Freshman Rule 40s

The Florida State football team celebrated its youth Tuesday afternoon as over 30 players tested in the 40-yard dash. Led by speedster Kenny O'Neal, freshmen turned in the six fastest times of the day before lighting forced the team to pick things up early.

Kenny O'Neal, considered a favorite by many to earn the title of fastest man on the team, torched the Mike Long track with a 4.31. The mark edged true freshmen Antone Smith (4.36) and Michael Ray Garvin (4.37) by fractions of a second, giving him the coveted honor.

"We've got talent everywhere," O'Neal said. "We've got talented freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors so it doesn't surprise me at all that these new guys are doing so well because it's Florida State and you know that the best are going to want to come here."

Fred Rouse (4.42), Tony Carter (4.42), and Trevor Ford (4.44) followed with impressive efforts just in front of Pat Watkins (4.5), who ended up turning in the fastest time for an upperclassman.

"I'm glad those guys play for my team," Watkins said. "They almost make you feel slow. It's the young guys that benefit most from this, just getting a chance to get out there and show everyone what they can do. They did that today."

Participation in testing is totally voluntary, but players who are without injury are encouraged to take part in the 40, as well as the pro agility and vertical leap. Florida State coaches are not permitted to release results. All figures in this report are unofficial and are based on interviews with players.

While skill players, linebackers and defensive backs completed the 40, linemen ran just 10 yards in a "burst" drill. John Frady (1.87), Matt Meinrod (1.9) and Cornelius Lewis (1.94) posted the top times up front. Meinrod added an impressive 4.5 in the pro agility drill.

"The amount of speed we have out here is impressive," Meinrod said. "It just means the holes we have to open don't have to be as big. I liked blocking for Greg Jones, but you had to clear a pretty big hole or he'd clear one for you."

At linebacker, Everette Brown (4.6), Marcello Church (4.59) and Derek Nicholson (4.67) turned in impressive times. Ernie Sims, Sam McGrew, A.J. Nicholson and Buster Davis were on hand but chose not to test. Davis challenged – and beat – the linemen at their burst drill.

"We're out here for support more than anything," the elder Nicholson said. "We're here to make sure these younger guys are doing what they are supposed to be doing and having a good time while they do it."

Other sub-4.6 times included Lorenzo Booker (4.58), Jamie Robinson (4.55), Korey Mangum (4.59), J.R. Bryant (4.5), Anthony Houlis (4.59) and De'Cody Fagg (4.45).

"It was formidable, what we came out here and did as team," Rouse said. "It shows the caliber of talent that we have all over the roster."

Rouse was a member of Lincoln High's 4x100 relay team that won the national championship in Texas earlier this summer.

The Tallahassee native said indicated that times may have been better if not for traction problems. Players aborted several attempts in the first ten yards when they slipped out of the blocks.

Garvin actually slipped but kept going on his 4.37 but kept going. Booker had footing problems, as well.

"It was definitely about having a good start out there today," Rouse said. "Once you got cranking it was a fast track."

The Seminoles will hold voluntaries on Wednesday and Thursday to make up for missing the first two days of the week. Check back with Renegade on both days for observations and notebooks.

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