Seniors say goodbye to Doak

Saturday's game against Florida marked the end of the regular season for the FSU football team, and more specifically a career for the seniors.

On their home turf of Bobby Bowden Field, the seniors played in front of a sold-out FSU crowd for the last time.

This season left an impression on all, whether good or bad, and inspires the graduating players to give the rising ones the right start to a new season with a victory in the Emerald Bowl.

FSU receiver Chris Davis wrapped up his 2006 season with 46 catches for 651 yards and four touchdowns as he prepares for one last bowl game.

"It was a good career," Davis said. "I got a lot of chances here at Florida State. I got to come to the school I always wanted to come to and be coached by Bobby Bowden, play in Doak Campbell (Stadium). I'd say it was a good season."

Along with Davis' stellar performance at FSU, left tackle Mario Henderson has made many contributions to the team and hopes to leave his mark.

"As a senior class, you want to leave something behind," Henderson said. "You can leave a national championship behind or you can leave a winning record behind or a winning streak and a bowl win to get the ball started for next year and to help get these younger guys mentally prepared for next year. So it would be good to go out with a winning record."

Henderson was one of the 'Noles standout offensive players on a line that has been plagued with injuries and built of many younger players.

The Lehigh Acres native is not the only senior that is looking to the future of the Seminoles after he is gone.

Starting tailback Lorenzo Booker is considered one of the offensive leaders, with its strategy in the spring centered around him and fellow tailback Antone Smith's rush attack.

The California native goes into the bowl game with 501 rushing yards and two touchdowns garnered this season. He attributes this season's paltry outcome with a lack of compatibility but not a lack of trying.

"You would think being at Florida State we wouldn't lose six games or five games," Booker said, "because nine times out of 10 you will be able to pull those close ones out. That's why we are who we are. But, there was something missing. None of us know what is was but in the end it definitely wasn't a lack of effort. That's all you can give ... is everything you have."

Besides a new starting tailback, another noticeable change is going to be made on the offense at the end of the season, and that's the removal of Jeff Bowden as offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach.

Booker, however, feels indifferent to how that change will affect the offensive outcome next season.

"Amongst the players its not going to be a feeling of ‘okay, J.B.'s gone,'" Booker said. "You know, kind of like how the feeling was when Chris (Rix) left and that wasn't it either, obviously as people know now years later. Everybody just needs to take a step back and look in the mirror and say ‘what can I do better?' it all starts with your self. Once you can identify the mistake that you made and get on track to fixing those, that's when you can come together as a team and get back to the way we used to."

Middle linebacker Buster Davis leaves the squad and is considered to be one of the Tribe's leaders. His boisterous personality equally matched his loud presence on the field, leaving a legacy of his own at FSU.

"That's my role (being a leader), no matter what happened you have to lead the troops … no matter what's going on," Davis said. "I just try to lead them on the right path in the right direction so we can hopefully come up with wins."

The Daytona Beach native garnered team-high 102 tackles and five sacks this season.

The Seminoles wrapped up its season with a 6-6 record and are looking to make it a winning one in the Emerald Bowl come December. To the seniors of the football team, this is their chance to leave positive behind in hopes of the squad turning it around for its next season.

"You've got to have fun no matter what you play or where you play," Davis said. "It may not be the bowl game you want to go to but when you go 6-6 that's what happens."


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