Beneath the scorching Tallahassee sun, the Florida State football team hit the practice field Thursday afternoon for nearly 2 ½ hours.
After workouts, the players broke into one-on-ones and skeletons with passes from Xavier Lee, Drew Weatherford and Tommy Keane. Freshman wide receiver Fred Rouse competed in the one-one-ones and the 7-on-7 skeletons that followed for the first time as a member of the team.
Simply put, Rouse played like he was a four-year veteran – catching every pass thrown his way and making it look easy. He caught one long bomb from Lee and did a little Deion Sanders style high-stepping afterwards.
"That guy is the real deal," wide receiver Robert Hallback said. "You can tell he has been around the program for awhile even though he is just a freshman."
NEW ABBOT AND COSTELLO
As grueling as summer workouts can be, there are two young Seminoles that have a smile on their face 100% of the time. Fellow classmates and offensive lineman Dumaka Atkins and Cornelius Lewis could have a career in comedic duo performances once their football careers wind down.
Whether doing impressions of other teammates are razzing fellow lineman about their weight or simply dancing around, both guys work hard and play hard.
"That dude was my roommate when I first got here and we have been joking around since day one," Atkins said of Lewis. "He's just like me so we are always clowning around while we get our work done. We do everything together – we joke together, we play video games together, we hang out together. It's fun."
'SHIPS FOR ROOT AND HALLBACK
Without a doubt, one of the hardest working members of the Florida State football team is a guy who doesn't even have a scholarship to play –wide receiver Robert Hallback.
Entering his junior season, the Plant City, Fla. native is listed as number two at the flanker position behind Chris Davis. While he has been working hard and attending each and every summer workout, Hallback says the coaches have been taking notice since last spring.<>
"I don't have it but I talked to the coaches a lot in the spring. They told me that I did really well in the spring and to keep it up. The coaches told me that if I just keep working hard it (a scholarship) will most likely be there for me in the fall. I am just trying to get better and better each day and show them that I deserve it and I am confident that it will come pretty soon.
Another player that hopes to earn a scholarship to play is senior tight end Matt Root. After transferring from Notre Dame in 2003, the Tallahassee native saw lots of action last season as a reserve player and on special teams. While he will be in the mix for serious playing time this fall, unlike Hallback, Root isn't sure if a scholarship will follow.
"To be honest, I don't know what's going on with that," Root said. "The coaches told me that they didn't want to hold a carrot in front of my face but that they are working hard to get me one. I think it will happen though, I just have to keep working."
WHERE FOR BOULWARE?
Former standout Seminole linebacker Michael Boulware was in town today watching the workouts with several other former `Noles. His older brother and fellow former Seminole Peter is currently pursuing his options after eight years with the Baltimore Ravens.
One of the teams rumored to be in the mix for the former FSU All-American is the Seattle Seahawks – Michael's current team. The thought of two Boulwares on is something that Michael calls "a dream come true."
"No news yet on him yet because he is still trying to figure out which team really needs him," the younger Boulware said. "Whoever has the best offer is who he is going to go with but that would be a dream come true to play on the same defense as him."
Newest Seminole commit Caz Piurowski took part in 7-on-7 and one-on-one drills, even catching a few passes from former Land O'Lakes teammate Drew Weatherford.