Explosive Package

Florida State's ability to utilize small, quick running backs attracted the eye of <b>Lamar Lewis</b> early in the recruiting process. Of course, <b>Warrick Dunn</b> set the standard for all Seminole running backs, large or small, by rushing for a career-high 3,959 yards from 1993-96. Current FSU running backs <b>Leon Washington</b> and <b>Lorenzo Booker</b> also have been extremely effective despite lacking imposing size.

"They (Seminoles) have a good tradition with small backs. I think I can go in there and play real quick," Lewis said Friday night.

Lewis certainly has the credentials.

The 5-foot-8, 175-pound tailback/cornerback turned it another impressive performance in Jacksonville Trinity Christian's 41-13 win at Port St. Joe in the Class 1A state semifinal Friday night.

Lewis, who has committed to attend FSU next season and is the Conquerors' all-time career rushing leader with more than 5,300 yards, finished with 145 rushing yards and three first-half scores of 28, 64 and 7 yards.

He also had a 53-yard score, reversing his field after being hemmed in on the sideline, nullified by a penalty.

Lewis had just one second-half carry as the defending state champion Conquerors sat their starters midway through the third quarter. Lewis also nearly had an interception late in the second quarter. Trinity Christian will tangle with Ft. Meade in Thursday's state championship game at Florida Field in Gainesville.

Lewis, who is on track to academically qualify with a 3.3 grade point average, is excited about joining the Seminoles and says he probably won't make any official visits elsewhere. He wants to play tailback but would also switch to defense if needed.

"I am stuck on them -- I am not going anywhere else," Lewis said.

Lewis also has family ties at FSU.

Cousin Gerard Ross, who also played at Trinity Christian, is a reserve safety for the Seminoles. Lewis, in fact, had the opportunity to visit with Ross Friday afternoon when the Conquerors stopped for a quick practice to break up the five-hour trip to Port St. Joe.

"We stopped in there today (Friday) and he came out and watched us practice and we got to talk a little bit," Lewis said.

FSU fans will probably enjoy this tidbit -- Lewis admits he grew up a fan of the Florida Gators. One problem.

"They said I was too small," Lewis said and smiled.

Like Lewis said, Seminole fans are well aware of the FSU's tradition with talented, small running backs.

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