On a day full of new faces, a familiar last name returned to the Florida State football practice fields Monday. And at 6-foot-7 and 266 pounds, Caz Piurowski was hard to miss.
The son of Paul Piurowski, a former All-American linebacker for the Seminoles from 1977-80, Caz, along with the rest of his freshmen classmates, was at his first organized workout as a member of the Garnet and Gold – the first of many in preparation for two-a-days in August.
And while the majority of FSU's 2006 freshman class will have their first season highlighted by special teams or reserve work or perhaps a redshirt, the younger Piurowski is going to have a central role in the offense. As one of only two scholarship tight ends on the roster now, he has to.
"Now that I finally am out here at practice it's hitting me a little harder that I will be on the field against Miami in my first game," Caz said. "There's only one returning tight end (from last season) so the pressure is on for me to be ready. We will see how that goes in August but it's going to be a hard task to be ready for the season but I think I can handle it. I just have to work that much harder.
"With Brandon Warren (FSU's other tight end recruit who has yet to qualify) not here yet it just makes what I do that much more important," he added. "I have to be the No. 2 guy no matter what."
In addition to dealing with a depth chart that is only two players deep, Caz must also deal with the long history of struggles that the FSU program has been known for at tight end. Year in and year out offensive coaches have made an offseason vow to get the tight end more involved in the offense but it never seems to fully work out.
Caz (pictured here with fellow freshman Anthony Leon) says he and his classmates "get along great."
Recruited by some of the top football schools in the country, Caz had his choice to attend cerrtain programs that consistently feature the tight end in offensive gameplans. But in making his collegiate decision it came down to his childhood favorite and a promise that certain offensive plans would change.
"I have loved FSU my whole life because my dad went here," Caz said. " (And the coaches) promised me that they were going to start recruiting tight ends and try to change the tight end program around. So that was a big thing. I'm coming in and getting playing time right away."
And playing right away means working closely with a member of the team that Caz is especially familiar with. A native of Land O' Lakes, FSU incumbent starting quarterback Drew Weatherford played high school football with his newest tight end.
Their friendship off the field – along with some extra work back at home – could translate into a special connection on the gridiron come September.
"When (Drew) went home to Land O' Lakes over his break we went over a bunch of film together," said Caz, who will wear jersey No. 19 at FSU. "He gave me some tapes and that has helped me to get a feel for things a little easier. Just having him out here is really good because he gives me advice. If I ever have any questions about the plays or school or anything else he is there for me."
Piurowski Ready for Prominent Role
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