Posted: Friday August 11, 2006 12:13PM; Updated: Monday August 21, 2006 1:15PM
Keep an eye on ...
Junior linebacker Lawrence Timmons, whom Davis says fits next to him on D "like a perfect puzzle piece." Once you get over the fact that the kid on the strong side of the 4-3 is wearing No. 83 -- digits one usually associates with, say, a backup tight end -- you realize this: Ernie Sims may have been picked No. 9 overall in April's NFL Draft, but as long as Timmons stays healthy, the Seminoles aren't going to be lamenting Sims' absence. "We've had a lot of great players at Florida State replaced by great players," said Steele -- and Timmons, who stepped up to play a big role in the 'Noles' ACC title game win and the Orange Bowl, likely falls into that category. I saw too much explosiveness and vicious hitting ability (even in light contact situations) out of the 6-3, 230-pound 'backer for him not to make a major impact.
Coaching factoid that may only interest me
Bobby Bowden's personal practice routine is old hat to the local media who cover the 'Noles, but any camp virgin finds himself curiously monitoring the legendary coach's CEO-like habits. Here's how it goes: Bowden addresses the team, en masse, once very early in practice, then drives his golf cart over to the base of a three-story tower. He climbs up to a shaded perch and stays there, alone, for almost the entire remainder of the workout, silently surveying the action on FSU's three fields. At the conclusion of practice he climbs back in the cart, steers it over to the assembled media (a pack about 10 strong) and fields questions for a few minutes, giving us a chance to see the trademark straw-Seminoles-hat-and-Oakleys look up close before he hits the go pedal again, and rides off toward Doak Campbell Stadium well ahead of any of his players or assistants.
The thwarted terrorist attack in London actually had an indirect, negative effect on the Florida State program. The 'Noles were expecting a major recruit in town on Thursday, but he had to cancel his visit to due to air travel complications in the U.S. Weatherford, who said he was supposed to accompany the recruit to lunch, first heard the news of the attack when we were speaking after practice. ... FSU couldn't reveal his name, but I have a hunch on who the recruit was: Arrelious Benn, who is the nation's No. 2-rated wideout. Rivals.com had reported on July 30 that Benn would be in town within the next two weeks, and the blue-chipper from Washington D.C. reportedly has his list narrowed to Illinois, Florida State and Notre Dame. ... Bowden said he hadn't had any "personal" talks with kicker Gary "The Weed" Cismesia since his heartbreaking misses in overtime of the Orange Bowl. Cismesia is battling Graham Gano for the starting kicking job. ... Aside from the O-line scrap, the jawing in practice was kept to a minimum. Davis said, "It's too hot to talk trash right now. You just go back to the huddle. When it gets into September, though, it's trash-talking all day." ... Weatherford, who had to participate in a photo shoot for a Florida paper's preview section, was singing along to the Barenaked Ladies' If I Had A Million Dollars while it was playing on the photographer's stereo. The QB made it clear, though, that BNL was not his favorite band ... FSU's practices are broken into 24 "periods" that each involve a different activity; the current period number is displayed on a central tower next to Bowden's. ... The Seminoles are sporting undershirts with the slogan "Best Effort" this season. Don't look for a deeper meaning -- they just want to give their best effort. ... As if you needed evidence that FSU was a sports school, consider the amount of academic buildings that are actually attached to Doak Campbell: Walking out to the practice field, I passed the School of Hospitality, the School of Social Work, the School of Communications, as well as the building that houses the dean's office, the registrar and financial aid. It's like a Super Wal-Mart for the student-athlete: one-stop shopping.