"Struts, Grunts, and Skills"

The first annual Seminole Superstars strength and skills competition kicked off this past Saturday and drew cheers, applause, laughs, and ovations. The promise of this new feature to the FSU off-season promised entertainment and the participants did not disappoint.

The first-ever Seminole strength and skills competition kicked off this previous Saturday with an impressive crowd ready to be entertained. This would serve as a great distraction to the feeding frenzy caused by anticipation of the college football 2007 season. For the players, this was a chance to unwind and have some fun, laughs, and strut their stuff….and strut they did.

The players were introduced individually and by far the most entertaining entrance was the grand finale of De'Cody Fagg. Fagg grabbed a pair of pom-poms from a nearby cheerleader as props and began to dance around which he followed by running around the perimeter of the court to a high five gauntlet from his teammates. This set the tone for what would be an entertaining and enjoyable display for both players and fans alike.

In the bench press, Paul Griffin took top honors with a 500 pound effort and Antone Smith took 2nd with a 455 pound press. Antone Smith clearly could have done more weight as he toyed with this weight in his repetition by holding the weight halfway up the return of his press before cleanly taking it home. In the vertical jump, Decody Fagg ran away with the top honors by jumping an outstanding 41" vertical reaching 15" above a nearby basketball rim. Mister Alexander took home runner-up honors with a respectable 37" vertical reaching 13" above the rim.

In the power clean, Everette Brown got under a 350 pound load sticking it with an apparent ease, but the highlight of the event was definitely crazy Budd Thacker. Thacker began his event fired up by screaming, flexing, and slapping himself on the head; he then proceeded to pull up 365 with ease. Afterwards, Budd snatched away the microphone and demanded that he go up to 385 and do it again. The crowd began to rustle as Thacker took ready for a second lift (only guy that did one in the event). After manhandling the 385 pound load, Budd stood still as a statue for a few moments before abruptly jerking the bar over his head into an Olympic press which sent the crowd into an absolute uproar. Thacker slammed the bar to the ground and the entire team cleared their seats to surround him and jump up and down as a Superman theme song kicked in over the audio. One thing was clear, if football doesn't work out for Budd he could have a future in pro wrestling as he puts on quite an entertaining show.

The QB competition followed shortly after the celebration for Budd dispersed and the rather wacky event was set up as follows: a 6 foot pole was given to the competitor with whom he was to spin around with the pole on the ground and head down 10 times before throwing a 10 yard pass until you hit the tackling dummy. This was immediately followed by another 10 revolution spin on the pole and a 20 yard pass. Last, was another 10 spins followed by a 40 yard pass. The apparent them was accuracy under duress and it was a continuously timed drill that was scored by total time to finish. Jimbo Fisher came out to lead the skills competition. The QBs made a few jokes his way as he prepared to take the microphone and he gave them a look like I'll get you back in a minute. D'vontrey Richardson stepped onto the makeshift throwing zone first and came away hitting his 1st try on the 10 and 20 yard throws, and 2nd try on the 40 yd throw. Fisher quickly got his laughs back in as DVO stumbled around. Coach Fisher then joked and said he might have him do this before he throws every ball from now on. Although he was arguably the most accurate passer of the day, his time of 1:40 was the slowest so he was eliminated. Christian Ponder stepped up next and hit his 1st try on the 10, 2nd try on the 20, and 3rd try on the 40 yard throw. However, his speed through the drill recorded a time of 1:32 placing him as current leader. Xavier went in next and hit his 1st try in the numbers on the 10; he also hit his 1st try on the 20 yard throw but it was in the feet area so he took another ball and hit it again this time in the numbers, he concluded the drill hitting his 2nd try on the 40. His final time of 1:32 tied current leader Ponder although he arguably could have won if he had kept the 20 yard throw in the feet that he insisted on rectifying. Finally, Drew took to the position and landed his 1st try on the 10.However, Drew would go on to have a miserable 8 straight misses on the 20 yard throw until he finally was cleared without finishing the 20 yarder on to the next level. Drew concluded the event by nailing his 2nd try on the 40 yarder and finished ahead of DVO with a time of 1:37 although technically he probably should have received a time penalty for never making the 20 yard throw. With X and Ponder tied, the tiebreaker was decided: 8 spins closest wins on a single throw, 60 yard target in the corner. Ponder's throw sailed high into the first row while Xavier's 60 yard bomb missed just arm's length to the right of the numbers on the 60 yard target. Fisher promptly named Xavier the winner and X took a bow. Now if only starting QB competitions were this easy…

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