Moving Back Home

Randy Oravetz laughed and admitted it only seems like yesterday when the Seminoles' moved into their makeshift training room at old Florida High. Well, Oravetz's staff is moving back into its old training room in the athletic center - or what's left of the athletic center. Also, Darrell Burston arrived and is scheduled for a physical Tuesday morning. Plus, defensive tackles coach Odell Haggins shares his thoughts on last season.

Randy Oravetz's training staff is moving back home in a few days. Well, sort of back home. For a guy that once worked out of an 80-foot-long trailer when the athletic center was initially built in the early 1980s, Oravetz ranks this as a minor nuisance.

"I am not kidding," Oravetz said Monday afternoon. "We just went over there and now we are moving back."

Of course, "there" was a cinder-block building on the campus of old Florida High. Oravetz's makeshift training room featured four training tables, three cushion chairs, four computers, four telephones, one stairmaster and no running water.

Naturally, "moving back" refers to Oravetz's old training room in the Moore Athletic Center -- or what's left of the athletic center as construction crews build a superior and more modern version. Oravetz hopes to be back in by Thursday, since incoming freshmen are scheduled for physicals Monday. Contractors have simply worked around Oravetz's facility and maintained it as best they could.

In other words, it won't make the Parade of Homes. Oravetz discovered Monday that his ice machine wasn't working and sparks jumped from the whirlpool's motor when he flipped the on switch. Oravetz also noticed he had a different view, too.

"I was in there this morning," Oravetz said.

"They cleaned the carpets. I mean, it's the training room, the equipment room, the locker room. There's nothing else. There's nothing left of the athletic center. Everything -the basketball locker room, the weight room, the dining room, the atrium -- is gone. You are starting to see the floor plan now. There's a little access road, which will serve as the new entry way (from locker room to the practice field). You can start to see a little bit of the initial of what it's going to look like. It's going to be exciting."

Of course, fans are excited about the quickly approaching football season. And many eyes will be on Oravet'z injured -- namely receivers Anquan Boldin (knee) and Robert Morgan (knee) and defensive tackles Travis Johnson (ankle) and Darnell Dockett (Achilles tendon).

The quartet has made good strides following surgery, Oravetz said, and their status will be re-evaulated when the varsity reports next week. The veteran trainer also likes what he has seen in summer workouts.

"They are coming along pretty good," Oravetz said. "We have a few guys questionable but on the whole, everybody has done what we have asked of them. The varsity guys are here working, and they look a lot better than they did three weeks ago. From what I can see, these guys are really working hard. They are smiling about it. They are excited about things again. I am glad to see all that."

Another new face watched practice -- freshman Darrell Burston of Fayetteville, Ga. The defensive end is scheduled for his physical Tuesday morning and could be cleared to participate in conditioning later that afternoon. Burston arrived in town Sunday evening and got to hang out with other members of his recruiting class.

"I am looking forward to it," Burston said. "I have been working out, trying to get stronger. Working on my conditioning -- that's really important. Since my (football) season, I have gained around 15 pounds, so I feel good about that."

Burston, listed at 6-2 and 210 pounds, says he hopes to contribute this season but admits a redshirt year could also prove beneficial. Burston played defensive end for the first time last season, finishing with a team-high 14 sacks and 98 tackles. He grabbed national attention after posting a 4.45 40 at summer camps and recorded a 44-inch vertical jump at the Georgia Tech camp. He was rated as one of the nation's top linebackers by TheInsiders. com.

"I want to get on the field," Burston said. "I will play special teams. But if I can redshirt, that's fine. It might be better. I am looking forward to getting out here, working with the guys. I've been told I will be playing DE. That's fine. I am excited. The season last year is only going to make us better this year. My strength is probably my speed, coming off the line."

While summer workouts continue, defensive tackles coach Odell Haggins continues his preparations for the upcoming season. Haggins, a former noseguard at FSU, admits last season was difficult to accept. The Seminoles finished 8-4 and much of the blame centered on defensive inconsistency.

"It didn't sit well. It didn't sit well at all," Haggins said. "That's a point-blank statement. It didn't sit well with any of us. Now, it's up to us to coach them hard and make sure they are prepared. And it's up to them to go out there and play. But I've been hearing good things, from what I read in the paper. There have been a lot of positives."


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