Rise and Shine

Florida State continues its offseason conditioning workouts - formally known as mat drills - Wednesday morning. The fifth session marks the halfway point for players looking to build needed momentum heading into the start of spring drills next month. "We've had some guys score very high," assistant coach John Lilly said. "Kamerion Wimbely has really stood out there as far as somebody who has taken positive steps and shown himself to be a leader and able to handle the drills very well."

Florida State continues its offseason conditioning workouts - formally known as mat drills - Wednesday morning. The fifth session marks the halfway point for players looking to build needed momentum heading into the start of spring drills next month.

"We started last week. We kind of had an instructional day on Monday, and then Wednesday and Thursday we got after it pretty good," FSU assistant coach John Lilly told TheTerritory.

"They kids came back (Monday). The first Monday after a long weekend, once you gotten into it a little bit, is always a little bit of a difficult day and I don't know exactly why that is. I would say this year is no different. They were a little bit sluggish at times (Monday). But we expect them to continue to get better."

The 70-minute sessions - the whistle blows at 5:45 a.m. and opens with stretching exercises - have been productive and continue to serve as a measuring stick, according to Lilly. However, 13 players, many of whom are starters, are not participating due to injury (Complete list at bottom of story).

"We have a lot of players who are injured or have something that is prohibiting them from doing every phase of the offseason program," Lilly said.

"So, in some cases, we are working with a lot of second- and third-teamers if we were to line up today. And it's good and bad. I think it's good from the standpoint that it develops those guys as leaders a little bit. They have to assert themselves in their respective groups. And it's bad because you don't have the guys who, again if we were starting today would be probably penciled in as starters getting all the work."

Still, Lilly said many players also have stood out for their efforts, naming tailback Willie Reid, wide receivers Joey Kaleikini and Dominic Robinson and defensive end Kamerion Wimbley. Lilly also said quarterback Chris Rix, who was ruled ineligible by the university for the Sugar Bowl for failing to take two final exams, has made positive strides.

"We've had some guys score very high," Lilly said.

"The highest scores so far have come from Willie Reid and Joey Kaleikini. Nobody has made a perfect score yet which is about usual for this time of it. Dominic Robinson has done very well in that skill group. Along the line group, Kamerion Wimbely has really stood out there as far as somebody who has taken positive steps and shown himself to be a leader and able to handle the drills very well.

"He (also) seems to be find," Lilly said of Rix. "He's working extremely hard and has had some pretty good days in the first four days. We are glad to have him back and with us and we are all headed in the right direction."

Progress also has been measured by the number of players who are earmarked for the penalty mats prior to the start of the regular drills. That number, which was around 30 following the team's opening session last week, has been cut by at least one-third. Players can be penalized for falling out of drills, missing study halls, meetings, etc.

Here is the list of front-line players not participating in drills.

Tailback Greg Jones (knee),quarterback Fabian Walker (shoulder/limited running stations), offensive lineman Alex Barron (knee), linebacker Kendyll Pope (shoulder), noseguard Travis Johnson (shoulder), cornerback Stanford Samuels (shoulder), offensive lineman Ray Willis (shoulder), defensive lineman Broderick Bunkley (knee), rover Jerome Carter (shoulder), offensive lineman Bobby Meeks (shoulder), rover Claudius Osei (Achilles tendon), wide receiver Chris Davis (knee, modified mats) and defensive lineman Darnell Dockett (ineligible to practice with team due to recent arrest).


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