Fred Rouse has a guarantee. By the end of the season, members of his recruiting class, Rouse included, will have found a way to make an impact.
It's a bold statement. Even a bit audacious. But that's the kind of drive that many of these young blue-chippers have, and it's effects are already showing up in practice.
"We might've seen something in high school that makes us think they are exceptional," coach Bobby Bowden said. "By the time you play your first ball game they may have worked themselves to the top."
A role on special teams is the most likely destination for guys like Rouse or Antone Smith, though Smith is making a favorable impression on coaches.
"Main thing I tell the freshmen is that we're going to go real slow," Bowden said. "Then we start scrimmaging and then I'll get you in there some. (Smith) is one that every time we've put him in there, he's done some good things. But that's what we've expected. We'll get him at bats. I wouldn't hesitate to use him."
While Rouse was nursing a sprain for much of the week, Smith has been involved with kick-off returns and working out of the backfield.
"You can't keep a player off the field," Smith said. "That's how I feel. I've been working hard and I'm trying to get these plays down. I'm going to get on the field one way or another."
It's been a while since Smith has handled a return. In his first two high school years, Smith got a good share of opportunities on special teams. But as he grew into more of threat, the ball stopped coming his way.
"I didn't get the ball kicked to me," Smith said "I haven't fielded the ball in a while."
Smith said that if he got the chance to take a return in the opener against Miami, it would be tough to control his adrenaline, but that doesn't raise much of concern with him.
"Best advice that I can give them is to practice hard and work on their technique plans," said WR Willie Reid, an experience special teams player. "Work on small things that will get you on the field. With Coach (Mickey) Andrews coaching special teams, make sure that you're paying attention in the meetings. Make sure to keep your eye on the ball and catch punts."
Smith and Rouse Want Action
Nole Digest Top Stories
ACC Football Roundup: Week 5 Top StoriesAll you need to know about ACC teams leading into Week Five of the college football season.
Updated Scout 300 Trend Meter For 2017The updated Scout 300 Trend Meter for the 2017 class takes a look at which schools are trending for each uncommitted member in the Scout 300.
Scout FootballMonday at 11:15 AM
No. 1 DT Trying to Chop Down Recruiting ListWith scholarship offers from coast-to-coast Scout five-star and No. 1 rated defensive tackle Marvin Wilson is trying to find that right combination for his final three official…
Most Out-of-Nowhere CommitmentsScout's team of national analysts recalls some of the out-of-nowhere commits that they have covered...