank, and it was full of stocked catfish, Channel Cat.

“I had a little youth pole, and these catfish have probably been there maybe two years, and nobody’s fished it, so they’re pretty big. I cast out, just a worm and a bobber and a weight on it. It goes underwater, and I’m freaking out.

“I’m looking at my dad like, ‘What do I do? What do I do?'”

“Jerk it,” he said. “Set the hook, reel it in.”

“I set it, and the rod snapped, and I’m just sitting here like, ‘Oh, man.’ And he comes over there and grabs it. He wraps the line around his hand. My dad’s a pretty big guy, so he starts pulling this catfish in with his hands, just reeling it in with his hands.

“I’m sitting here watching this, and he pulls out this probably six or seven-pound catfish, and to a kid, that’s big. That’s huge.

“That was probably one of my best fishing stories. Ever since that day, I was set on fishing. After seeing that, I was like, ‘I gotta go every chance I get.'”

What’s your dream place to go fishing?

“I’ve watched a few fishing shows where guys will go to Lake Ontario and fish for pike, and I think that would be pretty fun.”

I wanna know what went into 28. That’s not a receiver number. Why 28?

“I had a cousin (who wore it) in high school that played for Abilene Cooper, which is like 45 minutes away from Stamford, (Texas,) and he was a linebacker.

“His name was Magic Johnson.

“He was a big, buff guy. He was my older cousin. Thanksgiving holidays, he’d come to Stamford, and he’d play catch with me, but growing up, I never liked football just because I didn’t like contact. I didn’t like getting hit and things like that.

“(Magic) was like, ‘Man, just stick with it. You’ll be pretty good.’ I said, ‘OK,’ so we’re throwing the football, and I’d go watch him play, and I’d wanna be just like him. I’d see him out there just taking guys’ helmets off, I mean hitting ’em hard.” I’m like, ‘I wanna be just like that.’

“Just like Magic. And that really set my tone with football, so that’s why I wear 28.”

That is an awesome story, right there.

Best pair of cleats you ever wore, or favorites.

“I would say these Nike Untouchables. They’re real light. They got the little ankle support deal at the top, but I like ’em a lot. I like ’em a lot.”

What do you make of this whole NFL deal on Sunday (with the protests)?

“I really try not to get in all that, but there are just people out there that wanna set the tone and do things differently from others. But I’m not with it, and I’m not against it. I’m just kinda in the middle.”

Badge or brand?

“The classic OSU.”

That’s 2-1, badge.

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