Sims, Atkins Back From Injuries and Ready

This past season, Marcus Sims ended his season early while Dumaka Atkins' was over before his even started. Both players are now back with the team practicing and ready to continue their football careers. Both players talked with NoleDigest about how things have been coming along since their returns to the football field.

Marcus Sims started off his 2007 campaign strong as the teams starting fullback. That run however, was ended during Florida State's fourth game of the season when Sims fractured his ankle against Alabama.

Marcus spent the remainder of the season on the disabled list while working hard to rehab his ankle. "My ankle still isn't 100 percent," Sims said, "I'm still working hard on the whole rehab process trying to strengthen it and get it back to full strength. Hopefully I'm back in top condition soon."

While Sims knows he still has some work to do before he is back to being completely healthy, he isn't taking any time off. "I've been doing all of the workouts and everything they want me to do. I don't like to sit out so I haven't done that."

With Seddrick Holloway finishing the season strong and Joe Surratt back on the team, Sims has no room to sit out of spring practice if he wants to earn back his starting job. "Right now I just want to keep working on my ankle so I can get back to cutting, running and jumping like I used to. If I get healthy I feel like I can get back on first string."

With no real time table set, Sims is optimistic that he will be back to 100 percent within the next few weeks. "I feel like I will be back to 100 percent by the last week of spring." Sims said. Sims is the most natural runner Florida State has on roster at the full back position and will contribute greatly once he returns to full health.

Atkins Inspired

When the season started last fall, Coach Bowden said Dumaka Atkins would return from his injury in late October. The entire season passed by and it seemed that Atkins career was done as well. Dumaka graduated with a degree in Social Sciences in December and it seemed that he was ready to leave Florida State University until he was approached by one of the FSU coaches.

"Coach (Odell) Haggins gave me a new kind of inspiration and I've been running with it ever since. I'm just trying to get better; I'm just trying to be a part of this tradition that we have here on the defensive side of the ball at Florida State and just work on my craft." Said Atkins. "I also just wanted to prove to myself that I could come back. It's a lot of mental stuff that goes on when you're not playing and just about every bad thought that could come through my mind did. It's more about proving to myself that I can contribute to this team."

Atkins is now back in school and working on his second bachelors' degree. This time around he will study Political Science. While working on his new degree in the classroom, Atkins will also be working from a new position on the football field. After spending his entire career at Florida State on the offensive line, he is now moving over to the defensive side of the ball.

"Its totally different at this level (playing offense and defense). When you play offense, you think defense is easy, and all of the defensive players think offense is easy. I'm here to tell you that both of them are hard in different aspects of the game.

With a depleted defense for the first few games of the 2008 season, Atkins will ad depth to the defensive line at the tackle position. This will be his final year of eligibility.

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