Working Hard

<b>Fabian Walker</b> continues to bide his time, focusing on improving each day in practice. Walker, a redshirt junior from Americus, Ga., believes he's ready to lead Florida State's offense again when needed. Walker also is in great spirits following the recent return of his brother. <b>Antorius Meritt</b> served in the U.S. Army's 3rd Infantry Division since the beginning of the war in Iraq. Meritt attended the Maryland game and will be in the stands Saturday as FSU tangles with Georgia Tech.

Fabian Walker continues to bide his time, focusing on improving each day in practice.

Walker, a redshirt junior from Americus, Ga., believes he's ready to lead Florida State's offense again when needed.

Of course, the Seminoles are doing just fine at the moment under starting quarterback Chris Rix, who enters Saturday's home game against Georgia Tech with 4,878 career passing yards. Rix needs 122 yards against the Yellow Jackets to become only the sixth quarterback in school history to pass for 5,000 or more career yards.

Better yet, FSU coach Bobby Bowden continues to see a great deal of improvement in Rix's all-around play, especially when it comes to decision-making. Still, there are times when the athletic Rix wants to force the action.

"That's not a lack of confidence on his part," Bowden said.

"It's overconfidence, thinking as the Bible says, 'I can do all things. ... Son, there's some things that you don't even try to do. Throw the ball away and let's go on to the next down.' "He's still learning the little things. The great thing is he's doing the big things."

Walker, meanwhile, continues to prepare.

"That's all," Walker said.

" I am feeling really good. Throwing the ball, making all kind of throws. I am on top of my game, with reads and everything. I just want to be ready. You never know when the opportunity is going to come again. I am just trying to be ready."

Rix, Walker and third-teamer Wyatt Sexton give the Seminoles a nice mix at quarterback. Walker and Sexton have seen limited action thus far, combining on 8-of-12 completions for 88 yards. The Seminoles are expected to be tested by Tech's defense.

The unit really shined in its victory over Auburn, turning in its best performance against a ranked team since 1995.

The Jackets held the Tigers to three points, 230 total yards of offense and 40 yards rushing. Tech also had seven sacks with defensive end Eric Henderson leading the way with three.

"I know they have a good group of guys looking at them on film, so it's going to be a challenge," Walker said.

Walker, of course, became only the second Seminole quarterback under Bowden to make his first career start in a bowl game, joining Eric Thomas (1983 Peach Bowl). Walker was on the short end of a defeat to the Georgia Bulldogs in last January's Sugar Bowl in place of the suspended Rix.

Walker admits that seem like an eternity ago, especially after playing the entire season with pain in his right throwing shoulder. He underwent arthroscopy surgery last January, rehabbed during the spring and reported for summer conditioning drills healthy and focused.

"Definitely, the experience (last season), I wouldn't trade it for nothing in the world," Walker said. "I am healthy. I feel good about me having to get out there and play. I just have to get more and more reps on the field."

Walker also received great news earlier this season. After doing his part against North Carolina, Walker was told his brother, Antorius Meritt, was home after serving in the U.S. Army's 3rd Infantry Division since the beginning of the war in Iraq.

Meritt attended last Saturday's game against Maryland and will be in the stands this weekend as well.

"It was a good feeling to finally see him," Walker said. "That's the thing, everything is going good right now. I am just going to keep working."


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