Scrimmage Update

Coach Bobby Bowden names his captains for the 2004 season, during the annual Kick-off banquet Friday. Leon Washington continues to impress, this time during special teams.

Florida State Coach Bobby Bowden named Jerome Carter, Ray Willis, and Xavier Beitia as his team's captains for the 2004 season. The announcement was made Friday afternoon at the annual Kick-off banquet, presented by the Florida State boosters.

"This is probably the hardest time I had picking captains," Bowden said.

Bowden added that he tossed around the idea of having as many as five captains, as he's done in the past, or possibly six, but in the end decided to narrow it to the three.

"Jerome (Carter) has been a really good leader over the past couple of years, and Willis is a good leader over on offense," Bowden said. 

Last season, Carter received All-ACC Honorable Mention after recording 78 tackles and two interception in 13 starts. Willis started 13 games in 2003 and was named ACC Offensive Linemen of the Week twice following games against Maryland and NC State.

As for Beitia, Bowden mentioned the work he's put in since the end of 2003 season as the reason for selection. Beitia's also continued to impress coaches since the start of two-a-days. During Friday's scrimmage he connected on all attempts, with a long of 47 yards.

"Beitia has had a really good spring and a really good off-season program," Bowden said.

WASHINGTON OPENS STRONG: RB Leon Washington opened Friday's scrimmage with a sight he hopes to see more often: a pair of defenders, in his rear view, trying desperately to prevent him from going end zone to end zone on the scrimmage's opening kick-off.

They managed to catch up, but not before Washington cleared 96 yards of the field.

"Still can't score on them," Washington joked.

He then added, "It's a good sign though, things like that are going to have to happen to win this game."

In 2003, Washington had eight kick-off returns for 197 yards, with the a season-high of 126 yards at Florida. In the previous season, Washington tallied 368 yards on 13 returns. Also in 2002, he scored on 97 yard kick-off return against Clemson. It is his lone return for a touchdown.

Wide receiver Willie Reid has been added as a compliment to Washington on kick-off returns. Reid saw limited action on special teams in 2003, recording 80 yards on three returns.

Reid looks forward to the chance to play on special teams more in the upcoming season.

"It felt pretty good to catch a few punts," Reid said. "It's fun as long as you don't get hit hard.

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