Young Guns

Florida State freshman tailbacks <b>Jamaal Edwards </b> and <b>Lamar Lewis </b>are working with the second team this week. The duo will provide back up for <b>Lorenzo Booker,</b> who's getting the starting nod in place of injured <b>Leon Washington</b> (separated shoulder) against Maryland on Saturday. Both will get an equal amount of reps during practice, but both offensive coordinator <b>Jeff Bowden</b> and <b>Bobby Bowden</b> have said that Lewis is making strides quicker than Edwards.

Florida State freshmen tailbacks Jamaal Edwards and Lamar Lewis will rotate with the second team in practice this week so coaches can prepare a backup for Lorenzo Booker by this weekend.

Booker will move up to starting tailback and take the bulk of the carries out of the backfield, while RB Leon Washington recovers from a grade-2 separated shoulder suffered against Wake Forest.

"Nothing really has changed. You miss the luxury of not getting tired at all. This time I'm going to have to find the mental toughness to when I do get tired you just have to stick it out and finish," Booker said.

Coach Bobby Bowden ruled out the possibility of using receiver Willie Reid as backup since Reid is still recovering from a hamstring injury. Reid covered as a second-string running back in the early part of the 2003 season when both Washington and Booker were sidelined with injuries.

"If Willie (Reid) was completely healthy I would consider working him two positions, but I don't think he could go a game playing both positions," Bowden said.

Offensive coordinator Jeff Bowden said that Lewis is currently ahead of Edwards because of his ability to execute assignments properly, but according to running backs coach Billy Sexton both players will be worked equally since, "we're going to need them both ready to go."

The area that Sexton wants the two to focus the most on this week is knowing assignments and protecting the quarterback.

"The two most important things are protecting the football when you run and who to pick up and how to pick them up," Sexton said.

"As far as running skills and pass receiving skills both of them are excellent."

Sexton has known that since he saw them in high school. Edwards rushed for 2000 yards and 22 touchdowns as a senior at Dudley in Greensboro, NC.

What's the biggest adjustment Edwards has had to make since leaving Dudley?

"The pass protection. You can be able to run the ball, but coach is not going to let you play if you can't pass protect," said Edwards, who has rushed for 23 yards on six attempts this season.

Lewis led Jacksonville Trinity Christian to the Class 1A state championship with 1,600 yards and 22 touchdowns his senior season. He has 13 yards on seven attempts through seven games.

"This is a big opportunity for both of us to get in there and show coaches we can play," Lewis said.

Losing running backs to injury is nothing new for Florida State.

In 2002, the Seminoles lost RB Greg Jones for the season with a torn ACL, and two seasons earlier Jeff Chaney tore an ACL and Davy Ford broke his collarbone.

"It's hard to get through the season with just one," Bobby Bowden said.


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