"There was a lot I learned," Boldin said.
I appreciate the game a lot more than what I did. Having an injury like this teaches you a lot. It teaches you who your real friends are. It teaches you who cares about you and who don't. Who is after you just because you play football. It also teaches patience. I wanted it (playing) more than anybody right at that time but God showed me that time wasn't right. I had to learn that. The timing is right now.
"Before the injury everything came so easy. I just took it for granted. Right now I am savoring every moment."
Boldin, a junior receiver from Pahokee, is considered one of the most important pieces to Florida State's puzzle this season. Talent aside, Boldin is considered a team leader, solid citizen and settling influence. The Seminoles were shy those intangibles last year, when Boldin sat out following reconstructive knee surgery.
Well, the longest year of Boldin's life officially ended Friday, when team physicians cleared him for two-a-day practices. Knee stability - check. Strength - check. Range of motion - check. There's no wiping the smile from Boldin's face.
"This is great, just to have an opportunity to get back out here and work with the fellas," Boldin said.
"This is what you work all offseason for, to show the coaches that you are in shape. I will tell you what, it was the longest year (of my life). It seemed like two years almost. It has been a long process, as far as the rehab is concerned. But I feel great. I really don't have any concerns. I felt like I took care of everything I had to in the offseason."
Of course, Boldin was injured during a presason scrimmage last year. Boldin initially injured the knee while blocking on a run. After sitting out a play, Boldin inserted himself back into the scrimmage, only to go down clutching his knee after he attempted to cut following a pass reception.
Boldin and the Seminoles were devastated by the news - torn ligaments. Boldin, the consummate team player - he had opened drills at quarterback but moved back to receiver following Robert Morgan's knee injury - was angry, confused and frustrated.
"Yes, you ask yourself why me but you have to move on," Boldin said. "The most frustrating moment for me was not being able to do anything for myself the first two weeks after surgery. Laying in bed and not being to get up and walk around my own house. It teaches you not to take things for granted. You have to be appreciative."
Boldin attacked his rehabilitation like he would a defensive back on a curl route. In fact, Boldin bulked up to 230 pounds due to his passion for weight training. Back down to 215 pounds, Boldin hasn't appeared to lost any speed or quickness. Even during the Seminoles' speed testing Friday, Boldin easily made his times. He also made it a point to encouragement his teammates and, best yet, enjoy the moment.
"I am so thankful and excited to back back on the field," said Boldin, who had 41 receptions for 664 yards and six touchdowns as a sophomore in 2000. "Hey, this is fun."