Listen and Learn

<b>Wyatt Sexton</b> has reached the halfway point in his three-year journey to compete for the starting quarterback role at Florida State. The timetable has been adhered to by most quarterbacks in the Bobby Bowden era. Barring unforeseen circumstances, Sexton's big chance will arrive in the spring of 2005. Until then, Sexton continues to listen and learn.

"I am pleased with how they are bringing me along right now," Sexton said.

"Still, I definitely get frustrated because when you go from starting for two years (at Leon High) and then…I said to myself I was going to sit and play a little bit for three years and then get my shot. But I didn't realize how three years long was and I am starting to get antsy. But, in the same respect, I have to be patient, keep lifting weights and learning and getting better."

Sexton, a personable and polite redshirt freshman and son of FSU running backs coach Billy Sexton, has played sparingly this season behind starter Chris Rix and No. 2 Fabian Walker.

Word is he continues to impress coaches and teammates alike with his practice performances, giving folks a glimpse of the future. He's tall and rangy with a good head and strong arm.

"I pretty much have learned the entire offense, all the reads, all the hot reads," Sexton said.

"I am pretty much feeling comfortable as you can with all the information. There's some stuff that has changed on a week-to-week basis, which I can pick up, and all the rest of it is just getting experience and game time and game speed with it."

Sexton, as a reserve, also has a bird-eye view of Rix and Walker, a pair of redshirt juniors. Sexton has been impressed by both, saying each is capable of leading FSU to a national championship.

Of course, much has been made of Rix's progress since stepping into the starter's role as a redshirt freshman in 2001.

Walker, meanwhile, made his first career start in the Sugar Bowl due to the Rix suspension but has been unable to push for the starter's role, according to Bobby Bowden and offensive coordinator Jeff Bowden.

"Rix is an unbelievable physical talent," Sexton said.

"He has speed, he has a great arm. His upside is huge and he has really come together this year and stopped making some of those bonehead, mental mistakes. He's really protected the ball and gives our team a chance. Some of the plays he makes when he escapes out of the pocket and finds people down field, me and Fabian couldn't make. He definitely has that above us.

"And Fabian can be a great player if he got a chance to play. It's a tough situation for him because he's the same year as Rix and Rix has unbelievable talent and he's starting to play better now and playing well and giving us a chance to win. It's just tough for Fabian because I can feel he can be a great quarterback at Florida State. He's just in a tough position."

Sexton also likes the direction of the Seminoles' offense, which relied heavily on the deep ball in last Saturday's convincing 37-0 win at Notre Dame.

"I think coach Bowden really opened up the offense this year and really started to throw the ball more down field. I think that's something we've been lacking the past two years," Sexton said.

"Just started to make some play calls that forces us to throw down the field because we do have the athletes that, in a one-on-one situation, can take control of the game like Cro (Craphonso Thorpe) and P.K. (Sam) did last week (at Notre Dame). It's something like to do because I would love to throw it deep when once I get in there."

Sexton, of course, can't wait to "get in there." He wants to be in solid position when his opportunity presents itself in a year-and-a-half. The main goal is to add needed lower-body strength and overall weight.

"My sophomore year (high school) I messed up my back, and I had never been able to do squats," Sexton said.

"Towards end of this past season, I started back up and my back responded well. So, I am really looking forward to off-season and getting in there to add some lower-body strength to my legs."

Sexton, an accomplished prep athlete in basketball and baseball as well, also tipped his hand, saying he may want to try out for the Seminole baseball team as a reliever. Of course, he has been ordered by quarterbacks coach Daryl Dickey to stay off the basketball court after severly spraining his ankle last summer during a pickup hoop game.

"I am thinking I might, one of these days, go out there and get clocked on the mound to see if I can throw some gas and maybe be a closer," Sexton said. "But I am not even going to worry about that right now. My focus is on football."

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