First Impressions

Florida State freshman <b>Joe Surratt</b> has been pleasantly surprised during the first two weeks of preseason practices. Physically, the 260-pound freshman fullback is more ready than even he could have imagined to play college football. Click here for an update.

Joe Surratt's progress this preseason is good news for the Florida State Seminoles. Why?

That's easy.

Surratt is expected to play. FSU has lost a pair of fullbacks in the past week, leaving Surratt as the third option behind co-starters B.J. Dean and James Coleman at a bruising position that usually has to be manned by more than one body.

"Everyone makes a big deal about the speed of the game and moving up to a new level but really its not that bad," said the former Pace standout.

"In high school we did more hitting (in practice). Out here it's more about execution and making sure you're going to the right spots at the right time."

Surratt, an afterthought addition to a star-studded recruiting class, may make the biggest impact of all the true freshmen this season. Canfield is out indefinitely with concussion problems while the injury-plagued Washington has left the team for good.

He also realizes his good fortune.

"A lot of things happened to put me where I am," he said.

"And that's unfortunate. I know that I'm going to have to keep working hard to stay where I'm at."

One thing Surratt has had to get used to is the role of the fullbacks in the FSU offense. He, Dean and Coleman will be asked to pave holes for its shifty tailbacks and called up on to grind it out up the middle in short-yardage situations. That's a far cry for Surratt, who picked up 1100 rushing yards and over 400 receiving yards in high school.

"He's big and he can move," FSU coach Bobby Bowden said.

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