Summer Work

<b>Antonio Cromartie</b> playfully admitted it was difficult to lift weights, train and stay focused at Leon High School. Why? Well, Leon and Cromartie's Lincoln High School are Tallahassee rivals. "It's not so bad," Cromartie smiled. Cromartie and fellow FSU signee Ernie Sims are working out feverishly in preparation for their report date at FSU later this summer. "They are probably the best athletes I've seen come to Florida State in a long time," said Kez McCorvey, of Titus Sports Academy.

Antonio Cromartie playfully admitted it was difficult to lift weights, train and stay focused at Leon High School. Why? Well, Leon and Cromartie's Lincoln High School are Tallahassee rivals.

"It's not so bad," Cromartie smiled and laughed about the accommodations

Cromartie and fellow local standout Ernie Sims of North Florida Christian are considered the cornerstones of Florida State's incoming freshman class. Cromartie, USA Today's Defensive Player of the Year, selected the Seminoles over Florida, Michigan, Auburn and Alabama. Sims, considered the nation's top recruit, opted for FSU over Florida.

Neither has looked back over their shoulder since National Signing Day last February. While both are enjoying the final days of their stellar prep careers, they haven't lost focus on the future.

In preparation for their reporting date later this summer at FSU, Cromartie and Sims are training feverishly, stressing all aspects of conditioning: speed, strength, endurance, agility and flexibility under the direction of the Titus Sports Academy.

The Academy features a Seminole flavor.

Kez McCorvey, the former FSU and Detroit Lions wide receiver, has teamed up with former Seminole baseball player Adam Faurot and current FSU strength coach Dave Plettl to form the sports group. (www.Titussports.com).

McCorvey says the goal at Titus is to teach athletes the methods and exercises necessary to take their physical skills to the limits. Athletes everywhere, from grade school to the professional ranks, are searching for that competitive edge.

McCorvey has been quite impressed with Cromartie and Sims. Both are expected to have to an opportunity to contribute immediately on FSU's defense - Cromartie at cornerback and Sims at linebacker.

"They are probably the best athletes I've seen come to Florida State in a long time," McCorvey said.

"Ernie weighs about 230 pounds and, with spikes on the track, he runs in the 4.27 range consistently. Cro usually will run low 4.2 most of the time. They are just phenomenal athletes. These guys work hard. They know how to work. They know how to push themselves. Those guys push the envelope every day when they are training and they compete every day they are out there when they are running on the track. I think it's going to carry over when they play football at Florida State."

The personable Cromartie, a lean but muscular 193 pounds, is eager to take the next step and help FSU regain its past glory. Cromartie is the fourth FSU recruit to earn USA Today's top defensive award, joining Derrick Brooks, Lamont Green and David Warren.

"Kez has been telling us that he wants us to come in (at FSU) with a good attitude," Cromartie said Wednesday before stretching to take the track for running drills at Leon High School.

"I am enjoying (workouts). This is going to help our speed and conditioning. We are coming here and working hard and it's going to prepare us when we have to report to FSU.

"I want to contribute early. I want to play at least the first game and start by the third game. My goal is also to make the Freshman All-American teams."

Cromartie also likes the makeup of the Seminoles' incoming class.

FSU couldn't have climbed any higher to land the nation's top recruit in Sims, who credited the Seminoles' coaching staff as the deciding factor and helped FSU maintain its grip on area talent. While Cromartie was the Seminoles' final signee on national signing day, highly-touted receiver DeCody Fagg of Quincy Shanks High School opened the day by signing with FSU.

"It could be a very special class," Cromartie said.

"The dynasty is there but it's really not there. I believe with our recruiting class, I think we can bring that dynasty back. We don't worry about the other stuff (gambling allegations surrounding former FSU quarterback Adrian McPherson). It doesn't affect the team. It affects one person. We don't worry about. We are just preparing for the season."

McCorvey says don't be surprised if Cromartie and Sims play important roles in the Seminoles' resurgence.

"I don't think you will have any problems out of Ernie and Cro. They are good kids and very respectful," McCorvey said.

"Like I said, they are focused and they have goals in mind. The want to be the best football players they can be. If you have a goal and a vision, that's the half the battle. These guys know what direction they are going to.

"Honestly, they are the most physically gifted players I've seen come to Florida State in a long time, including Marvin Jones, Derrick Brooks, Tamarick Vanover and whoever else. They are phenomenal athletes. If they are given the chance to play, I think they are going to perform. The big key is going to be learning the defense, techniques and coverages that FSU will want them to use."


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