Fitting In

Florida State's opening practice on Monday went extremely well by all accounts. The session began with special teams work, and freshmen <b>Kenny O'Neal</b> and <b>Jamaal Edwards</b> took turns returning kicks. O'Neal also had an opportunity to show off his speed during passing drills later in practice. Click here for an update on O'Neal, who grew up in Georgia but moved to California during his junior season.

Kenny O'Neal enjoyed everything about his first practice at Florida State on Monday.

The heralded receiver/track performer began the afternoon by fielding kickoff returns, and then later had the opportunity to show off his skill during passing drills.

"I like all the receivers. They are teaching me stuff and the coaches are really cool," O'Neal said. "I was really into learning the plays, so I didn't really feel any butterflies. Everything is good."

Although O'Neal struggled at times with his pass catching, there's no denying his athleticism and pure speed.

O'Neal recently participated in the USA National Junior Olympic Track & Field Championships, finishing second in 100-meter sprint at 10.49 time despite hamstring tightness.

Earlier this summer at the California Interscholastic Federation state meet, O'Neal clocked a 10.34.

Of course, O'Neal, who plans to run track at FSU, also made a name for himself on the football field. He caught 35 passes for 850 yards and 24 touchdowns, including four on kickoff returns.

A smiling O'Neal admits he needs to learn the details of route running.

"In high school, I was basically a straight runner -- ran a lot of post (patterns)," O'Neal said.

"The shorter routes I have to work on a little bit. I think my strengths are getting away from man-on-man, the bump coverage. Cover two, I am pretty good at that with the posts and outs. My quarterback in high school wasn't a hard thrower, he basically lobbed it."

Due to depth at receiver, O'Neal will probably bet a better opportunity on special teams this year.

"I didn't drop anything so I feel good about it," O'Neal said and grinned.

O'Neal was raised in Georgia, but moved to to California during his junior year to live with his mother and stepfather. His father, Kenny O'Neal Sr., played for the New Orleans Saints.


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