Old Timer

Florida State's <b>Ray Piquion</b> is a physical linebacker who played in all 13 games last season. During his career, the senior has proven to be a dependable player on defense as well as special teams. Well, what do you know? Piquion suddenly finds himself as the elder statesman for young linebackers like Ernie Sims and Buster Davis (pictured). But that role suits the personable Piquion just fine. Click here for an update as FSU continues its summer conditioning drills.

The realization hit Ray Piquion earlier this summer when Florida State's incoming recruiting class began to arrive for workouts.

"I see the young guys around here. It was a revelation when the freshmen came in here. I was like, 'Man, I am on my way out of here.' It has gone by so quickly," Piquion said and grinned.

During his career, Piquion, a senior from Miami, has proven to be a dependable player on defense as well as special teams.

Now he finds himself in a leadership role as well. And it's a responsibility Piquion welcomes with open arms.

Piquion's the lone senior among 10 linebackers on scholarship. He enters two-a-day practices next month as the starter at SAM linebacker in front of sophomore Ernie Sims.

"I am just trying to take the role as a coach on the field," Piquion said.

"I know the defense inside and out. I am especially helpful to the younger guys who have no idea and are wet behind the ears. Coach (Kevin) Steele (linebackers coach) has even asked me that, in a game when things are real tight, he wants me to be the guy to calm everybody down. I am just taking that role and trying to build everyone up."

Playing behind Michael Boulware last year, Piquion recorded 16 tackles (9 solo, 7 assisted), one tackle for loss, a quarterback hurry, a pass break-up, and two fumble recoveries, including one against Miami in the Orange Bowl. He also had an interception against Maryland called back due to a penalty.

Despite being slowed by a sore hamstring of late, Piquion has enjoyed a productive summer. He added nearly 15 pounds of muscle and concentrated on speed and agility drills while working with The Titus Sports Academy.

In the Seminoles' recent testing, Piquion said he had a 405-pound bench press, 4.17 pro agility, 9-9 broad jump and 39-inch vertical. He did not squat or run the 40 due to his hamstring.

"I want to be ready for the start of two-a-days," Piquion said.

Of course, Piquion says the linebackers expect to help set the practice tone.

"If I had to choose one word (to describe linebackers), it would probably be hungry," Piquion said.

"Even the freshmen are out here, doing extra work. Wanting to be on the same beat we are on as being veterans. Plus, you have guys like Buster (Davis), Ernie (Sims), Marcello Church and A.J. (Nicholson) -- we are all pushing each other. It has been really inspiring."

And, without hesitation, Piquion wants to take the lead in that charge.

"There are so many... especially at SAM. The SAM linebacker makes all the calls," Piquion said.

"It starts with the SAM. With me and Ernie, we are always talking -- make sure you see this. We've gotten to the point where during the play, everything is clockwork. That's the way it's supposed to be."

In two short weeks, the Seminoles will begin two-a-days. Which means the season-opener at Miami isn't too far behind. Piquion will be prepared.

"I've been watching film of Miami since the Orange Bowl," Piquion said. "I am into studying film. I like starting off with them and it helps they are the first game of the year We've got to leave with a W. We've got to leave with a W."

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