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    February 2010 Archives

    Bright Seeks Second Chance In The NFL

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    Former Seminole five star commitment Callahan Bright never made it to Florida State but Andy Staples of SI.com recently caught up with Bright as he continues his quest to make it to the NFL.

    To read the complete Andy Staples article on Callahan Bright, click here.

    Happy Belated Birthday "Nature Boy"

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    Now 61 and still going strong, the staff at Seminoles.com wishes a Happy Belated Birthday to the greatest professional wrestler to walk the face of the earth, the 16-time world champion "Nature Boy" Ric Flair.

    Combine rumor: Boldin will finally get dealt

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    The chatter at the Scouting Combine from a few places is that former Seminole WR Anquan Boldin will finally get traded this offseason.  

    The Cardinals held out for a big trade package for Boldin last offseason and never came close to dealing him. 

    The feeling now is that they will accept less for him for a variety of reasons.  Boldin has only one year left on his deal, his body takes the punishment of a running back, and Steve Breaston has proven to be a reliable starter.

    While Boldin's health is a question mark, he's only 29 years old and is known as a great locker room leader.  Baltimore tops the list of teams that will be interested and Miami also makes sense. 

    The Cardinals wanted a first and a third-round pick last year.  With his trade value down, perhaps a second-round pick and change could seal the deal. 

    Expect to hear a lot more about Boldin in the build up to April's draft.  This time, it should pay off in a trade.

    Start Your Day with O.J.- Volume 2

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    By John Gast & Ohmed Danesh

    Parting of the Garnet Sea?

    Sitting in our Boston Legal-esque chairs brainstorming for our second blog, we realized our situation puts us in an advantageous position to analyze the relationship between pitchers and position players. With Ohmed being an outfielder and John being a pitcher, we thought, what better time than now to infiltrate the mindset of the two groups. A lot of jeering takes place between pitchers and hitters and we wanted to know if it's all in good fun or if there's malicious intent behind the jabs. That is why this journal is dedicated to answering that question...Is there true animosity between pitchers and hitters? 

    Pitcher's Point of View - John Gast

    The concept of exclusively pitching and not contributing offensively begins, for many, in college. Thirteen of the 14 current pitcher only players, or "ponlys" as they are also known as on our team, also hit in high school. Along with the creation of "ponlys" has come the rift between pitchers and hitters. Before the specification of only pitching, all players shared common ground in hitting; now it seems, at times, we're separated like kids at a 6th grade dance. A lot of this has to do with the format of practice. Hitters and pitchers rarely interact, because we are divided into individual groups with the goal of efficiency, and because it would be impossible to do everything as a team.

    A Seminole practice is not complete without some sort of scrimmage. In this situation, pitchers and hitters are momentarily transformed from allies to enemies. The results of these scrimmage at-bats are not off limits and often fuel the jeering. Pitchers know they may be reminded about a home run they gave up for a week or so, and likewise we remind the hitters how many times we struck them out. 

    In addition to scrimmage performance, the banter extends to the subject of who does more work at practice. The pitchers are at a disadvantage in this area because we can't pitch everyday, otherwise our arms would fall off. There are drills and other activities in which we participate; however, these are not deemed physically demanding enough to "count". Unfortunately, most of our difficult work takes place in the weight room, unnoticed by everyone except ourselves and strength coach Jesse Collins. He says, "the position players think the pitchers never have to work hard, 'all they do is sit around'; however, the pitchers workout during practice, which the position players don't see."

    Position Player's Perspective - Ohmed Danesh

    While sitting at home icing my legs and arms from working so hard, I thought I would spend a moment on a touchy subject about this wonderful game of baseball. When it comes to pitchers and positions players, most baseball enthusiasts would say that position players have the short end of the stick when it comes to easy practices. Now, I understand how exhausting throwing a ball can be, but come on, I mean how hard is it really? As a position player, I have to ask the ultimate question: Where do the pitchers go after pre-practice stretch? I mean, they stretch and then they disappear. Even though this is an unanswered question, it's a curiosity that all position players have.

    I understand that a pitcher has a very important job, but it's difficult to say that pitchers work nearly as hard as position players do. If you were to attend a Seminole practice you would notice the position players on the field working tirelessly from 2:30 to around 5:00. You may also notice the absence of pitchers. They can be found inside in the air condition, wearing shorts. They claim they are working out in there but who really knows. Before I go any further, I would like to say on behalf of the outfielders we would like to thank the pitchers for taking time out of their "strenuous" agendas to pick up the balls during batting practice. 

    Since that's out of the way, I would like to begin to describe to you a typical practice schedule for a pitcher. Their day starts with shagging balls during batting practice, where they resemble roaming cattle. After we all stretch and the pitchers reappear from their mysterious departure, the position players will then notice that they work extra hard on their short boxes and pick offs. We all know that John Gast has a remarkable pick-off move and I suppose that's a result of the hours of pick-off drills. But, while the pitchers are doing these menial tasks the position players are turning their double plays, and diving for their unfeasible catches. All joking aside, every position player knows how important a pitcher is to the team, because without a dominant pitcher on the mound there would be no free hotdogs. 

    Conclusion

    After going our separate ways to analyze our side of this unique battle, we reconvened in our much adored chairs and discussed the question at hand. We agreed the reason we give each other a hard time is because we want to keep everyone in check. If your laziness gets pointed out, we figure you'll be less likely to do it again. We decided there is no real animosity between pitchers and hitters, we are simply different animals. Deep down we realize we need each other.


    By Gregory Hawthorne

    Today three of your Seminole brethren (Myron Rolle, Patrick Robinson, and Gregory "Dekoda" Watson) are attending the combine, but today they and the 600 other NFL hopefuls will not be showing their athletic prowess.  The NFL combine official began yesterday February 24, 2010 however most people don't realize this because there are no workouts, as a matter a fact workouts do not begin for several days following opening day.  On the first day it's all about media and meetings.  The following two days, who few in this world will ever see, can destroy an athlete's draft status.  These two days are the medical screening days and any scout will tell you that these two days are just as if not more important than the actual workouts.  

    Each NFL team flies their medical staff, approximately 3-4 Athletic Trainers and upwards of 3-4 physicians, that's for each team, thus stressing the importance of these medical screens.  The NFL teams are placed in private tents at the stadium, paired with another team.  In these tents each player can receive a physical and orthopedic screening from each individual team!!! Now that's 600+ athletes and 32 teams, a lot of poking and prodding!  Each player must receive a chest x-ray and a MRI on previously injured body parts.  The players are stripped to their shorts and have a picture taken of them, in order for teams to see their physique; pictures are often stored in medical file.  The players are ushered through the tents by representatives from the team's medical staff.  The athletes are then given physicals and orthopedic screens by the team's physicians.  These screens can then lead to more testing or in the worst case a big fall on the draft board. 

    The NFL teams receive most of the players collegiate medical records prior to the combine.  The players fill out health questionnaires while at the combine and if there is a discrepancy from what the athlete puts on that questionnaire and what the medical staff has already received a red flag is set-off and the team with focus on that area, to make sure the player is not hiding anything.  

    Wish our Seminoles luck this week at the most popular job fair in the world.  

    Alex Barron appears headed for restricted FA tender

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    INDIANAPOLIS _ Were it not for the pending uncapped year in the NFL, Rams safety Oshiomogho Atogwe and offensive tackle Alex Barron would be headed for potential riches as unrestricted free agents once the free agent/trading period starts March 5.

    But unless something very dramatic happens over the next eight days in terms of a labor agreement, 2010 will be an uncapped year in the NFL. As a result, Atogwe and Barron will be restricted free agents. As such, they are expected to be offered one-year tenders as RFAs by the St. Louis Rams. (The deadline for making such offers is March 4.)

    Per league rule, the Rams would have to tender Atogwe and Barron at 110 percent of their 2009 salaries. Atogwe's tender would be at $6.976 million _ or 110 percent of what he made as the team's franchise player this past season. Barron would be tendered at $2.73 million.

    At those levels, the Rams would be entitled to a first_ and third-round draft pick for Atogwe if he got an outside offer and the Rams decided not to match. The Rams would get a first-round draft pick for Barron if he got an outside offer and they decided not to match.

    Because the Rams can use a restricted tender on Atogwe, they won't have to use a franchise or transition tag this season. In fact, general manager Billy Devaney confirmed Wednesday that the Rams will not use either tag this season; Thursday is the deadline for using them.

    GREENSBORO, NC - The 2010 ACC Women's Basketball Tournament will feature its second annual "Mascot Night presented by Food Lion" on the final session of Friday, March 5.
     
    Beginning at 5 p.m., the mascots from each of the 12 ACC institutions will be on hand at the Greensboro Coliseum to greet and interact with patrons, pose for photos, hand out autographed posters and bring family fun to those in attendance for Session VI (6 & 8 p.m. games) of the Tournament.
     
    "The ACC and the Greensboro Coliseum have focused on making this particular session of the Tournament a value-packed, entertaining night of basketball and a unique opportunity for families to have fun with the most recognizable "characters" of our conference family," said ACC Associate Commissioner and Tournament Director Nora Lynn Finch.
     
    Fans can see their favorite mascots, who begin their Friday participating in the morning news (WFMY, WXII, & WGHP) from the hours of 5 a.m. to 8 a.m., at several different locations throughout the day.  Ten mascots not competing in Friday's 11 a.m. women's basketball game at the Coliseum will spend quality time at Food Lion (Palladium Shopping Center, High Point) bagging groceries and enjoying photo opportunities for customers.
     

    Provide The Caption

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    Tasting the floor may help get the taste of losing out of the mouth of Will Graves during last nights 10-point loss to Florida State.

    Photo courtesy of ROBERT WILLETT, Newsobserver.com

    Dockett In Line For Extension

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    According to Gregg Rosenthal of ProFootballTalk.com the Arizona Cardinals have made it clear to former Seminole Darnell Dockett that he is very important to the team and they would like to re-sign him as early as this offseason.

    "If we can, we'll address it," G.M. Rod Graves said regarding Dockett.  "If not, we won't have any other choice but to delay it."

    Dockett has two years remaining on his current contract.

    J.D. Drew Considers Life After Baseball

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    Courtesy of Joe McDonald, ESPNBoston.com,


    FORT MYERS, Fla. -- When J.D. Drew was a collegiate baseball player at Florida State University, professional scouts from all 30 big league teams were sent to watch him play in order to get a full understanding of the complete player.

    Drew's abilities made him one of the most highly touted players at the time. He eventually signed his first pro contract with the St. Louis Cardinals after they selected him in the first round (fifth overall) in the 1998 draft.

    "I was sent there to watch what a complete, five-tool player looked liked," said one American League scout.

    That was then.

    This is now.

    The 2010 season will be Drew's 13th in the majors, and he's under contract with the Boston Red Sox until the end of the 2011 campaign. The 34-year-old outfielder has accomplished many things in his career, and prior to the first day of full-squad workouts for the Red Sox on Wednesday at the Player Development Complex, Drew discussed with ESPNBoston.com the possibility of hanging up the spikes when his contract expires.

    To read the complete story, click here.

    Dual-Sport Seminole Commack Suffers Broken Leg

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    TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Florida State sophomore Avis Commack suffered a broken right femur Tuesday afternoon  while working out with the Seminoles track and field team. 

    Commack, a scholarship wide receiver with the Seminoles, had his leg surgically repaired at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital by Dr. Mark Fahey of the Tallahassee Orthopedic Clinic. A 12-week recovery period should have Commack back on the football field and participating in summer drills, according to Florida State Director of Sports Medicine Randy Oravetz.

    "It's just an unfortunate injury," said FSU football coach Jimbo Fisher. "We were looking forward to seeing Avis at his new position in the secondary this spring. With the right rehabilitation, he'll be fine and we're looking forward to his return. I think he can be a valuable member of the team at his new position."

    NFL Combine Starts Today

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    Four former Florida State football players - cornerback Patrick Robinson and linebacker Dekoda Watson from the 2009 team, as well as safety Myron Rolle and wide receiver Preston Parker, who last competed for the 'Noles in '08 - are among more than 300 players participating in the NFL Scouting Combine, which began today at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Ind.

    The four-day event draws executives, coaches, player personnel officials and medical staff from all 32 NFL teams, where prospective players are put through a battery of tests and interviews.

    The schedule for players with Florida State ties is as follows:

    Friday, Feb. 26: Quarterbacks, Running Backs, Wide Receivers (Parker)
    Saturday, Feb. 27: Defensive Linemen, Linebackers (Watson)
    Sunday, Feb. 28: Defensive Backs (Robinson, Rolle)

    You can watch the combine online by clicking here.

    According to the NFL.com here is what to expect in each of the events at the combine.

    Each February, hundreds of the very best college football players are invited to the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, Ind., where executives, coaches, scouts and doctors from all 32 NFL teams conduct an intense, four-day job interview in advance of the NFL Draft. Here is a brief breakdown of the measurable drills:

    40-yard dash
    The 40-yard dash is the marquee event at the combine. It's kind of like the 100-meters at the Olympics: It's all about speed, explosion and watching skilled athletes run great times. These athletes are timed at 10, 20 and 40-yard intervals. What the scouts are looking for is an explosion from a static start.

    Bench press
    The bench press is a test of strength -- 225 pounds, as many reps as the athlete can get. What the NFL scouts are also looking for is endurance. Anybody can do a max one time, but what the bench press tells the pro scouts is how often the athlete frequented his college weight room for the last 3-5 years.

    Vertical jump
    The vertical jump is all about lower-body explosion and power. The athlete stands flat-footed and they measure his reach. It is important to accurately measure the reach, because the differential between the reach and the flag the athlete touches is his vertical jump measurement.

    Broad jump
    The broad jump is like being in gym class back in junior high school. Basically, it is testing an athlete's lower-body explosion and lower-body strength. The athlete starts out with a stance balanced and then he explodes out as far as he can. It tests explosion and balance, because he has to land without moving.

    3 cone drill
    The 3 cone drill tests an athlete's ability to change directions at a high speed. Three cones in an L-shape. He starts from the starting line, goes 5 yards to the first cone and back. Then, he turns, runs around the second cone, runs a weave around the third cone, which is the high point of the L, changes directions, comes back around that second cone and finishes.

    Shuttle run
    The short shuttle is the first of the cone drills. It is known as the 5-10-5. What it tests is the athlete's lateral quickness and explosion in short areas. The athlete starts in the three-point stance, explodse out 5 yards to his right, touches the line, goes back 10 yards to his left, left hand touches the line, pivot, and he turns 5 more yards and finishes.
    Blog excerpt from washingtonpost.com/wizardsinsider

    While most players in the Washington Wizards locker room were either congratulating one another, getting dressed or a combination of both after a 101-95 victory over Chicago at Verizon Center on Monday night, Al Thornton was trying to get comfortable while slumped back in the chair in front of his locker.

    Nearly 30 minutes of playing time had taxed the 6-foot-8 forward to the point where his knees were wrapped in ace bandages over ice packs. Then Thornton, one of the Wizards' newest players, politely requested from a team staff member an ice bucket for both of his feet.

    "Sore," Thornton said when asked how he was feeling. "I'm not used to these minutes, but I'm excited."

    To read the complete story, click here.

    Chargers Are Definitely Looking To Trade Cromartie

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    Mike Fliorio of Pro Football Talk.com is reporting that the San Diego Chargers are aggressively trying to trade former Seminole CB Antonio Cromartie.

    According to Fliorio, whether they're successful remains to be seen.  The outcome depends on the compensation another team would offer -- and whether a suitor for Cromartie's services would be able to come to an agreement with the player on an extension of a contract that runs through 2010.

    We're also told that Cromartie is telling teammates that a trade is coming soon.  The soonest it can come is March 5.

    Von Wafer To Sign A 10-day Contract

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    Eddie Sefko of DallasNews.com is reporting that the Dallas Mavericks will in fact sign former Florida State guard Von Wafer to a 10-day contract today.

    Wafer spent time earlier this season with the Greek Euroleague club Olympiacos Piraeus before being waived in December.  In Euroleague play, Wafer shot 50% from the floor and averaged 7 points per game.

    According to Jason La Confora of NFL.com, the Detroit Lions are looking to trade down in the upcoming NFL draft and move their number two pick.  La Confora reports that some teams have interest in Lions LB Ernie Sims but the prospect of him being included in any deal along with the second overall pick seems bleak now because Detroit values him as a building block on defense. Sims, the ninth overall pick in 2006, has two years remaining on his rookie contract.

    The once-running-back-rich Chargers are suddenly in need of a tailback.

    ESPN reported that San Diego is considering dangling former Pro Bowl CB Antonio Cromartie in a trade that could net the Chargers a new running back.

    Cowboys RB Tashard Choice last week dismissed a rumor that the team might trade him to the Chargers by saying "I want to be in Dallas."

    Cromartie was a Pro Bowler in 2007 when he led the NFL with 10 INTs. His production dropped off the past two years, when he amassed a combined five INTs.

    Randy Lutz of Bleacher Report.com is reporting that former Florida State guard Von Wafer is close to signing with the Dallas Mavericks.

    According to Lutz: 
    In his most recent NBA assignment, Wafer played in 63 games, starting 11 of them and averaging 9.7 ppg. He was a significant part of the 2008-2009 Houston playoff run (that was eventually shut down by the Los Angeles Lakers, the team that originally drafted Wafer), as he shot nearly 40% from behind the three-point line, and averaged nearly nine points per game.  

    Since then, Wafer spent time with the Greek team Olympiacos B.C. He recently worked out opposite free agent Rashad McCants, and apparently impressed Mavericks coaches and staff more than McCants, who reportedly worked his way off the Mavericks' radar.

    Wafer himself says on his Twitter page that he is close to signing with a team, although he did not specify which team. It's believed that he needs to only pass a physical at this point.  

    Mock Draft - Robinson To The Ravens

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    Peter Schrager of FoxSports.com is out with his weekly NFL mock draft.  This week Schrager has former Florida State CB Patrick Robinson sticking with the Baltimore Ravens in the first round of the draft:

    25. Baltimore Ravens 

    Florida State CB Patrick Robinson 
    (Last week: Robinson No. 19 to Falcons, Ravens picked California CB Syd'Quan Thompson) 

    Ravens fans may be clamoring for a wideout at No. 25 -- LSU's Brandon LaFell appears to already be a fan favorite on the blogs and message boards -- but cornerback is as pressing, if not a far greater need. Robinson battled injuries this season, but always exhibited top flight corner talent when on the field. 

    With Ed Reed's future status still unknown and Frank Walker and Domonique Foxworth serving as starting cornerbacks down the stretch of the '09 season, Robinson fills an immediate need and could contribute right away. Whether or not ex-Canes Ray Lewis, Ed Reed and Tavares Gooden will tolerate having a Seminole in their defensive huddle is an entirely other issue. Look for Baltimore to snag Robinson at 25, then look to address receiver in the second round. 

    To read the complete first three rounds of the mock draft on FoxSports.com, click here.
    FoxSports.com is out with their list of the defensive players to watch for a breakout season next year.  Florida State's own Greg Reid made the list and here is what FoxSports.com has to say about Greg:

    CB GREG REID, FLORIDA STATE

    Reid suffered through some guilt by association in his first year in Tallahassee, playing in a secondary that got routinely toasted. Still, it was obvious to anyone who watched his film that he's going to be a special playmaker at Florida State. While not very big at 5-9 and 180 pounds, he's one of those insanely explosive athletes who plays much larger than his measurements. He broke up eight passes and was not intimidated by the competition last fall, building confidence as the season wound down. With Patrick Robinson gone, Reid is ready to step into the lineup and begin making game-changing plays.

    To read the complete release on FoxSports.com, click here.

    GREENSBORO, N.C. - The Atlantic Coast Conference enters its seventh year of the "ACC Community School Program", which will culminate by allowing an expected record of 15,000 enthusiastic students--representing over 18 county schools districts--to attend the 2010 ACC Women's Basketball Tournament at the Greensboro Coliseum.

    This educational partnership was created and developed in 2004 and now includes a broad based elementary and middle school curriculum guide.  The curriculum and lesson plans relate to ACC women's basketball and are available to teachers in physical education, science, social studies, math, language arts, and character development. Approved lesson plans are posted on www.learnnc.org.

    Capping off the year-long program, students and teachers have the opportunity to attend the ACC Women's Tournament.  The Thursday, March 4th opening round game at 11:00 a.m. is designated as the Elementary School Day Game, and will welcome approximately 7,800 elementary students, nearly 2,000 more than last year. Guilford County will be bringing 33 elementary schools of the 65 in the district.  The Friday, March 5th 11:00 a.m. game is designated as the Middle School Day Game, and will expect 7.200 middle school students to participate.


    Women's Basketball Bracketology

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    Coming off their impressive come from behind victory over Virginia last night the 9th ranked Florida State women's basketball team was faced with some not so pleasant news from the latest NCAA tournament projection from ESPN.com Bracketology expert Charlie Creme.

    The goal for every team going into the "Big Dance" is to avoid top-seeded UConn until the Final Four.  Creme's latest projections has a potential Regional match-up between UConn and the Seminoles in Dayton if both teams win their respective first and second round games.

    To visit the complete Bracketology on ESPN.com, click here.

    Updated Bracketology

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    Joe Lundari from ESPN.com is out with his latest Bracketology and there is a slight change for the Seminoles:

    To see the complete bracket, click here.
    Courtesy of TheACC.com


    The 2010 ACC Basketball Legends class is a group of 12 former standout players - one from each ACC school - who will be honored during the 2010 ACC Men's Basketball Tournament. TheACC.com will feature two members of the ACC Legends Class each week during the six weeks prior to the tournament.

    The annual ACC Legends Brunch will be held on Saturday, March 13 beginning at 10 a.m. Hosted by television personalities Tim Brant and Mike Hogewood, the ACC Men's Basketball Legends Brunch will be held in the in the Guilford Ballroom of the Sheraton Four Seasons Hotel.


    At 5-foot-7, Otto Petty didn't really establish a precedent. Smallish basketball players weren't plentiful in the early 1970s, and they'll probably never be. But in most other ways, the point guard from Louisville, Ky. and Florida State University was a trail-blazer - even if he required more steps to make his mark than the taller guys.

    Petty helped bring championship-caliber basketball to Tallahassee two decades before the school joined the ACC and four years before Bobby Bowden arrived as head football coach. He racked up impressive assist totals when the NCAA didn't officially chart such things and he was a prominent African-American student on a campus that had a short history of racial diversity.

    Retired and living in his hometown these days, Petty is FSU's emissary among the 2010 ACC Legends and undeniably a man ahead of his time.

    "My high school coach always told me that I knew the game really well and that I played with a lot of heart," Petty said. "Size is one thing, but I played with my heart."

    Petty fielded recruiting interest from the Louisville Cardinals and Western Kentucky, but he did his homework and figured he'd have a hard time cracking either of those lineups. Although an independent, FSU offered a chance to see and achieve something new.

    The institution of that era differs considerably from the one known to the ACC. It was only a generation removed from identity as the Florida State College for Women. The football stadium was half as big as it is now. And as for basketball? The Noles played in Tully Gym, a 2,500-seat gymnasium with a ceiling that threatened to stop the path of any full-court pass or shot.

    The Seminoles' first African-American football player didn't arrive until 1968, and the campus was one of the region's few cauldrons of political protest. "The Berkeley of the South," some called it.

    "You still had racial things going on there, but the fans were good to us," Petty said.

    The team was perhaps the first predominantly black squad at an almost entirely white institution in the South. Coach Hugh Durham, a Louisville native like Petty, undertook a borderline radical strategy for the era by pursuing anybody who could play. Swing man Ron King joined Petty in the trek from Kentucky to Florida, and Reggie Royals, Rowland Garrett and Lawrence McCray gave FSU a frontcourt that was as big and strong as any.

    Petty was a compelling presence who created passing lanes for himself by outsmarting opponents and communicating well with his teammates. His pass-first mentality maximized the skills of those around him, and it was actually recognized.

    We take the assist for granted today. It's a common statistic that can be awarded rather liberally. That wasn't necessarily the deal in Petty's day. The NCAA kept track of it in 1951 and '52, but it halted the practice and didn't resume until 1984. Individual schools were free to record assists, however, and Petty kept the Seminole stat crew busy.

    Petty averaged 7.3 feeds a game, a figure eclipsed by only three ACC players before or since. His 227 assists in 1971-72 would have likely placed him in the Top 10 nationally for that season.

    Not that he's complaining, mind you. That season turned out to be pretty good for Florida State, which navigated the often unforgiving waters of independence to get into the NCAA tournament.

    "We tried to get in a conference, but they never let us in," Petty said. FSU played only 12 of its 29 regular-season games at home. Travels took the Seminoles to Hawaii, Oregon, Alabama, Texas and Ohio as coach Hugh Durham's group fought to impress the people putting together the postseason bracket.

    "Final Four? No, but we figured we were good enough to get into the tournament," Petty said. "Everything fell into place for us." That included an upset of behemoth Kentucky in the quarterfinals in Dayton, Ohio, and a trip to the Final Four that marked the university's first major appearance on the national sporting landscape.

    To that point, the football team had won only two bowl games, and one of those was a decision over Wofford College in the Cigar Bowl, a nondescript contest in Tampa that lasted only 10 years. In the spring of 1972, Bowden was the 43-year-old head coach at West Virginia and still four years short of beginning the tenure that would make him king of Tallahassee.

    In the national semifinals, Petty delivered six assists and 10 points as the Seminoles upended future ACC rival North Carolina 79-75 for the right to play mighty UCLA. The Bruins, who had already won five straight NCAA titles, secured No. 6 in their own backyard, the Los Angeles Sports Arena, when they held off the Seminoles, 81-76.

    "It was the first time the team went that far, and it really meant as lot to us that we did it," Petty said.

    In all, Petty's FSU teams went 62-23. They didn't get into the ACC just yet, but they did put their school on the map.

    Petty talked briefly with the ABA's Kentucky Colonels about playing, but management wanted him to go overseas and hone his skills for a couple of seasons first. He declined and returned to Louisville to become a coach and middle school science teacher. The school district named him Teacher of the Year in 1975-76.

    Petty's son Darren will accompany him to the ACC Legends events at the tournament, an event he never had the chance to see as a player.

    What Is An Athletic Trainer?

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    By Gregory Hawthorne

    Hello everyone this week two for one special.  To be honest the first topic I am going to discuss is completely self-serving for myself as well as for my fellow professional brethren, what exactly is an Athletic Trainer?  The story goes as so....after meeting someone new, the inevitable question of "so what do you do?" always arises, "I'm an Athletic Trainer" I always respond.  This when the conversation varies, "soooooo....how often do you make the team workout.?  Do you, like, yell all the time?", "What's the best way to lose weight", "Why do you trainers give steroids to athletes?"  The answer to all of those questions is none of the above, try again, or WRONG!  An Athletic Trainer's primary responsibility does not entail any of the answers to any of those questions, not to say that we could not provide the correct answer.   
    Based on a statement by the National Athletic Training Association, the governing body for Athletic Training, 

    "Athletic trainers are health care professionals who collaborate with physicians to optimize patient and client activity and participation in athletics, work and life. The
    practice of athletic training encompasses the prevention, examination and
    diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of emergent, acute, subacute, and
    chronic neuromusculoskeletal conditions and certain medical conditions in order
    to minimize subsequent impairments, functional limitations, disability, and
    societal limitations." (Nata.org)

    Updated Bracketology Has Florida State As An 8 Seed

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    Joe Lunardi of ESPN.com has an updated Bracketology for the NCAA Men's Basketball tournament and the Seminoles have moved up to an 8 seed in the Houston Regional.  If this prediction pans out the Seminoles will be facing the Dayton Flyers in the first round of the tournament in Buffalo.

    For the complete Bracketology, click here.

    GREENSBORO, N.C. - The Atlantic Coast Conference Women's Basketball Tournament is a proud partner of Friends for an Earlier Breast Cancer Test®. Over the course of this 10-year relationship, the ACC Women's Basketball Tournament has donated over $100,000 to FRIENDS in support of their mission to find a biological earlier detection test for breast cancer.

    The 2010 Women's Basketball Tournament enters its 11th year of the partnership, and will present a donation on behalf of the ACC and the Greensboro Coliseum during a timeout of the Championship game on Sunday, March 7. 

    Beginning in 2000, the ACC approved the partnership with FRIENDS, a Greensboro-based foundation committed to providing seed funding for researchers working on a biological earlier detection test. Initially, the tournament donated a percentage of revenues to the organization to Friends' research grants.

    At their annual Gathering of Friends in October 2008, Friends for an Earlier Breast Cancer Test® honored the ACC Women's Basketball Tournament for its support and partnership by naming a research grant in honor of the Tournament. This marked the highest honor bestowed upon a partner or supporter of FRIENDS.

    "The ACC and all 12 of our head coaches are deeply committed to the fight against breast cancer," said Nora Lynn Finch, ACC Associate Commissioner. "All of us in some way or another have been touched by this disease, and we strongly encourage our fans and community to join us in educating others on preventative measures."

    For more information on ACC women's basketball, log onto theACC.com.  Also, be sure to check out the new version of the league's "She Can Play" theme song - The Remix - on theACC.com/SheCanPlay.

    Giants' Posey cool beyond his years

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    Courtesy of Chris Haft, MLB.com

    SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Like many people, Buster Posey considers a round of golf one of his favorite ways to unwind.

    Also like a lot of folks, Posey accepts the humility that golf thrusts upon everybody who swings a club.

    "I think that's one of those sports a lot of people really enjoy that they're not very good at -- and I might be one of them," said Posey, who estimated that he has a 10 handicap. "If I could putt, I'd be all right."

    So when Posey realized that he would not open this season as the Giants' starting catcher -- once they re-signed Bengie Molina to a one-year contract -- he drew upon the same perspective that calms him when a well-struck drive lands in the rough or a bunker.

    "I was surprised like everybody else was," said Posey, who participated in the Giants' first workout for pitchers and catchers on Thursday. "But that's one of those things that's out of my control. What can you do?"

    To read the complete story, click here.


    Being Myron Rolle

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    ESPN "Outside The Lines" will be airing a segment this weekend on former Florida State safety Myron Rolle.  Here is a brief preview of the feature:

    To read the complete story on ESPN.com, click here.

    FSU Baseball Injury Update

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    Senior Mike Meschke has suffered a hamate fracture to the right hand and is scheduled to have surgery on Monday, February 22.  The standard recovery period for this type of injury is 4 to 8 weeks.

    College RPI Bracket Updated - Women's Hoops

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    Jerry Palm at CollegeRPI.com is out with his latest women's NCAA Tournament bracket and his projection has Florida State in as a 3 seed hosting Chattanooga in the first round as a 14 seed. 

    The other two teams in Tallahassee would be Baylor and Middle Tennessee State who will meet int the other first round game.

    For a complete look at the bracket, click here.

    Al Thornton Traded To Washington Wizards

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    According to the Washington Wizards official site, former Seminole Al Thornton was traded last night from the LA Clippers to the Washington Wizards in a three-team trade.

    Washington Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld announced today that the team has completed a three-team deal in which they acquired Al Thornton from the Los Angeles Clippers and Zydrunas Ilgauskas, a 2010 first round pick and the rights to Emir Preldzic from the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Wizards sent Antawn Jamison to Cleveland and Drew Gooden to Los Angeles while the Clippers sent Sebastian Telfair to Cleveland to complete the trade.

    "Antawn Jamison has been the embodiment of leadership on and off the court for this franchise for five-and-a-half seasons and we thank him for all he has done for the Wizards and the city of Washington," said Grunfeld. "Unfortunately, our on-court results have not met our expectations and we felt it was necessary to make changes to improve our future and our financial flexibility. This trade accomplished both of those objectives."

    Thornton, in his third season out of Florida State, is averaging 10.7 points and 3.8 rebounds in 51 games (30 starts) for the Clippers this season, with a career-best .478 field goal percentage. Last season in Los Angeles, Thornton established career-highs in points per game (16.8), rebounds per game (5.2), assists per game (1.5), free throw percentage (.754) and games started (67). A First Team All-Rookie selection in 2007-08, Thornton was originally acquired by the Clippers in the first round (14th overall) of the 2007 Draft.

    For the complete release, click here.

    Three Seminoles Headed To NFL Combine

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    The NFL Combine gets underway in less than a week on February 24th, 2010.  Florida State will be represented by Patrick Robinson, Myron Rolle and Dekoda Watson who are all expected to participate.

    Seminoles.com will have coverage from the combine with added emphasis on our former Noles.

    Sporting News.com has a complete list of those invited to participate next week.

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    TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - A handful of Florida State football players have required surgery since the end of the season and some of those will miss spring practice or have their participation limited during rehabilitation.

    Four Seminoles - quarterback EJ Manuel (shoulder), offensive tackles Zebrie Sanders (hip) and Garrett Faircloth (hip), and defensive tackle Moses McCray (elbow) - will not participate in spring practice following surgical procedures.

    Quarterback Christian Ponder (shoulder) and offensive tackle Rhonne Sanderson (ankle) will participate in spring practice on a limited basis initially as they continue to recover, while guard David Spurlock (knee) and center A..J. Ganguzza (elbow) have recovered sufficiently to participate from the start.

    Also, offensive tackle Antwane Greenlee is still rehabilitating from knee surgery in the fall and will participate on a limited basis at this point.

    Spring practice begins Tuesday, March 16, two days after school reconvenes following spring break. 

    FSU vs. Virginia - Men's Basketball

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    The Florida State Seminoles travel to Charlottesville, VA tonight to face the Cavaliers at 7:00pm EST in a pivotal ACC game.  Below is some of the coverage coming out of Charlottesville:

    Cavaliers aim to bounce back against Seminoles

    Stacy Kruczkowski, Cavalier Daily Senior Writer


    After a winless two-game road stint against ACC foes Virginia Tech and Maryland, the Virginia men's basketball team returns home to John Paul Jones Arena tonight to take on Florida State.
    The Cavaliers (14-9, 5-5 ACC), who have dropped three straight games, are looking to regain their defensive identity after giving up 85 points against the Terrapins, the most they have allowed all season. Opponents had averaged only 62 points per game against the Cavaliers prior to Monday's matchup, but the Terrapins shot an impressive 70 percent from the field and 66.7 percent from behind the arc during the first half alone, trouncing the Cavaliers 85-66.
    To read the complete story, click here.

    Cavaliers shift focus to post 'D'

    WHITEY REID , Daily Progress.com

    Trying to stop really good guards has been Virginia's primary task in its last three games. There was Ish Smith of Wake Forest, then Malcolm Delaney of Virginia Tech. On Monday night in College Park, Md., it was Greivis Vasquez.

    Tonight, UVa's focus will shift when Florida State comes to town.

    The Cavaliers, coming off their most wretched performance of the season against the Terrapins -- a listless 85-66 road loss -- must contend with FSU big man Solomon Alabi as they try and snap a three-game losing streak.

    To read the complete release, click here.

    Arena Football League Update

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    From the where are they now files it appears that former Florida State Seminole QB Xavier Lee and former LB Anthony Kelly have been reunited on the Oklahoma City Yard Dawgz team in the Arena Football League.

    The season starts on April 3rd as the Dawgz host the Jacksonville Sharks.

    For more information on Lee and Kelly, click here.

    Predicting The NCAA Tournament Bracket

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    Chris Kulenych and Craig Gately from FoxSports.com are out with their latest NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament bracket and they have Florida State in as a 9 seed in Providence:

    For the complete bracket, click here.




    at Providence
    1  VillanovaThe Big East POY award might be Scottie Reynolds' to lose.
    16 Robert MorrisThe Colonials hung with Pitt for a half.
    8 IllinoisWinning at Wisconsin does wonders for their résumé.
    9 Florida StateThe 'Noles need to win at Virginia this week.

    Dinich: FSU -- Why The Hype?

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    ESPN.com ACC blogger Heather Dinich provides her rationale as to why the Florida State football team should be one of the top 25 teams in the country heading into next season.

  • Quarterback Christian Ponder has Heisman Trophy potential. Prior to his shoulder injury last year, he ranked among the country's best in passing yards per game and pass efficiency. 
  • New coach, new attitude. There is no longer the uncertainty about where the program is headed, no more wondering about Bobby Bowden's future. FSU football is in Jimbo Fisher's hands, and he's done everything he could so far in recruiting, hiring and marketing to convince fans, boosters and outsiders that he has things headed in the right direction. Having the staff on the same page can go a long way.
  • New faces on defense means a new defense. Mark Stoops was a promising hire as defensive coordinator, but he's not the only one who can give that side of the ball a boost. 
  • To read the complete release on ESPN.com, click here.

    GREENSBORO, N.C. - The Atlantic Coast Conference has joined forces with the Junior League of Greensboro to fight childhood obesity in conjunction with the 2010 ACC Women's Basketball Tournament, held March 4-7 at the Greensboro Coliseum.

    The Junior League's Kids in the Kitchen program is focused on improving the health of today's youth by empowering them to make choices that lead to healthy lifestyles. The program addresses the growing problem facing today's children, which substantially increases children's risks for health problems such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.  Educating both children and their families is the key to reversing the trend toward increased levels of childhood obesity.

    Baseball Injury Update

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    Here is a quick update from the training room as we get ready for the start of the 2010 baseball season:


    FSU Sports Information:

    Freshman Devon Travis has suffered a hamate fracture to the left hand and is scheduled to have surgery on Wednesday.  The standard recovery period for this type of injury is 4 to 8 weeks.

    Senior Mike Meschke has suffered a right wrist injury.  The extent of the injury is still being evaluated.  Mike's status is out indefinitely.

    Women's Basketball Bracketology

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    Charlie Creme, resident women's basketball bracket expert at ESPN.com, is out with his latest projections for the 2010 NCAA Women's Basketball tournament.  The Florida State Seminoles have moved up to a three seed and would potentially face East Tennessee State in the first round.  This potential match-up would bring 6'8" Brittney Griner to Tallahassee where the fans could see a dunk from the freshmen from Houston, TX.


    To see the complete bracket, click here.

    Janikowski Now Highest Paid Kicker

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    Adam Schefter of ESPN.com is reporting that the Oakland Raiders and former Seminole kicker Sebastian Janikowski have agreed to a 4-year, $16 million dollar contract.  Janikowski would become the highest paid kicker in the NFL.

    To read the complete story on ESPN.com, click here.

    FoxSports Early Football Top 25

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    While ESPN gave Florida State some love by having the Noles ranked as high as 17 in their offseason football Top 25, Fox Sports.com is not as optimistic:

    22. FLORIDA STATE

    Final 2009 CFN Ranking: 44

    It'll be the dawn of a new era in Tallahassee as Bobby Bowden gives way to Jimbo Fisher, who finally has the authority to make key decisions. He needs to find a new defensive coordinator that can fix the mess on that side of the ball. The offense, on the other hand, has far fewer worries. QB Christian Ponder was evolving before suffering a season-ending injury and Jermaine Thomas gets to run behind a line that returns completely intact.

    Men's Basketball Bracketology

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    Joe Lunardi from ESPN.com has the Florida State men's basketball team into the NCAA tournament as a 10 seed headed to Buffalo.  Here is a look at the first and second round matchups: 

    Click here for a look at the entire ESPN.com bracket.

    Fortson One To Watch In 2010

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    Heather Dinich of ESPN.com has listed her five players to watch for a breakout season in 2010 from the ACC.  One of those players is Florida States Jarmon Fortson:

    Jarmon Fortson, wide receiver, Florida State -- Fortson ended 2009 with a play to remember in the Gator Bowl: an acrobatic, one-handed, 29-yard catch in the third quarter. Fortson finished third on the team last year with 45 catches for 610 yards and four touchdowns.

    To see the other four players to watch in the ACC next season click here.

    First Top 25 For 2010

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    ESPN's Mark Schlabach has put together his first Top 25 for the 2010 season and the Seminoles check in at #17:

    17. Florida State Seminoles For the first time in 34 seasons, Bobby Bowden won't be coaching the Seminoles. But new coach Jimbo Fisher did a fantastic job assembling his coaching staff and inherits a team that was very young in 2009. Fisher lured Arizona defensive coordinator Mark Stoops to Tallahassee and persuaded East Carolina defensive coordinator Greg Hudson to come to FSU as linebackers coach.

    The Seminoles allowed 30 points or more five times in 2009 and won't challenge for an ACC title until their defense gets better. Expect incoming freshmen such as Jeff LucChristian JonesTelvin Smith and Lamarcus Joyner to play on defense right away.

    FSU might be very, very good on offense. Quarterback Christian Ponder is coming back from a shoulder injury and will have all five offensive linemen back to protect him. Fisher will be tested in his first season, as the Seminoles play road games at Oklahoma and Miami and home games against Florida and BYU.

    Click Here for the complete ESPN Top 25.

    Inside Sports Medicine

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    By Greg Hawthorne

    Hi my name is Gregory Hawthorne, most people refer to me as Greg.  I am an Athletic Trainer here at Florida State University and work primarily with the football team.  I am beginning a sports medicine blog here on Seminoles.com.  Sports medicine is a very broad topic so the blog will cover topics ranging from injuries and rehabilitation to general nutrition.  If you have any questions you would like to ask please leave a comment.  This blog however will not, I repeat will not discuss specific players or their injuries, sorry.   

    Here is a little about me I was born in the Greater Pittsburgh Area in Pennsylvania, when to school in the a sweetest place on earth, Hershey, PA.   I then went to undergrad at UM, not the orange and green, but the Maize and Blue, the University of Michigan where I received my B.S. in Athletic Training.  I went to Michigan State University for graduate school where I received my Master's Degree in Kinesiology.  At MSU I learned a great deal about Osteopathic and Manuel Medicine. While attending school I worked with many of the sports teams.  I used the knowledge I gained to work for several NFL teams, the Detroit Lions, the Rhein Fire of the now defunct NFL-E, and the Jacksonville Jaguars.  I have also worked as a performance enhancement specialist and personal trainer.

    I hope this blog will help you understand a little more about sports medicine issues and general wellness leading you to make better health decisions and increase your quality of life.  So stay tuned for the first entry.... 

    Gregory Hawthorne, MS, ATC, LAT, FMSC, HKC ,NASM-PES and CES

    Start Your Day with O.J.- Volume I

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    By John Gast and Ohmed Danesh

    Throughout the 2010 season, Florida State baseball fans will be treated to an inside look to this year's team thanks to the writing duo of senior Ohmed Danesh and junior John Gast.

    After a successful following from last year's 'Tuesday With Ruairi' column featuring senior Ruairi O'Connor, this year fans will get a behind the scenes look courtesy of Ohmed and John as they invite Seminole Nation to push away that morning paper and to 'Start Your Day With O.J.'

    Here is this week's first journal entry:

    Opening Thoughts

    There have been many great duos throughout history: Batman & Robin, Abbott & Costello, Sonny & Cher, Maddux & Glavine.  These pairs were immensely talented and iconic.  As a writing duo, we are probably more like Ren & Stimpy, however, we are enthusiastic about the 2010 season and thrilled about the chance to share our journey with college baseball fans across the nation.  We are aware this is the first twosome to write a journal for Seminoles.com and we greatly appreciate the opportunity to inform and entertain.

    During the 2009 season, we felt like we were riding the proverbial roller coaster. Starting off hot we won our first six games then proceeded to go 4-8 in our next 12. Overcoming the early dip and using some of that famous "Nole-mystique," we rallied to win 30 out of our last 36. Fortunate enough to earn the right to host a regional tournament and then a super regional we were then thwarted by the Arkansas Razorbacks. Being so close to Omaha and letting it slip through our fingers left us chafed and with a sense of unfinished business. When asked about the 2009 season, Stuart Tapley junior third-baseman says, "Falling short last year has shown us what areas we need to improve our game in order to be successful next year."

    The 2010 season is just around the corner and the Florida State baseball team is physically geared up for what Division 1 baseball has to offer. Although the road ahead is extensive, we are prepared for the journey to our ultimate goal...OMAHA! This one word defines College Baseball and sends chills down the spine of any diehard fan. It's the reason we work day in, day out and do not allow any amount of rain, heat, cold, or irate opposing fans keep us from playing like Seminoles. Getting there is an accomplishment that every team desires, but for us it is not just about getting there; it is about being able to compete as a top eight team and end up victorious. A great coach once said, "Our goal right now is to win the last game that we play." The 2010 team is taking this to heart as we have laced up our spikes, ready to make Florida State history. 


    Mechelle Voepel of ESPN.com chronicles the on and off-court relationship between Florida State freshman Alexa Deluzio and Duke University junior Krystal Thomas.

    Here is an excerpt:
    It's a snowy night in Durham, a place where even a little of the white stuff on the roads panics the population. There is a women's basketball game to be played, though, between Duke and Florida State, and so the "brave" ones still show up at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

    In the stands -- right in the middle, between the Duke and FSU benches -- sit the members of two families that became one. They are cheering for both teams, although on this night, one team will come out resoundingly on top.

    Thomas, a 6-foot-4 junior center for Duke, gets a little breather on the bench and is about to check back into the game. She sees Deluzio, a 5-9 redshirt freshman guard for Florida State, pull the trigger on a 3-pointer. "Yes!" she thinks, followed in a split second by "No!"

    Then Thomas will make a free throw, and Deluzio will instinctively move to slap her hand, then remember, "Wait! She's on the other team."

    They'll both laugh about it later.

    "When we are between the lines, we both want to win," Deluzio said. "But outside of that, we're family."

    Basketball brought them together as friends, then some painful adversities made them sisters. Now, here they are playing for the teams that are currently first and second in the ACC standings. Thomas is averaging 8.3 points and 7.3 rebounds for the 19-4 Blue Devils. Deluzio is averaging 9.0 points and 2.4 rebounds for the 20-4 Seminoles.

    "It's such an awesome experience to be able to watch two girls who have grown up together," said Deluzio's father, Don, "and they're playing basketball at the highest collegiate level, going to two great universities, playing for two great programs. I don't know that it could get much better."

    Which is especially wondrous because in Thomas' life not that long ago, things couldn't have seemed much worse.

    Click Here To Read The Entire Story on ESPN.com


    (BIRMINGHAM, AL)....Nick Saban has been named the recipient of the inaugural Bobby Bowden National Collegiate Coach of the Year Award, which commemorates Bowden's outstanding coaching career. Bowden will present the award to Saban at a ceremony on March 21, 2010, sponsored by the cooperative efforts of the Over the Mountain Touchdown Club of Birmingham, Alabama and the Alabama Sports Foundation. The award will be given annually to honor excellence in college football coaching. 

    "Obviously we are extremely excited about honoring Coach Bobby Bowden. Not only has he demonstrated that he is one of the top coaches to ever coach the game, but he's done it with unmatched integrity. And that deserves recognition," said Mark Morrison, President, Over the Mountain Touchdown Club. "With Coach Saban coming off of a perfect season and a BCS Championship, it is the perfect opportunity to bring together these two coaching icons for a great evening in Bowden's honor." 


    Road To OKC - Vol. 6

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    Only a week to go until Opening Day! As Coach Tommy says "opening day should be a holiday," and to us it is!

    Merry Christmas! ... I Mean Signing Day!

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    By: Brandon Mellor

    Ryan Pensy said it best Wednesday morning.

    I had just walked in to the office of our Director of Digital Media when he asked," This is like Christmas for you, isn't it?"

    Ryan knows me very well, indeed. National Signing Day is like a holiday to me and I know it is for a lot of other diehard college football fans - especially Florida State followers that were looking especially forward to this day as the next step in the current transition of the program.

    Well, when the dust settled and the fax machines were finally turned off, Seminole Nation has a lot to be excited about.

    2012 Football Season Tickets