Smoke Signals

It was only a few months ago when FSU's quarterback position appeared settled. But Adrian McPherson's dismissal, Chris Rix's personal struggles and Fabian Walker's shoulder surgery has muddled the position. Guess who is going to get a good look this spring and has the chance to make a favorable impression? Wyatt Sexton, of course. Click here to see how Sexton is preparing for the start of spring drills next month. "It's kind of crazy. I think I am getting ready for it," Sexton said.

Wyatt Sexton doesn't expect to push for Florida State's starting quarterback role this spring. But that doesn't mean he can't provide the coaching staff a glimpse of the future with a favorable impression.

"I am definitely looking forward to it," Sexton told TheTerritory Wednesday afternoon.

I've had a lot of people coming up and talking to me about it, how they are excited for me. It's kind of crazy. I think I am getting ready for it. They will just kind of throw me in the water this spring and we will see what happens. I am definitely looking forward to it."

Sexton, a redshirt freshman from nearby Leon High School, is expected to get plenty of opportunities behind center this spring.

It was only a few months ago when the Seminoles appeared settled at quarterback. But Adrian McPherson's dismissal, Chris Rix's personal struggles and Fabian Walker's shoulder surgery has basically muddled the position.

Rix enters drills as the starter and will be given ample chances to solidify his position. Walker, who started the Seminoles' Sugar Bowl defeat to Georgia, will not participate following offseason shoulder surgery.

Walk-on David Koral also will get a good look and has the chance to earn a scholarship with a solid performance. Additionally, Aaron Lindsey, a first team all-state performer from Mayo Lafayette, is expected to walk-on at FSU this summer. Sexton doesn't mind the competition.

"I've always felt if I took care of business and do what I am supposed to do in the weight room, in the classroom and learn it," Sexton said. "When it came to my turn to play, things would work out. We will just see what happens."


The 6-3 Sexton has been busy in the weight room and with conditioning drills the past two months. Both are priorities this year.

"During the season, I was really out of shape," Sexton said.

"I didn't have an opportunity to work out as much as I would have liked to. We would work out in the morning and then also have as study hall an hour after workouts started and we also had a 20-minute warm-up. So, you didn't have that much time to lift, as much as I would have thought as a redshirt. But during the month of January, I had all the time I wanted and I worked hard and got in pretty good shape. I haven't had to come back early yet for mat drills, so that's pretty good.

"I've gotten bigger but I have lost some weight. I wasn't in great shape during the season. I was 205. I am back down to 195 now but I am in real good shape. By next season I should be back at 205 and in good shape."

Sexton, who grew up around Seminole football since his father, Billy, is FSU's veteran running backs coach, said he enjoyed his first season. It was what he had anticipated, and much more.

"Going to Miami was a lot of fun," he said. "Sitting in the heat there was so hot. I never experienced anything quite like that. And being on the sidelines was exciting. Going through an entire season, the whole process. You realize how long it is. You are actually playing and not a fan. The season is so much longer than the high school season, it seems to drag on forever. But the bowl game was by far the best experience. Just being able to spend eight days in New Orleans, throwing down and having a good time and getting ready for Georgia was a lot of fun."


Sexton, a record-setting prep quarterback who finished with over 5,000 career passing yards at Leon, said collegiate defenses made the biggest impression on him.

"To be honest with you, the speed of the game did not surprise me that much because I have been around guys that fast my whole life. Growing up around it, you get a feel for it," Sexton said. "Obviously, it's different in playing because you have to be quick in your drops. But I can of expected it coming in because I've been around Florida State my whole life and I have seen how fast the guys are.

"But the complexity of the defenses is probably the most surprising aspect of college football to me. There are so many teams out there running crazy zone defenses - you can't prepare for it. It makes the game real interesting to watch because you really don't know what's going to happen. They can send so much stuff at you. But that all comes back to learning the offense and really getting a grasp of what's going on. I have a feeling that once I have a few years in the offense and learn everything, know it like the back of my hand, inside and out, it will be pretty simple. Just go out there and execute. You just have to get over the nerves part of it. But I am definitely still learning and have a lot to learn."

Sexton admitted there wasn't much pressure on him last year in a reserve role.

"Last year they didn't push me too hard on learning a lot of stuff. But I am starting to meet every day with coaches, starting to review stuff, " Sexton said. "Once you learn it all. ... it doesn't take too long to learn it. I can sit down and if you can ask me a question, I could probably answer it. But it's knowing it real fast and being super familiar with it and drawing up all the plays. Watching a bunch of film so you feel comfortable with your reads. It's not that hard to learn but you need a lot of reps and practice and you need a lot of time in the film room to feel really comfortable with what you are doing."

Sexton is beginning to feel comfortable in all areas of his game. A noted passer, Sexton has been participating in throwing sessions with his teammates. He also said Rix has been working hard thus far.

"We've only thrown a few times and we are starting to get into a little groove," Sexton said. "My arm is definitely stronger than it was towards the end of the season because I lost some strength throughout the season because I didn't get to workout liked I wanted to. I really didn't throw in January because I just wanted to lift weights real hard. I feel like I got some of my arm strength back. I don't feel like it's fully back. But I feel pretty good.

"I can't tell a noticeable difference (in Rix) in terms that I wasn't here with him going through mat drills in the past. I know he's doing really well in mat drills (this year). He's up there towards the top in the point total. He has been up there in the front two lines every day. He's busting it, working it. I know he's working hard now."

Sexton also believes the Seminoles are determined to end the program's struggles.

"Everybody wants to turn it around. There's no lack of desire," Sexton said.

"We just haven't been able to put it together like we used to be able to. I don't know if it's the talent - you really can't put your finger on it, when things don't seem to be clicking at the present time. We have so much talent. There's no team out there that as better players. It just seems the last two years we haven't had that killer instinct. I don't know what it is, to be honest with you. We are just going to keep working had. I am pretty sure. ... I really like the character of my freshmen class and the guys around my class. I think the future is definitely looking bright for Florida State football."

And as far as hanging with dad on the football field, Sexton said that went fine also.

"He was there if I wanted him to be there and he wasn't if I didn't want him," Sexton said and laughed. "I might have gone a week where I didn't say a word to my dad. He has been perfect about it. He hasn't embarrassed me too much and it's a comfortable situation out there. It's not awkward at all."


Word is that there might be at least one Florida prep quarterback who is looking to commit early - even maybe by summer. Xaiver Lee isn't fond of the recruiting process and Cornelius Ingram wants to concentrate on basketball and not recruiting this upcoming fall. With FSU not signing a quarterback in the class of 2003, look for one of Florida's finest to jump on the opportunity to play for the Noles.

According fellow assistant coaches, newly hired linebackers coach Kevin Steele was one of the toughest recruiters to go head to head with. When Steele was at Nebraska, he landed Bradenton's Tommy Frazier. The state of Florida is swamped with plenty of stellar linebacker prospects, expect Steele to reel in his fair share.

According to more than one player, look for Chauncey Stovall and Chris Davis to eventually pass P.K. Sam and Craphonso Thorpe on the depth chart.

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