Training Room Report

The Florida State Seminoles are nearing the halfway point of mat drills, those early-morning conditioning sessions that are used to build stamina as well as team unity. By all accounts, all is good. Even so, FSU also has plenty of injured watching the action, specifically along the offensive line.

Several Florida State offensive starters are currently recuperating from surgeries and likely will be held out of contact when spring drills begin in two weeks.

The Seminoles are also nearing the halfway point of conditioning drills, and trainer Randy Oravetz has been pleased with the team's effort.

Additionally, Oravetz is keeping a watchul eye on FSU's injured.

Tackles Ray Willis and Alex Barron each underwent recent shoulder surgeries, Bobby Meeks had his troublesome tonsils removed and had shoulder surgery, and David Castillo had foot surgery.

Also, tailback Leon Washington is recovering from recent ankle surgery.

"We are back in mat drills again and went through three this week and everything went well," Oravetz said.

"There's a good attitude out there and the kids are really working hard. It's tough to go at that time of the morning (6 a.m.) and do that type of activity. But coach Bowden and Mr. (Andy) Urbanic was watching the other morning and everyone has been impressed so far of how much these kids are hustling, working and trying to come together as a group."

The Seminoles used last year's conditioning drills to help build the foundation for the 2004 season. Oravetz said the process seems to be repeating itself.

"It looks like it did last year," Oravetz said.

"Those group of guys, the soul of the team -- those upcoming seniors -- looks like they've taken charge and there's some good leadership out there. That's what you need, to get those guys to step up and to get the younger guys to grow up, too. The physical toughness and mental toughness needed, so it's a nice thing to see."

Oravetz said newcomers DeCody Fagg and Barry Wright have made strides after early struggles. Fagg continues to recover from a broken leg suffered last summer and he has not participated in all drills.

Others such as offensive linemen Matt Heinz and Eric Broe also have been limited -- running and rope stations -- but continue to improve.

"It has been a new experience for them," Oravetz said and laughed, referring to Fagg and Wright, a junior-college transfer.

"I don't think both were in very good shape -- they both didn't realize what they were getting into. We are going to give (DeCody) him some more next week. We are working up the ladder with him."

Oravetz also said receiver Craphonso Thorpe, who continues his rehabilitation from a broken leg, continues pool workouts as well as weight-training for his upper body.

"Craphonso is still on the bike and he's in the pool every day with us and on the treadmill and stairmaster, so he's getting his activity," Oravetz said.

"He's getting his weight back, he's doing a lot of upper-body lifting and he really looks good, is working hard. It's just going to take a little time."

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