When defensive tackle Paul Griffin went down with a knee injury early in 2006, Florida State lost for the season a talented player that had quickly made a name for himself and earned starting honors after transferring from junior college.
Now in his second spring practice period with the Seminoles, Griffin, who has two years of eligibility left after receiving a medical redshirt, isn't participating in contact drills but rather rehabilitating that injured knee. And so far everything is on schedule for his healthy return this fall.
"It's going pretty good. I'm just coming out here everyday and rehabbing real hard," Griffin said. "Everything is pretty good I just have to keep working. I am just trying to get back to 100 percent."
Griffin said that he is around 65 to 70 percent in terms of his health and is looking to make each day count in his rehab.
"I still have a long way to go but I have time to do it," Griffin said. "I have all the way until August to get back to where I need to be so that's good. I just can't take any days off. I have to keep going."
While Griffin's goal now is to get back to 100 percent in time for two-a-days in August, it turns out that his goal after season's end last year was to be ready in time for March.
"Honestly I was trying to get back to play this spring. I wanted to but I figured it would be better to heal fully," Griffin said. "The coaches know what I can do. So my biggest thing is I am trying to get ready for summer conditioning so in the fall I will be ready 100 percent for camp."
Despite the fact that Griffin and position mate Emmanuel Dunbar are not working with the team this spring, the entire depth chart at defensive tackle has the benefit of experience.
It's that characteristic, that Griffin thinks bodes well for his group this season.
"There's a lot of competition. The younger guys have really stepped up and a lot of them have got a lot better," Griffin said. "Coach Odell (Haggins) knows how to bring out the best in you so there's a lot of competition now and I know I'm gonna have to fight to be a starter again."
Griffin's rehabbed knee at 65 to 70 percent
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