One Wish

Everyone -- from Florida State defensive coordinator <b>Mickey Andrews</b> to Seminole fans -- wants to see what a healthy <b>Claudius Osei</b> can accomplish this season. "It seems like I've always had something (injury) that has held me back," Osei said. "I just want to go full speed the whole season just to see what I can do." Click here for all the details on Osei's recovery from Achilles tendon surgery.

Claudius Osei has one wish.

"It seems like I've always had something (injury) that has held me back," Osei said. "I just want to go full speed the whole season just to see what I can do."

Count Florida State defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews and Seminole fans everywhere in that mix as well. Everyone wants to see just what a healthy Osei can do. He appeared in 11 games last year despite being hampered by a broken hand as well as a partially torn (left) Achilles tendon.

While his teammates used last Thursday as a travel day for the July Fourth weekend, Osei, 23, spent part of his afternoon in the Seminoles' training room. His rehabilitation from Achilles tendon surgery is going well. In fact, Osei is participating in summer workouts and says he should be 100 percent by the start of two-a-days next month.

"I am about 90 percent right now but I will be good to go," Osei said with a wide smile.

Osei, a 6-foot, 195-pound redshirt sophomore from North Florida Christian High School in Tallahassee, is known as a physical player.

The rover started three games last season and finished fourth amongst defensive backs with 39 tackles. He also was third among defensive backs with 21 assists. Osei opened the season with four solo tackles against Iowa State and registered seven tackles against Wake Forest.

Even so, Osei was more like a vehicle running on only three good tires. He spent most of his practice time wearing a blue non-contact jersey or simply watching on the sidelines due to Achilles tendon pain.

"It was already hurting last year during two-a-days," Osei said.

"(I) didn't have time to let it rest. Had to go through the whole season with it. I was usually held out during practice. I couldn't really run during the week. During the game, I just had to go with pain killers and just go through it. It's really frustrating because you would like to be healthy. But you are held back the whole time with a blue jersey on. I couldn't really practice or get into a groove. It frustrates you because you want to be with the guys and do what they do."

The guys, as in defensive guys, are expected to do well this season -- starting with the secondary. The unit features 10 returnees from last season, including all four starters. Andrews is also hopeful he can rely on more man coverage due to the unit's experience. Osei says it's up to the players to prove Andrews right.

"We are way better than we played last year," Osei said. "We have so much talent and speed. (Now we) just have prove not only we have the talent but we can play well."

Held out of spring drills following surgery, Osei had an opportunity to watch the Seminoles' youth movement make a nice impression.

"They are coming for us (veterans)," Osei said and laughed. "They looked really good. I was really impressed by Pat (Watkins) and people like Buster (Davis) and A.J. (Nicholson). I think they are going to get a lot of playing time this year."

Osei also plans to keep an eye on another young player -- newcomer Ernie Sims, who also starred at NFC> Ranked the nation's top prep recruit last year, Sims lined up with Osei on defense for the Eagles when he was in the ninth grade.

"People back then were trying to give him (athletic) scholarships at 14 and they didn't even know he was just a freshman," Osei said.

"He's just a talented and athletically gifted player. You knew back then he was special. I see him in the weight room now and he's doing all kind of weights I only can dream of. He's going to be real good."

Osei can also be good -- as long as he's healthy. A German exchange student who arrived in the United States in 1999, Osei was a highly-touted defensive back/receiver during his one season at NFC. He registered 100 tackles on defense and chipped in five touchdown passes on offense.

Osei also was looking to make an impact at FSU. That can still happen with a little luck.

"Yeah, all this (injuries) started when I got to college," Osei said and laughed. "I don't know what has happened. But, yes, it has been frustrating and I am hoping I can finally be healthy for an entire season."


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