First Impressions

<b>Rodney Gallon</b> was one of the few newcomers who showed for Florida State's offseason conditioning drills last spring. Although the conditioning session, formerly known as mat drills, was scheduled for 6 a.m., a wide-eyed Gallon didn't mind. So it shouldn't come as any surprise that Gallon participated in the Seminoles' summer conditioning drills Monday.

Florida State freshman Rodney Gallon is ready to prove the critics wrong.

Gallon, a former Lincoln High standout, wants to show fans he's big enough, fast enough and athletic enough to make a difference at linebacker for the Seminoles.

Gallon was all smiles and full of energy as the Seminoles opened summer workouts Monday night.

"I want to get out here and do what needs to be done to prove myself to those who doubt me," Gallon said.

"Everyone say's I am too small to play linebacker in college and that I won't get any bigger."

Gallon has been often compared to former Seminole standout Derrick Brooks due to the pair's size.

Although Gallon is listed at only 6-feet and is up to around 220 pounds, he was still extremely productive for the Trojans.

Gallon earned first-team All-State honors after registering nearly 140 tackles as a senior. He selected FSU over Nebraska, Auburn and Tennessee.

Gallon is enrolled in summer classes and will room with former Lincoln teammate Joe Manning.

Gallon also noted that former Lincoln teammate Antonio Cromartie has been good about showing him around the athletic facility and making him feel comfortable.

"Ant(onio Cromartie) has been real great showing me around and helping me get to know people," Gallon said.

"I still don't know alot of the guys yet."

There's also no denying Gallon's excitement.

He was one of the few newcomers who showed for Florida State's offseason conditioning drills last spring. Although the conditioning session, formerly known as mat drills, was scheduled for 6 a.m., a wide-eyed Gallon didn't mind.

Gallon also is eating well, pointing out he's working at a local restaurant that specializes in buffet-type meals.

"I helps me get eats," Gallon said.

Lincoln, of course, has served as a major pipeline to FSU.

n the last few years, Trojans Craphonso Thorpe, Pat Watkins, Andrew Henry-Kennon, who has since left the team, and Cromartie have made the short trek from Lincoln to FSU.

Current Lincoln receiver Fred Rouse, who is considered one of the nation's top seniors, also has listed FSU amongst his favorites.


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