First Impressions

Florida State returned to the practice fields Monday night for summer conditioning drills. The large turnout featured plenty of new and young faces as a handful of incoming freshmen were cleared to participate, including quarterback <b>Drew Weatherford,</b> running back <b> Jamaal Edwards </b> and safety <b>Kenny Ingram.</b> While plenty of excitement surrounds the incoming class, Monday was just the first of many steps.

There was an extra bounce in the step of Florida State players on Monday.

After a week reprieve, the Seminoles returned to their practice fields for summer conditioning drills. Not even a late afternoon thunderstorm could wash away the excitement as more than 80 players participated.

Of course, the large contigent also featured a handful of freshmen who were cleared by the medical staff to begin training.

Those given the green light included quarterback Drew Weatherford, running backs Joe Surratt and Jamaal Edwards, linebacker Jae Thaxton,, safety Kenny Ingram, cornerback Joe Manning and offensive lineman Geoff Berniard.

Offensive lineman Aaron Jones also showed but spent time on the stationary bicycle due to an old wrist injury that hasn't healed correctly. Jones is scheduled for further testing.

Other freshmen could be cleared as early as today to participate in drills, including quarterback Xavier Lee.

Randy Oravetz, the Seminoles' veteran director of medicine, reminded the newcomers to be smart during training sessions.

"The No. 1 thing we tell them is, look, pay attention. If you get a little tired we are going to give you a break. You don't have to accomplish it all in one day," Oravetz said.

"You have six weeks to prepare. This is a learning session. Most of these guys are all older. They've been doing the drills before. Listen, pay attention and if you need a break, take a break. You don't have to do it all on the first day."

Oravetz also reminded the youngsters to be just as smart off the field as well.

"They are away from home for the first time," Oravetz said. "No mothers or fathers. Make sure you are drinking enough liquids and getting enough food in your system. And don't stay up all night because your body needs some sleep. Lucky today, the rain came early and it even cooled off for us, which is good.

"But on the whole, they look pretty good. We look alright."

Naturally, most of the buzz is centering on Weatherford and Lee, a pair of highly-touted quarterbacks who are hoping to make a contribution this season.

However, coach Bobby Bowden has said that one of the two will likely redshirt this season. Chris Rix is in his final season, while redshirt sophomore Wyatt Sexton has made nice progress but has been slowed by a sore right throwing arm.

Weatherford participated in skeleton drills following Monday's conditioning. Sexton was impressed by Weatherford's first day, though he said he's not in position to offer any advice to the newcomers.

"I am not going to really try to advise those guys right now, simply because I have to worry about my own business and take care of my stuff right now," Sexton said.

"I am not at the point where I need to be advising anyone. I need to take care of my business and things will work out. But I am impressed with (Weatherford's) work ethic. He worked hard today in the first day and as long as he continues to work hard, he will be fine."

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