Lee: "I'm at about 80 percent"

After being limited during the spring practice period, redshirt sophomore quarterback Xavier Lee is back in action with his teammates. But while he is working himself back into throwing shape in order to be prepared for two-a-days, the Daytona Beach native is taking it slow because, as he says, there doesn't need to a repeat performance from last year.

A year ago it was a controversy. Now it's a forgone conclusion.

It's June and Florida State coaches, players and fans alike know who the starting quarterback is going to be come opening night against Miami in September.

But regardless of a redshirt freshman campaign that saw him become the Atlantic Coast Conference's most prolific first-year passer in history – a feat that has been parlayed into lofty predictions and expectations for 2006 – incumbent starter Drew Weatherford must still keep one eye over his shoulder.

The reason? Fellow classmate and signal caller Xavier Lee. And despite struggling to find his niche last season and then missing the entire spring of this year with an injury to his throwing shoulder, many Seminole followers don't ask if the Daytona Beach native will ever overtake Weatherford but rather when.

And now, with voluntary summer workouts in full swing, Lee is making the necessary strides to push Weatherford come two-a-days in August.

"The shoulder feels pretty good," Lee told RenegadeReport.com "I have been working real hard rehab-wise just trying to get myself prepared mentally as well as physically."

After being limited to handoffs and the throwing of tennis balls during the spring practice period, the 6-foot-4 signal caller, as he says is, "happy to be throwing again" as both he and Weatherford are staying after workouts to throw with their receivers.

While he is eager to keep working on his game, Lee insists that it must be a slow moving process.

"I am just taking it one day at a time," he said. "I'm at about 80 percent right now and I am not trying to overdo it. I'm just trying to ease back into as smoothly as possible and build my strength back gradually."

And easing back into action is a sentiment also shared by his doctor. After suffering an injury during the spring in 2005, Lee proceeded to work overtime last summer to combat the missed time.

His offseason a year ago, while inspiring, just may have proved to be his downfall at the conclusion of last season.

"Honestly, I'm not trying to get to 100 percent until two-a-days start," Lee said. "Last year I was throwing so much over the summer that it wore me out. I don't want that to happen again this year because I want to help this team."

"My doctor told me to limit my throws each day," he added. "(The doctor) wants me to stay at under 60 throws each day so that I am rested and don't throw it out once the season starts."

With the regular season now less than three months away, speculation will continue to center around how offensive coaches will get Lee involved in the gameplan to start the year. Possessing a rare mix of abilities in both passing and running, he could bring an added concern for opposing defenses.

He knows it and FSU offensive coordinator Jeff Bowden, apparently, is aware too.

"Me and Jeff have talked a few times about some new ideas for the offense," Lee said. "He wants to get me on the field as much as possible and I think that I can do some things to help this team. It's good too because neither one of us – me or Drew (Weatherford) – needs to be on the bench. We are going to work something out."

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