Back To Work

Summer vacations are quickly coming to an end for Florida State coaches. The July Fourth weekend is normally the final reprieve for the staff. Now it's time to get busy. First on the agenda is the Seminoles' summer football camp, which runs Wednesday through Saturday this week and Sunday through Wednesday next week. Close to 1,000 players, ages 9 to 18, have signed up for the sessions. "I think they (camps) are real important from both perspectives," John Lilly said.

Summer vacations are quickly coming to an end for Florida State coaches. The July Fourth weekend is normally the final reprieve for the staff.

"In terms of our schedule, we now have places we have to be," FSU recruiting coordinator John Lilly said and smiled.

It's time to get busy. First on the agenda is the Seminoles' summer camp, which runs Wednesday through Saturday this week and Sunday through Wednesday next week. Close to 1,000 players, ages 9 to 18, have signed up for the sessions.

Naturally, the Seminoles' annual camp serves as an ideal recruiting tool. Current Seminoles who attended the camp while in high school include Chris Rix, Michael Boulware, Greg Jones, Dominick Robinson, Xavier Beita , Eric Broe, Darrell Burston and Buster Davis, to name a few.

"I think they (camps) are real important from both perspectives," Lilly said.

"Selfishly, we get the opportunity to evaluate. Not only football but what a person is like when they are with us for three or four days. And they get the opportunity to evaluate us. We coach them about like we coach our guys. It gives them a chance to figure out if they want to play for us or not."

One of the camp's better stories involved junior Brian Sawyer, who caught the attention of Seminole coaches for the first time with his snapping ability. Sawyer, from Cordele, Ga., initially walked on at FSU but was awarded a scholarship his second season and has been the team's long snapper.

Also, sophomore defensive end Kamerion Wimbley drove from Wichita, Kan., to Tallahassee to attend the camp for one day. He was offered by the Seminoles as he packed his bag for the drive home. Wimbley played in all 13 games last season and was one of eight true freshmen to contribute. Wimbley had his best game at Georgia Tech, finishing with six solo tackles.

While Wimbley was considered one of the top athletes in the nation -- he earned Parade Magazine and SuperPrep All-American honors -- FSU was anxious to see Wimbley up close and personal. He was one of four players on the roster last season that represented his state -- Wimbley (Kansas), Darnell Dockett (Maryland), Matt Henshaw (Tennessee) and Robert May.(Illinois)

"Since I've been around we never recruited anybody from Kansas," Lilly said of Wimbley.

"You see the film and, yes, he's doing an outstanding job but you are just not sure who he's playing against or really what his demeanor is. Regardless of that, you get him in there and you see how he can works and how he handles himself, it's a no-brainer."

It's also important FSU makes good decisions. The Seminoles are looking to sign 18 to 20 players next February, and the skill positions - including quarterback - are a high priority.

At least two of the country's top-rated quarterbacks are scheduled to attend FSU's camp -- Rhett Bomar of Grand Prairie, Tex., and Drew Weatherford of Land O' Lakes. Weatherford is expected in the first session, Bomar the second.

Of course, the Sunshine State features a trio of highly-skilled quarterbacks -- Weatherford, Xavier Lee of Daytona Beach Seebreeze and Cornelius Ingram of Hawthorne. Ingram is also a highly-regarded basketball player and is looking to play both sports in college. Lee is also expected to attend the Seminoles' camp. FSU wants to sign two quarterbacks in February.

Lilly says Florida is as good as ever in terms of prep talent.

"You are never going to see the state of Florida not have good players in it -- that's a given," Lilly said.

"You look at the last 12 years, I have to say 11 of those years Florida State, Miami or Florida has played for the national championship. Everybody else out there they know, basically us three are playing for one spot and everyone else is playing for the other. That's kind of the way I like it."

And Lilly also likes getting back to work.

Summer is coming to a close for the Seminoles.


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