Aug. 9, 1997
TALLAHASSEE, Fl. — Florida State’s consensus #1 ranked recruiting class reported Saturday afternoon to the Moore Athletic Center for their first physical fitness testing in their respective collegiate careers as Seminoles.
“This is the strongest, fastest and most athletic class we’ve had,” said Strength and Conditioning Coach Dave Van Halanger. “From what the numbers show, nearly all these guys are ready to play.”
The 40-inch vertical jump by running back Davy Ford was just the second time an incoming freshman had broke the 40-inch plateau. Former Seminole wide receiver Tamarick Vanover was the only other signee to do that back in 1992. Ford also ran the second fastest 40-yard dash in 4.47 seconds.
Fullback William McCray benched 415 pounds, which is the most Van halanger had seen from an offensive backfield player in his career at FSU. Previously, Seminole quarterback Dan Kendra benched 400 pounds as a freshman in 1995. McCray also had the most repetitions in the jump rope at 95 within the 30 seconds given.
USA Today Offensive Player of the Year Travis Minor ran the quickest 40-yard dash of the day at 4.46 seconds, just one hundreth of a second quicker then Ford’s time. He also stood out in the sit ups with 54 in one-minute, second to Bradley Jennings’ 55.
USA Today Defensive Player of the Year David Warren impressed coaches with his strength and quickness as he benched 370 pounds and ran a 4.64 in the 40, then followed with a 4.65 40-time.
The rookie defensive backs also showed highly positive signs as Derrick Gibson, Abdual Howard and Clevan Thomas excelled in various events. All three had bench presses over three hundred pounds, led by Gibson’s 370-pound press. The trio all had 10-yard explosion measures over 30 feet, led by Gibson’s 31 and a half feet. They finished the day with 40-times 4.6 and under, led by Gibson’s 4.5 run. Howard led the class with 49 dips, followed by Thomas’ 48. All three had vertical jumps in the mid 30’s.
Defensive end Jamal Reynolds was the lone signee not to be tested, due to a minor chest injury prior to arriving in Tallahassee. He will possibly be tested on Monday.