Training Hard

Titus Sports Academy opened for business in August 2001 with an objective to teach variations of speed, strength and agility techniques. A number of Florida State football players are working with Titus in preparation for summer drills next week. That group includes tight end <b>Donnie Carter,</b> who is training four nights a week and wants to make a difference in the Seminoles' passing attack. (Fellow TE Matt Henshaw is pictured). Click here for the third installment in this summer series.

Florida State tight end Donnie Carter followed the recent NFL draft rather closely.

Carter is well aware three tight ends were selected in the top 40 picks, with Miami'sKellen Winslow going sixth overall to Cleveland.

Georgia's Ben Watson was selected by New England with the last pick in the first round at No. 32, while Florida's Ben Troupe went 40th overall to Tennessee.

While the trio enjoyed prolific collegiate careers and are considered exceptional athletes, Carter is determined make his mark with the Seminoles.

While FSU tight ends have played a secondary role in the Seminoles' offensive scheme, Carter realizes he must make the most of his opportunities and prove to the coaches that FSU tight ends are a viable option.

That's why Carter is training four to five days a week with the Titus Sports Academy in preparation for the start of summer drills next week.

"Two tight ends went into the league (NFL) that we played against in Winslow and Troupe," Carter said. "The one thing about those guys is Troupe played 60 to 70 snaps a game without a rotation and Winslow the same.

"Just their ability to show up. I am not going to say they ever got tired, but their stamina is at an high point. That's one key to my training. The other key is working on my fundamentals, running and form and explosiveness."

Carter, a converted defensive lineman, splits time between the weight room and the track while training each night at Leon High School. When finished, Carter heads to nearby Godby High to run routes and catch passes.

"I am used to staying low with a flat back and pass rushing," Carter said.

"Now, in the open field I have to run with a sprinter's form, to stride out. I am used to short, choppy steps. Working here, I am working on covering ground. I am concentrating on high knees and my arms. We also work on agilities and explosion -- we have a lot of 5-yard routes and 10-yard routes, so we have to get the extra yards."

Carter, who looks superb at 6-foot-3 and 260 pounds, spends his evenings watching video of Winslow and Troupe. The Seminoles and Hurricanes, who have moved to the Atlantic Coast Conference, open the season.

"If I am not working out, I am at home -- I got the music on -- and I am watching film," Carter said. "More so than anything, I want to be prepared. I want to be ready. I've been running a lot, eating better, lifting. I feel great."

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