Focus 2005

Spring football started last Saturday for high schools in Florida. Under FSHAA rules, teams are permitted 20 practice days -- three in shorts, 17 in pads - including a jamboree. Florida State recruiting coordinator <b>John Lilly </b> has a plan in place where Seminole coaches can visit each high school in the state of Florida. One obvious stop will be Madison County High School, where defensive end <b>Eugene Hayes</b> is drawing national attention.

The Madison County Cowboys fell short of their goal last season, losing to Hollywood Chaminade 27-0 in the Class 2A state championship game at Florida Field.

That game is serving as motivation for next season's returning lettermen, headlined by linebacker/defensive end Eugene Hayes.

Hayes, considered one of the nation's most athletic players, has received offers from nearly 20 schools, including Florida State, Oklahoma and defending national champion LSU.

Hayes, a 6-foot-3, 215-pounder, is a unique blend of power and speed. He has been clocked in the 40 at 4.4, according to Cowboys coach Frankie Carroll.

"Gino is going to be one of the best athletes to come through here," Carroll said.

"He works extremely hard and we are expecting a lot out of him next season."

Hayes, who is on the soft-spoken side, admits he will need to take a more active role in the leadership department this season. The Cowboys were undone by missed opportunities and mistakes in their 27-0 defeat to Hollywood Chaminade.

There's no need to worry about the Cowboys forgetting that debacle -- the score is plastered everywhere in the players' locker room and weight room.

Hayes says he grew up a fan of the Seminoles and that FSU headlines his list of favorites at this moment. He also said there's a chance he will attend FSU's summer camp --he attended the Central Florida and FCA camps last summer.

Florida State recruiting coordinator John Lilly has a plan in place where Seminole coaches can visit each high school in the state of Florida.

An obvious stop within the next two weeks will be Madison County.

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