Scrimmage Notebook

The Florida State football team's Saturday scrimmage was its last before the innaugural Garnet & Gold game this comming weekend. With just over a week left to the spring practice period, the players continued to work out the kinks that are so common in the offseason Saturday.

MINI JAE THAXTON Q&A
By: Brandon Mellor



After missing the majority of the 2005 season and being forced to take a medical redshirt, linebacker Jae Thaxton has relished the return to the lineup this spring practice session.

Battling for the starting spot at middle linebacker, the Georgia native has played well this March despite the time off. Saturday he had a solid outing and laid one of day's big hits; his coming during goal line drills.

Following the scrimmage, he spoke with RenegadeReport.com.

Q: How has it felt to be back out there getting reps after battling with injury last year?

A: "Great. I am glad to be back. I felt like I was never going to get back out here. Before I had my surgery I was going at it pretty hard but after that, you know when you have surgery you can't do much and you start getting out of shape a little bit. I just have been doing a whole lot of conditioning and speed work to get back into things. Now that I am back on my feet it feels good. I wasn't depressed to be out of it but when you can't do something that you love it really hurts."

Q: I know that you struggled with concussions. What was the surgery for?

A: "I had foot surgery too. I had get something repaired in there but it is good now and it feels good too."

Q: Did the injury and the time off force you to lose a step? Have you noticed any drop-off in your game?

A: "No drop-off really. I am seeing some progression actually. I mean I am still knocking some of the rust off but it's getting easier at every practice."

Q: How did it feel lay a pretty vicious hit on the ball carrier down there on the goal line?

A: "Oh man, it felt great. It felt really great."


MOODY MAKING HIS MOVE
By: Mallory Schneider



Despite a looming shadow over the Seminoles punting game, some new light has broken through. Among two of the new punters welcomed to the Garnet and Gold is Tallahassee native Brent Moody --- a transfer from the University of Louisville.

Upon the graduation of former starter Chris Hall, the job is now up for grabs. Moody, after watching form the sidelines last season, is ready to meet that challenge.

"I definitely see myself improving every practice," Moody said. "Spring is usually the hardest for me. I didn't have the time to really work on my mechanics during the winter, so it is always good to come out here and kind of get fresh."

The Tallahassee native has already improved his boot this spring.

In the first full-scrimmage of the 2006 spring practice session, the longest yardage one of Moody's punts registered was 37 yards, which was followed by a 32 and 31 yard kick. Graham Gano, who is battling for the starting punter position as well, only managed to notch a 33, 32, and 30-yard punt.

When the Louisville transfer stepped onto Bobby Bowden Field Saturday for the Tribe's second full scrimmage of the year, he got a second wind.

"I think I had more confidence during this scrimmage than the last, because I have practiced a lot more with the team," Moody said. "I have also settled back in to Tallahassee."

The strong performance Saturday was enough to catch the eye of a certain coach.

"He (Moody) had a 50-yarder and a 53-yarder,"FSU head football coach Bobby Bowden said. "He was more consistent. We are constantly putting the punters under pressure to teach them not to worry about the rush and just punt it."

Moody arrived at Florida State in the 2005 offseason and spent a year buying time until it was his chance to play on the field of Doak S. Campbell Stadium. During that year, he had time to adapt to how FSU developed its special teams.

"The way that practice and special teams runs here is different from Louisville in the way the punting schemes are set up," Moody said. "I like Florida State's a lot better. That's where I grew up. I have always loved Florida State."

One thing is for certain, however, as Moody will be seeing some action in the 2006 football season as the starting holder.

"It is pretty easy," Moody said. "Garrison Sanborn is a heck of a snapper. He snaps it good and hard with the laces out most of the time, to where I hardly have to move the ball in place for the kicker."

Although he will be the holder for the Seminoles, the 6-foot-2 junior sets his sights on grasping the starting position for punter this coming season.

"I had a whole year to sit out and get done with that year and now I plan to focus on starting this year," Moody said.


THE SCRIMMAGE, IN A NUTSHELL
By: Brandon Mellor

The highlights:

-The moves of Lorenzo Booker against the defense on his 65-yard touchdown scamper that spawned from a swing pass out of the backfield from Drew Weatherford on the first play of the scrimmage. Also, Mario Henderson proving to be quick the road block on that scoring run.

-Buster Davis jokingly getting in the ear of Jeff Bowden and the offensive coaches about their play selection in goal line drills.

-Antone Smith continuing to show that he just may be the most talented offensive weapon on the team with nine rushes for 67 yards.

-Myron Rolle laying the wood on several occasions.

The lowlights:

-Both Dumaka Atkins and Andre Fluellen going down with injuries to the left knee. Fortunately, both are expected to be okay.

-Despite an overall sound performance, Weatherford missing a wide open Richard Goodman in the endzone from the 12 yard line.

-Greg Carr only grabbing one reception in the scrimmage. He had another for roughly 20 yards but it was called back due to an offensive penalty.

-Only one touchdown in eight tries by the offense in goal line drills.


RENEGADE REPORT'S QUOTE OF THE DAY

"I don't even remember the run. It just happens. That kind of stuff just happens" - Booker on his 65-yard touchdown.


FINAL STATISTICS

Passing:
Drew Weatherford (9-16, 120 yards, 1 TD)

Receiving
Lorenzo Booker (2-67, 1 TD)
Richard Goodman (6-47)

Rushing
Antone Smith (9-67)
Jamaal Edwards (3-20)

Defense
Derek Nicholson (7 tackles, 1 pass break-up)
Anthony Houllis (5 tackles, 2 pass break-ups, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery)
Lawrence Timmons (5 tackles)
Myron Rolle (5 tackles, 1 pass break-up)

Field Goals
Gary Cismesia: 4-5 (20 Good, 20 Good, 42 Good, 47 Miss, 47 Make)
Graham Gano: 3-4 (20 Good, 42 Good, 42 Miss, 47 Good)


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