While FSU was hampered by key injuries late in the year, Oravetz felt FSU overcame a number of obstacles. The team's plight was never more evident in its Sugar Bowl defeat to Georgia, when Anquan Boldin, who last played quarterback in high school, went behind center – this after suffering a painful bruised left hand near the end of the first half.
"I thought Anquan showed incredible toughness," Oravetz told TheTerritory Wednesday.
"But he didn't care (about injury). This was a team thing. I am telling you, a lot of guys would have sat themselves on the bench. His hand was swollen – it was the size of a grapefruit the next day. But he didn't he didn't care, that he didn't have to throw the football with his left hand. He was worried about that game. He wasn't about to leave the game. A catch here and a play there, we are in that game. We just weren't consistent enough."
Boldin received good news when X-rays did not reveal a fracture as feared. Oravetz said a number of other players are visiting team physicians over the next few days, including quarterback Fabian Walker (right shoulder) and defensive tackles Broderick Bunkley (knee) and Darnell Dockett (Achilles tendon).
While Dockett has returned to FSU and is enrolled for the spring semester, he has not announced whether he'll skip his senior season to enter the NFL draft early. However, it's likely Dockett will return to FSU. Dockett will probably require additional surgery to remove a bone spur that has aggravated him since season's start.
Also, receiver Chris Davis, who underwent reconstructive knee surgery last summer upon his arrival at FSU, is recovering nicely, Oravetz said. Davis ran pass patterns in Sugar Bowl practices but is not expected to be cleared for spring drills (full contact). Oravetz said that starting tailback Greg Jones is also doing well following reconstructive surgery last fall.
"It's going very well. He (Davis) is having fun, feeling good about his knee," Oravetz said. "There's a chance we might put a helmet on him and let him run (patterns) in (spring) drills. We will have to wait and see. Greg Jones also is doing well with his rehab."
Oravetz also was impressed by Walker's toughness against the Bulldogs. Walker, who suffered a knee contusion in that game, played well but was eventually undone by turnovers (two interceptions and one fumble recovery led to 10 Georgia points). He was replaced at quarterback by Boldin late in the third quarter.
Walker has said he will probably need arthroscopic surgery on a right shoulder (torn labrum) that bothered him the entire season.
"Fabian is still walking with a slight limp — he's sore as heck," Oravetz said.
"That's a heckuva of a way to start your college career, on artificial turf in the Sugar Bowl against Georgia. They were really getting after him. Georgia was really revved up, and this was the Sugar Bowl in front of 70,000 people and a national television audience. I was very impressed how Fabian handled everything.
"Overall, yes, it was a very long season. I mean, we were cruising along then a few things (injuries) happened. We got hit at Georgia Tech. We got hit at Wake Forest, and then into the North Carolina game. All of a sudden, our fourth-team tailback (Leon Washington) is your starter and we are missing four and five starters. We lost our top two quarterbacks and all this stuff starts to add up.
"Looking at the Florida game, it's like the guys decided that we are doing to do this as a team. Then, the Sugar Bowl, we are minus two more guys (Chris Rix and Dockett). Everything just seemed to catch up to us."
Nine players who started against Georgia did not start in the team's opener against Iowa State -- QB Fabian Walker and DE Eric Moore made their first career starts against the Bulldogs. TB Nick Maddox, C David Castillo, ST Alex Barron, TT Brett Williams, NG Travis Johnson, MLB Allen Augustin and ROV Jerome Carter either didn't start or played another position against the Cyclones.