'Nole Notebook

Let's take a quick lap around Florida State's athletic department for news and notes.

Former Florida State defensive end Jamal Reynolds weighed in at around 258 pounds for the Green Bay Packers' post-draft minicamp, up about 10 pounds from his weight last year.

He also showed a quicker burst off the line of scrimmage, which provided hope for coach and GM Mike Sherman. Reynolds, selected by the Packers with the 10th overall pick of the 2001 draft, has, thus far, been a bust.

"He showed a good burst off the ball, had some pretty good pressures at times, and great effort at times," Sherman said. "I'm encouraged by that."

Reynolds was a four-time letterman (1997-2000) at FSU, starting his final two seasons. Won the 2000 Lombardi Award, presently annually to the nation's top lineman, to close out his collegiate career. He signed five-year deal worth $9.5 million July 25, 2001, including $4 million signing bonus.

BETTER SHOWING: FSU may have been shutout of the first round of the NFL draft two weekends ago, but The Sporting News is predicting that the Seminoles will make up for it next year. The magazine projects Darnell Dockett, Michael Boulware and Greg Jones as top 20 picks. No Florida players are tabbed among the magazine's 25 most draftable players. The bad news? TSN has Miami with four first-round picks - LB D.J. Williams, DT Vince Wilfork, TE Kellen Winslow Jr., and LB Jonathan Vilma.

HONORS: FSU right fielder Blake Balkcom was named ACC Player of the Week on Monday for his outstanding play against No. 10 Georgia Tech over the weekend.

Balkcom, an outfielder out of Chipley, Fla., led the Seminoles to a 2-1 series record against No. 10 Georgia Tech, as he went 5-for-11 (.455) with a slugging percentage of 1.091 in the three game series.

Balkcom, playing all weekend with two sprained ankles and recovering from a pulled quadricep muscle, doubled his home run output by belting two home runs against the Yellow Jackets, in addition to a double and four RBI. The 6-2, 225 junior scored five runs, walked once and was hit by a pitch for an on-base percentage of .538.

JUST THE FACTS: he No. 1 ranked Seminoles ( 40-8-1) travel to Jacksonville tonight after taking two of three from then-No. 10 Georgia Tech over the weekend. Freshman RHP Mark Sauls (3-0, 2.45 ERA) will take the mound for the Seminoles.

The game is the make-up game from the April 9th contest that was canceled due to weather.

Shortstop Stephen Drew had his best outing of the season on Sunday against the Yellow Jackets, belting two home runs and tying a career high with five RBI, while going 3-for-5 in the Seminoles 12-7 victory. Right fielder Blake Balkcom also had a big series, going 5-for-11 (.455) with two home runs and a double.

The Seminoles took over sole posession of first place in the ACC with the series win, while then-No. 5 NC State lost two of three at Maryland. Florida State is on the road for the next two weeks (7 total games) before heading to Salem, Va., for the ACC Tournament.

Jacksonville (24-24) lost two of three to No. 11 Florida Atlantic last weekend. Thee Dolphins are led offensively by LF Chad Hauseman (.407, 16 HR, 35 RBI).

FSU leads the all-time series with Jacksonville, 92-30, which dates back to 1964. The Seminoles won three of four vs. JU last year and defeated the Dolphins 5-4 back on April 16th in Tallahassee. Chris Hart was 2-for-2 with two doubles and what would have been a career-high five RBI before the rainout on April 9th.

HONORS II: For the sixth time this season , a FSU softball player earned Player of the Week honors Monday. After Elisa Vasquez earned the honor last week for the first time, , sophomore Tatiana George was named for the first time in her career. The Fontana, Calif., native was instrumental in FSU finishing the regular season on a 24 game winning streak and led the Seminoled the first-ever 8-0 record in conference play.

"It is exciting to reach a goal that you have worked really hard to achieve," said George. "I think the hard work I am putting in is paying off but this award is a reflection on my teammates and everything they do each and every day.

"The Georgia Tech series wasn't about me playing well, it was important to all of us to make a statement in the conference this year and going 8-0 is a good start. We haven't won the conference title in a couple of years and that is a goal of ours and we knew securing the No. 1 seed is a step in that direction."

The sophomore shortstop led the Seminoles sweep of defending ACC Champion Georgia Tech, as FSU became the first conference school to ever go 8-0. George led FSU in runs scored (3), home runs (2), RBIs (3), slugging percentage (2.000), walks (2) and on base percentage (.667).

NO SURPRISES: Recent reports and allegations that FSU football players may be exchanging memorabilia for cash didn't catch Seminole athletic department officials by surprise last week.

Compliance officials were already familiar with the rumors that Grady C. Irvin Jr., the St. Petersburg attorney who represents former FSU quarterback Adrian McPherson, made public Wednesday morning outside a Tallahassee courthouse.

Irvin said he heard that players received cash for signed memorabilia at R&R Truck and Accessories in Tallahassee. That allegation was followed by a media report Thursday that Collector's Attic Inc., a company that shares at least two corporate officers with R&R, successfully auctioned the ACC championship rings of two players, including current defensive end Willie Jones.

FSU president T.K. Wetherell said he is interested in what information Irvin may have regarding the R&R allegations. FSU, which is investigating the rumors, has sent a letter to Irvin asking him to provide any information regarding the issue, according to Wetherell.

FSU athletic department officials were criticized by local law enforcement officials for the way they handled gambling allegations regarding McPherson. Wetherell, as the new university president, appears to be hands-on regarding the latest rumors.

"We assume A.D. is telling him all kind of things, so if that's happening, we want to know that, too," Wetherell told The Tallahassee Democrat. "Then we need to substantiate it or not. That's where we are.

"What (Irvin) is trying to do is move the debate from whether his guy is guilty or not to any other problem. Maybe there is another problem; maybe there isn't. I don't know. It seems to me his issue is defending his client, not casting stones. I think it was more a news conference than a court pleading."

WHO'S HOT: Reliever Daniel Hodges is on quite a roll for the Seminoles. Consider he

*Picked up the win at then-No. 10 Georgia Tech Sunday afternoon to improve to 4-0.

*Made his school record 119th career-appearance (31st of the year), one appearance away from tying Jim Poole, Georgia Tech (1985-88) for fifth in ACC history.

*Tied a season high by pitching 4.1 scoreless innings of relief Sunday and allowed only three hits.

*Struck out five and walked two, leads the team with 75 strikeouts on the season.

*Retired 12 of the 16 batters he faced, including closing out the fifth inning with two on and runners in scoring position while trailing 7-6.

*Brought his season ERA down to a team-leading 0.84 (season opponent batting average is .203).

*Hasn't allowed a run in his last nine outings.

RECRUITING: One of the top quarterbacks in the Southeast this year will be Land O' Lakes Drew Weatherford. The 6-foot-2, 195-pound standout is starting add up the offers. He picked up two more offers Friday, increasing his total to seven.

Weatherford has been offered by Duke, Tulane Tennessee, South Florida, Louisville, Minnesota and Auburn. Coaches from both Florida and FSU will at his school next week to evaluate him. This week.

FSU hopes to sign two quarterbacks next February.

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