Positive First Step

Under NCAA rules, Florida State's strength and conditioning coach <b>Jon Jost</b> can't be too specific when talking about the Seminoles' summer workouts. That's fine, since the main priority this time of year is rather simple: Seeing is believing. FSU opened its voluntary training sessions this week and, by all accounts, the Seminoles put their best foot forward. "Just from this week from being out here, I've seen players who have made big strides," Stanford Samuels said.

Under NCAA rules, Florida State's strength and conditioning coach Jon Jost can't be too specific when talking about the Seminoles' summer workouts. That's fine, since the main priority this time of year is rather simple:

Seeing is believing.

FSU opened its voluntary training sessions this week and, by all accounts, the Seminoles put their best foot forward. Attendance was fine, though the numbers will increase when the remaining players report for the second summer session later this month.

The Seminoles can work out eight hours per week – four in the weight room and four onthe practice fields – for the next eight weeks under the supervision of FSU staff. Around 40 players showed for Thursday's 30-minute workout that stressed cardiovascular training.

A handful of defensive linemen stuck around to work on pass-rush technique, while quarterbacks Wyatt Sexton and Fabian Walker played catch with Donnie Carter and Lorne Sam.

Starting quarterback Chris Rix has not returned from California, while defensive standouts such as Michael Boulware, Darnell Dockett and Kendyll Pope also are out of town. Local incoming freshmanAntonio Cromartie and Ernie Sims have each passed their physicals and are cleared to work with their new teammates.

"I am looking for excitement, commitment, dedication, hard work, numbers – as far as number of people here," Jost said.

"I think it has been good. Today (Thursday), we didn't have as many as we had the last two days. There's still a lot of people who are not in town. Some of the them have done a really good job and continued to work after spring ball on their own. That's what is exciting. Basically, we can conduct workouts. Provide a workout. What we are limited in that it's still a voluntary program. We can't make specific commets or reports in regard to how somebody is doing or not doing, theri attendance. We have to be pretty general in our statements."

Even so, cornerback Stanford Samuels says the Seminoles' effort at the moment speaks volumes. While last year's team also struggled with chemistry, Samuels believes this season will be different.

"You come into the season always wanting ot do that," Samuels said.

"That's something that happens to develop. That's something you can't force. I don't really.... it's beautiful thing out here right now. We are jelling. I don't really want to speak too early about that but we are going to be fine. Just from this week from being out here, I've seen players who have made big strides.It's motivating to see everyone out here."

Walker says he's feeling fine as well following shoulder surgery.

"My arm is doing real well," Walker said. "I threw the ball Wednesday and I threw the ball better than I have in long time. Deep balls. I can tell it's not quite there yet but it's getting there."


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