USFNation Class of '08 Q&A: John Lejiste

USFNation Class of '08 Q&A: John Lejiste

In just over a month the next USF class will arrive on campus, and Delray Atlantic's John Lejiste, a hard hitting safety with speed to burn is one player to keep an eye on. In today's exclusive Class of '08 interview find all about Lejiste, what type of a player he is, what team he is most looking forward to playing against, and much, much more. Only on USFNation.com! Get it First, Get it Fast!

John Lejiste Profile

USFNation.com:  What have you been up to since the season ended?
John Lejiste: I've just been training. After school I train at our schools weight room, and then have been going down to the beach and running, that's about it.

USFN: What were the main reasons you chose USF?
Lejiste: The main reasons I chose USF, were that it's a great program with a great coaching staff, a great team coming back, and I think they have a great chance at going far this year and future years. It's something that I look forward to being part of and starting the run.

USFN: Have you been following the Bulls this season?
Lejiste: Yeah, I watched every game I could, and went to the game they played against FAU.

USFN: Did you follow the draft and how the USF corners faired?
Lejiste: Yeah, I followed the draft, and noticed where both of them went. It was really great to see two USF corners get selected, and makes you think.

USFN: How long have the Bulls been recruiting you, and who made the biggest impression on you during your recruitment?
Lejiste: Before signing day I spoke a lot with Coach McCarney, Coach Leavitt and Coach Douglas. Coach Douglas made the biggest impression on me, and seems like a great coach, real down to earth. We have kept in contact since signing day, he makes sure that I'm working out and getting prepared for the fall, and I look forward to working with him.

USFN: Do you know any of the current players on the Bulls?
Lejiste: The only one I know is No. 2, the receiver, Carlton Mitchell. We hung out on my visit, and he's probablt the player I'm the closest with right now.

USFN: What position are the Bulls recruiting you for, and do you play any other positions?
Lejiste: They're recruiting me at both safety and corner. Which ever one I adapt to faster, is probably the position that I'll play. I did play mostly safety in high school, but it really doesn't matter to me, which, I can play both and can play both. 

USFN: What kind of numbers did you finish with last season?
Lejiste: Last season I had one interception, with three forced fumbles. I don't remember the total tackles but I also had one blocked field goal and one blocked punt..

USFN: What type of a defense do you like to run the most?
Lejiste: I like the cover-2, and man, but can play in any type.

USFN: What type of offense do you like to see when you get to the line?
Lejiste: I like to see them in an I-formation, pro set, and stuff like that. It's easy to read. But it really doesn't matter, whether they come out in spread or anything. I just read the quarterback, and react.

USFN: Do have a favorite play that you like to run?

Lejiste: Well last season we ran Man/off-man a lot, so I'd say that was my favorite because we ran it so much.  

USFN: Do you enjoy playing special teams? 
Lejiste: I played kick-off and kick return in high school, and always enjoy running down the field and delivering a big hit, especially early in the game to se the tone.  

USFN: What are some of your strengths as a player? 
Lejiste: I'm a hard worker and a great listener. I'm very coachable and will listen to what a coach say's is best for me. I got good speed and am a pretty good tackler.  

USFN: Is there anything that you would like to work on as a player?
Lejiste: Probably getting quicker. I'm pretty fast, but want to get even quicker.

USFN: What is your favorite thing to do on the field?
Lejiste: To make a big hit, a crowd pleasing hit. Yes sir, that's what I enjoy doing the most.

USFN: What is the perfect play to you?
Lejiste: The perfect play? To get an interception and return it all the way for a touchdown.

USFN: What is your most memorable moment on the field?
Lejiste: This past year in a game against Dwyer, both defenses were stopping the opponent offenses in a tight game. And on one play their running back broke out and I put a pretty big hit on him that caused him to fumble. That pretty much switched the momentum, and our team scored. We ended up winning 21-14 in a defensive struggle. It was a big hit, a crowd pleasing hit. Just the way I like it.

USFN: Is there a player on another level, college or pro that you model your game after?
Lejiste: One of my favorite players is Bob Sanders. I like the way he plays and sort of model my game after him.

USFN: What are your current height, weight and 40 yard time?
Lejiste: Currently, I'm 6'0 and 190 pounds, and run a 4.44-40 yard dash.

USFN: Do you play any other sports?
Lejiste: I also run track, I compete in the high jump and in 4x1. Last time I check I jumped a 37. 

USFN: What are you going to do to stay in shape before you get to Campus?
Lejiste: I'm just following the book that the USF coaches sent me. That and lifting, running and making sure I'm in the best shape possible. 

USFN: Do you have any issues if they ask you to redshirt?
Lejiste: No, that's totally up to the coaches. If they feel that is what's best for me then I have no problem redshirting.  

USFN: What do they plan to accomplish while here at USF?
Lejiste: I'd like to play early, or as early as I can, and help the team get to that next level.

USFN: When I say USF, what three things come to your head?
Lejiste: USF, a team on the rise, a great program, playing in a great city.

USFN: What team are they most looking forward to playing against in the next 4 years?
Lejiste: I'm looking forward to playing West Virginia, Rutgers, and pretty much all the Big East teams. Also Miami, we play them in two years and that would be a great match-up, and I can't wait to play them.

USFN: Do feel that you were overshadowed at all by your teammate Karnel Hatcher or have something to prove?
Lejiste: No, not really. Karnel is a great player, I played next to him for three years, and don't look at it that way. I do have a couple things I that I have to prove, but prove them to myself.

USFN: Are you already qualified?
Lejiste: Yes I'm already qualified. I have a 3.4 GPA, and scored a 990 on the SAT.

USFN: What is with the signing of every text with ‘The One'?
Lejiste: Pretty much for everything I do, I call myself ‘The One', and it kind of became my nickname.

USFN: Are you excited to get to campus?
Lejiste: Yes very excited, I can't wait. Oh. I'm real excited that I'll be at USF real soon, I can't wait.

USFN: Is there anything you want to say to USF fans?
Lejiste: Tell them, I look forward to being a Bull, helping start a trend, and to a great season.


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