All Business

Florida State rover <b>Jerome Carter</b> has been all business as the Seminoles continue their summer conditioning drills in preparation for the upcoming season. FSU must be ready from the get-go, opening with rival Miami in the pair's Atlantic Coast Conference opener. Recovered from shoulder surgery, Carter is determined to make his senior season count as FSU looks to improve on its overall defense this year.

Jerome Carter slowly made his way to the parking lot following a recent Florida State conditioning session.

Carter, the Seminoles' senior rover, has been pleased with FSU's effort thus far. However, the veteran realizes conditioning drills are only one of many steps the team must take if it wants to reach it's ultimate goal -- a national title.

"It's good to see everyone coming in early to get ahead of the game," Carter said.

Carter, who speaks in slow, deliberate tones, isn't one to joke around when it comes to football.

Known as a ferocious tackler in the Seminoles stingy defensive backfield, Carter started all 13 games his junior season. He earned All-ACC Honorable Mention and ranked fourth on team with 78 tackles (45 solo, 33 assisted.

Carter recorded a season-high nine tackles in both Miami and Virginia games. He also registered five tackles for loss, two interceptions, two quarterback hurries, two pass break-ups, and a forced fumble on the season. In the team's disappointing Orange Bowl defeat to Miami, Carter had five tackles, an interception return for 30 yards and one tackle for loss, including half a sack.

Carter also had the play of the day in the Seminoles' Garnet and Gold game, returning a deflected pass 88 yards for a touchdown.

Of course, the early summer buzz surrounding the Seminoles has been the arrival of the incoming freshmen. Many first-year players, including highly-touted quarterback Drew Weatherford and Xavier Lee, are participating in workouts and, by all accounts, making a favorable impression.

The no-nonsense Carter, however, says that should be exepected.

"I think everyone comes in like that, wanting to be ready. Still, I think it's positive that these guys are here working hard," Carter said. "They are out there everyday with all the vets, trying to learn everything with open ears. That's a positive."

Carter, meanwhile, is determined to make the most of his senior season. He's healthy following shoulder surgery. He's in a good mindset, serious as always and anxious to get started. He benched 330 pounds three times in a recent workout.

"I feel good. This is my year right here, there's no turning back after this (senior) one," Carter said.

"The main thing is to work hard, like I do every summer. Don't change anything. Just try to work hard. I am a hard worker. I've come off this shoulder sugery, and it seems like I didn't even have surgery. Everything is going good. Everything is positive."

Of course, Carter has never been one for boisterous predictions or pounding the table for recognition.

"We have to come together and play as a team," Carter said.

"We don't need to be any talking -- just go out there and play. People are going to say what they are going to say about us, but that's fine. We just have to go out there and do our thing. Go out and play. We are not going to do all that talking and making promises. We are going to play and perform."

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