|National Football League|
Redskins select G LeRibeus of SMU in 3rd round
By JOSEPH WHITE
ASHBURN, Va. (AP) A day after taking Robert Griffin III, the Washington Redskins found another talkative Texan in the NFL draft.
Offensive lineman Josh LeRibeus of SMU laughed his way through his first interview after being selected Friday in the third round, telling Redskins reporters, among other things, about his 70-pound weight loss from two years ago.
"I lost a toddler off the side of my belly," he said.
A Texan for "his whole life," LeRibeus fills a need for depth at center and guard. The 6-foot-2, 311-pound lineman isn't particularly fast or explosive, but he's considered to be a decent scheme blocker whose skill set could fit the zone blocking system used by Redskins coach Mike Shanahan.
The Redskins are also expected to be in the market for a right tackle in this draft, but LeRibeus has played only the inside positions.
LeRibeus was chosen with the No. 71 overall pick. The Redskins originally held the 69th selection, but they moved down two spots and picked up a seventh-round choice in a trade with the Buffalo Bills.
LeRibeus said he didn't have much communication with the Redskins, other than an interview with the coaches at the NFL combine in February.
"It's definitely a welcome surprise," he said.
It's clear LeRibeus has an affable personality. He even chuckled his way through an explanation as to why he didn't play in 2010.
"Academically ineligible," he said. "I was an economics major. Definitely not a big fan (of that subject), and they ended up switching me over to sociology. But I had only taken one class in sociology, so they shouldn't have let me do it. Having three hours towards my major was kind of a no-no, and they ended up pulling that year from me."
During his time away from the team, LeRibeus' weight ballooned.
"It just kind of skyrocketed over the summer," he said. "I got back and everybody looked: `What ... did you do?' And I just kind of got my (act) together."
LeRibeus said he got his weight down by moving away from home - "away from mom's cooking" - and living on a typical student's tight budget.
LeRibeus said he got a taste of the zone blocking scheme in the East-West Shrine in January and that it "definitely felt more at home."
"Getting in a three-point stance," he said, "and exploding off the ball."
The Redskins didn't have a selection in Friday's second round, having traded that pick to the St. Louis Rams in the deal that allowed them to move into position to take Griffin in the first round on Thursday. They have six more selections in Rounds 4-7 on Saturday.
Despite the academic setback, LeRibeus said he recovered enough that he's only three classes away from getting his degree.
As far as any loyalties to a particular team in Texas, Redskins fans needn't worry: He's not a Cowboys fan.
"Either you hate `em or you love 'em," he said. "I'm definitely one that hates `em."
Joseph White can be reached at http://twitter.com/JGWhiteAP
Updated April 27, 2012