Friday's Premium Football Notebook

For a day scheduled with two separate practices, the Seminole football team took it relatively easy Friday with a 20 period session in the morning and an 18 period session in the evening. The Tribe will be back on the practice fields for six periods Saturday morning at 9:45 before heading into Doak S. Campbell Stadium for the second scrimmage of the fall.

BOWDEN KEEPING TRACK OF HIS WIDE RECEIVERS

In all honesty, it may appear to the average Seminole football fan that head coach Bobby Bowden takes a back seat in the decision making department in regards to how things are run at practice and even sometimes during games. And while that may be true to a degree, make no mistake about it; the legendary ball coach sees all and hears all when it comes to his football team.

Perhaps nowhere is that more evident than with the talented wide receivers that dot the Seminole roster. Despite the loss of three starters from a season ago, the Tribe has veterans Willie Reid, Chris Davis Joslin Shaw and Robert Hallback, up-and-coming sophomore De'Cody Fagg, and phenomenal freshmen Greg Carr, Kenny O'Neal, Fred Rouse, Rod Owens and Richard Goodman all competing hard for playing time this season.

With all of these guys battling, coach Bowden has taken a direct approach to keeping track of who is doing what on the practice fields.

"We keep stats on all of our receivers that get in there in all of the drills," Bowden said as he reached into his back pocket. "It let's them know that we see what they are doing. It gets the kids motivated."

Leading receivers:

Willie Reid – 89 receptions

Joslin Shaw – 86 receptions

De'Cody Fagg – 85 receptions

Richard Goodman – 82 receptions

Highest percentage of receptions:
Willie Reid – 88%

Rod Owens – 88%

De'Cody Fagg – 87%
Robert Hallback – 82%
Fewest drops:

Robert Hallback - 9

Rod Owens – 10

QUARTERBACKS IMPROVING

Despite lackluster performances from the young quarterbacks during Wednesday's scrimmage, Thursday and Friday practices have shown that Drew Weatherford and Xavier Lee are capable of bouncing back and putting up good numbers.

In the three practices following the scrimmage, both signal callers have found the end zone on several occasions and have looked good.

"They are making improvements," Bowden said. "They are freshmen so that means that everything is ahead of them. I wish they were juniors because they would be ready to play some football but they gaining some ground, gaining some ground, and gaining some ground. They have bounced back but they haven't been under pressure. Tomorrow we will get another look at them in certain situations.",BR>
According to Weatherford, it's all about the comfort level.

"I am just starting to feel more comfortable and I am excited about it," Weatherford said.

Of note: The team will rotate Lee and Weatherford with the No. 1 offense during Saturday's scrimmage the same way that they did Wednesday.

Florida State's freshmen class continues to earn good reviews.

First-year WR Rod Owens has drawn coach Bobby Bowden's attention with his sure-handed receiving and reliability. When the staff recently graded the wide receivers, Owens had the smallest percentage of dropped passes on the team, just ahead of Willie Reid and De'Cody Fagg.

"I feel like everything is going great, but I can't get a big head," Owens said. "I still have to be wanting more."

One of Owens chief goals is putting on weight and adding muscle. Currently 6'0" and 175 lbs, Owens would like over the next two seasons to bulk up to between 190 and 200 lbs. He says there still may be a growth spurt on the way, too.

"That's my personal goal, so I can be more physical on the field," Owens said.

Owens said he worked hard over the summer to adapt to the heat and demand of two-a-day practices. He's enjoying the challenge and calls the intense preparation "fun."

He's also got a helping-hand from fellow wide receiver Chris Davis. The two live next door, so Owens goes to Davis for help on, and off, the field.

CASTILLO ABSENT

Florida State will hold its second fall scrimmage today. Starting center David Castillo will be unable to attend since he is set to take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). Bowden indicated that redshirt freshmen Dumaka Atkins, who underwent shoulder surgery during the off-season, will cover for Castillo.

CALL HIM COACH

Before newcomer WR Fred Rouse can build a name for himself, there's another name he needs to work on first.

"(Rouse) has got me down to Mr. Bobby," Bowden said with a chuckle. "I've got to get him to use the last name."

Bowden added that it's part of the "de-recruiting" process. Once a new class gets settled into Florida State, they switch from talking to Bowden on a first name basis to referring to him as "Coach." Sometimes, such as in Rouse's case, it takes a little reminding.


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