April 1, 2003
TALLAHASSEE, FLA. – The Florida State football team spent 30 minutes on the practice fields Tuesday afternoon before moving to Doak Campbell Stadium for a half-scrimmage. The offense showed improvement, scoring six touchdowns during 11-on-11 work. Walk-on running back Marlon Napier, who attended Tallahassee Rickards High School, led the way with a pair of 35-yard touchdown runs along with three more scores during goalline drills.
“The offense moved the ball pretty good ,” said head coach Bobby Bowden. “30 (Napier) was the star. He led the cheer at the end of practice. The defense didn’t play as good as they can. It wasn’t a bad scrimmage.”
Chris Rix and Craphonso Thorpe led the way for the Seminoles through the air. Rix went 8-of-13 for 133 yards and a touchdown. Thorpe led all receivers with four catches for 47 yards, including a 35-yard TD from Rix. Fabian Walker saw his first scrimmage action and completed 3-of-6 passes for 46 yards and a score. Walker hit Dominic Robinson on a 42-yard touchdown pass for the final score of the day.
“Fabian threw some and didn’t look too bad,” said Bowden. “You can tell he’s a little rusty, but the good thing is that his arm felt good. He’s just got to work on getting his timing down. We have some quarterbacks out there who know what they’re doing and that’s one of the big differences I see from last year.”
Napier finished the afternoon with 71 yards on nine carries. Ryan Reynolds had one carry for 25 yards and fullback James Coleman ran twice for 33 yards. Lorenzo Booker gained 18 yards on five carries before leaving with a left ankle sprain. Booker (seven yards) and B.J. Dean (one yard) both rushed for touchdowns.
In goalline work at the conclusion of the scrimmage, the offense scored four times while the defense drew even with four stops. Rix hit Paul Irons on a TD pass with Napier taking it in for the other three scores. The defense stopped three runs by FSU fullbacks and forced a Rix incompletion.
Already extremely thin at defensive tackle, the Seminoles suffered another setback Tuesday as Brian Ross fractured his right tibia and fibula. He is scheduled to have surgery Wednesday.
Bowden gave a motivational speech to a group of 600 Air Force officers in Birmingham, Ala. earlier Tuesday and flew back afterwards for the half-scrimmage.
The Seminoles will hold another half-scrimmage Thursday afternoon and a full scrimmage Saturday. The spring game is scheduled for Saturday, April 12th at 2:00 p.m.