Premium Practice Notes: Giving Back

Under the watchful eye of several very important guests, the Florida State football team completed yet another conditioning session at the practice fields Thursday afternoon. Half a dozen former players and one key recruit were on hand as FSU players worked through throwing drills for about an hour after the conditioning was over.

A few weeks removed from their first mini-camps as NFL professionals, former Seminoles Jerome Carter, Bryant McFadden, Alex Barron and Travis Johnson joked around with former teammates before and after the routine. Minnesota Vikings' quarterback Brad Johnson was also at the fields and spent some time tutoring Xavier Lee and Drew Weatherford.

"I love it here and I love being out here," Brad Johnson told the Renegade Report. "I like to get out here some and lend these guys and extra arm every now and then."

Heralded receiver recruit Vidal Hazelton was also on hand and marveled at some of the talent he saw. Look for an update on Hazelton in the coming days.

Thursday marked the last day of stations for this week. As is customary on Fridays, the Seminoles will run a predetermined amount of 110 and 55-yard sprints before breaking for the weekend. Since Independence Day is Monday, they'll resume on Tuesday next week.

"It's great to see guys like that coming here to give back," receiver Fred Rouse said. "Especially for us young guys. I didn't even know that Brad Johnson knew my name but he called me over and said, "what's up Fred", when he got here. Just shows they care about us and where we are going."


Rouse and Antone Smith have spearheaded a unity-building endeavor with the 15 other freshman that arrived on campus this week. Each morning this week, the group has gone on a five-mile run through campus at 5:30 a.m.

"It was Pahokee's (Smith) idea at first," Rouse said. "I helped get all the other guys involved. (The other freshmen) are really a great group of guys. I'm excited about the things we can make happen."

Rouse said the jogging will be a Monday through Thursday routine.

"It's just another way we can build togetherness," he said. "We know that to get where we want to go, we have to rely on each other."


Brad Johnson joined a the long list of players run out of Tampa Bay by John Gruden last season but landed in a familiar place.

Next season, he'll back up Daunte Culpepper in Minnesota, a place where he was once the signal caller of what was the highest-scoring offense in NFL history.

"It's a good place for me," Johnson said. "The system is pretty much the same as it was a few years a go. It's different not being "the guy" since I've been "the guy" the last few seasons, but I'm getting used to the role."

"It's nice for me to go back to the same place. I'm living down the street from where I used to live and playing for a great organization."

Johnson said he plans to maintain his Tallahassee residence no matter where his NFL career takes him.

"I'm always going to come back to this place," he said. "My wife and I love it here."


A former consensus all-American, Alex Barron is adjusting to life as a professional. He's getting an excellent opportunity from the get-go, the St. Louis Rams list Barron first on the depth chart at right tackle.

Barron will continue to battle Blaine Saipia for the position when training camp starts.

"I'm playing a more extreme game with a lot of extreme guys. It's definitely a different game up there," he said. "College was fun. College was easy-going. I miss that aspect of things. I have a lot more responsibility now. It's a job that's for sure."

"It's looking like I'll get a chance, but I can't let up. I have to keep fighting for the position."


-Travis Johnson said that he's nursing and elbow injury and has been able to pickup the Houston Texans' 4-3 scheme quickly.

-Workers completed the sand pit on the practice fields.

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