Scouts are enamored of Florida State junior Roland Seymour, the run-stuffing defensive end who has been tutored in Tallahassee over the last three years by former Seminoles such as Peter Boulware, Reinard Wilson and Andre Wadsworth, all of whom became first-round draft choices. There's another strong voice in Seymour's life—his grandmother Delores Jenkins. Last month the 72-year-old Jenkins called Seymour and told him to ignore his coaches' advice to add 10 pounds and play at 265. It was Jenkins who goaded Seymour into playing football. "She kept telling me I was scared until I finally joined my high school team," says Seymour, who grew up in New Orleans.
Seven years later the 6'4" Seymour is poised to join Florida State's long list of defensive ends who have become NFL millionaires. "I soaked up everything I could from the guys who played before me," says Seymour. "I think I have a little bit of each of them in my game. I get advice from all of them, but no one is a harder critic than my grandma."
Jenkins didn't have a lot to complain about last year when the 18-year-old Seymour, the youngest starter on the Seminoles' defensive line, had 12 tackles for a loss, the second-best total on the team. Against Miami, Seymour had two sacks, a forced fumble that led to a safety and five quarterback pressures. Against Maryland, he had seven tackles, including two behind the line of scrimmage, one that forced a fumble and one for a safety. "Maybe Roland isn't as talented as the guys before him," says defensive ends coach Jim Gladden, "but he knows how to sic 'em, and he has perfected his execution and technique."
To get to that level Seymour has spent countless hours in the Seminoles' film room, sometimes even coming in the day after a game (an off-day) to break down his performance. It's a tough schedule, but Seymour needs to get used to working on Sundays.