Healed and Healthy

<b>Brian Ross</b> could have easily walked away from football after suffering a broken leg during 2003 spring drills. Making matters worse, he irritated the injury last season when he slipped in the parking lot as he headed into the locker room following practice. Well, it should come as no surprise that Ross' determination has helped him return from the injury bigger and stronger. Ross and the Seminoles' offensive line will be a key to FSU's ground game this season. Click here for an update.

Brian Ross was a three-sport star at Enloe High School in Raleigh, N.C.

Ross was a two-way starter for three years as both a defensive tackle and a center. He finished second in the state in the shot put and No. 4 in the discus as a senior. He also ranked No. 4 in North Carolina as a wrestler in the heavyweight class.

It's easy to see Ross has never been one to shy away from challenges or competition.

Ross is one of Florida State's feel-good stories, a senior who has recovered from a devastating injury (broken leg) suffered during 2003 spring drills. He snapped his fibula and tibia and suffered nerve and tissue damage.

Making matters worse, he nearly suffered a serious setback last season when he slipped in a muddy parking lot near the athletic center following practice.

Ross had to be carried into the locker room by teammates, and he feared he had suffered another fracture.

Despite the long road to recovery, Ross is healed and healthy and looking forward to contributing this season.

"I am feeling real good. Real strong," Ross said following a recent workout.

"Like I am 10 times stronger than I was before the first time I tried to come back in terms of leg strength. I went from being able to barely lift 60 pounds one time on leg curls to 150 over 10 times now. I feel good."

It should come as no surprise that walking away from football was not an option.

"I guess it was my inner motivation for wanting to play and fulfill my dreams," Ross said. "I couldn't let that die. I won't let it die."

Even so, Ross now admits that he probably tried to return to the football field too quickly following leg surgery.

Playing defensive tackle, he was injured during goal-line drills. Last fall, Ross was moved to center behind David Castillo.

However, Ross figured the slip in the parking lot was a message.

"I think it told me it wasn't my time. I broke my leg on April 1 and I was trying to practice again in August. That was only four months," Ross said.

"It needed at least seven months to heal. My heart was bigger than. ... I tried to come back too soon. I wanted it more than my body was ready to let me have. Me falling, I probably should have took that for what it was. But, being hard headed, I wanted to do some things and I kept on trying."

There's no denying Ross' work ethic.

He has been a regular at conditioning drills despite being slowed early by a sore hamstring. If not running, he's on the stationary bike and in the weight room.

"I've been working as hard as I possibly can," said Ross, who has bulked up to 320 pounds but wants to report for two-a-days at 305.

"I want to go out there and give it everything I have and hopefully some good things will happen."

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