Dec. 14, 2002
Tallahassee, FL –
The 16th-ranked Seminole football team returned to the practice field in pads early Saturday morning despite gusting winds and temperatures that dipped into the mid 40’s. The team worked out for 18 periods in shells and began its first serious preparations for the 2003 Nokia Sugar Bowl and SEC champion Georgia.
“We had a good practice today but it would have been nice to have some warmer weather,” said head coach Bobby Bowden. “We had some players not here because of graduation but it was a pretty good practice. We’ll be back out here Monday.”
Saturday was a special day for 15 current Seminoles who took part in graduation ceremonies at the Leon County Civic Center. Allen Augustin, Tony Benford, Kevin Emanuel (finished in spring, walking in December), Chance Gwaltney, Montrae Holland (finished in spring, walking in December), Alonzo Jackson, Robert Morgan, Patrick Newton, Eric Powell, Stanford Samuels, Mike Shaw, Travis Smith, Malcolm Tatum, Todd Williams and Brett Williams all earned their degrees while four former players also graduated Saturday. The four former players that earned their diplomas were LB Lamont Green, TE O.J. Jackson, DT Jerry Johnson and S Jeremy Morris.
Sunday will also be a special day off the field for the Seminole football team as they play Santa Claus to 150 local children who may not have had a merry Christmas if not for local charities and a generous benefactor. For the third straight year, the players will escort the children on a shopping spree at a local store and as they pick out Christmas presents.
“It is really a great day,” said Bowden. “Some of these kids don’t have anything, not even a Santa Claus. It is a wonderful gesture by a generous man and we are happy to be a part of it.
“I know our players get something out of it. They may go there wishing they were still in their warm beds but I guarantee you they gain something from watching the smiles they bring to those children.”
On the field Saturday, quarterback Chris Rix was sharp in passing drills hitting Craphonso Thorpe, Joey Kaleikini, Dominic Robinson, Talman Gardner and Anquan Boldin on big pass plays. Boldin’s one-handed leaping grab was one of the highlights of the morning’s workout. Second-team QB Fabian Walker had a big completion in 11-on-11 drills hitting Thorpe deep on a sideline route.
Defensively, sophomore safety B.J Ward had a pass break-up and an interception in one-on-one and skeleton drills while corner Leroy Smith also had a big practice including breaking up a pass in 11-on-11 drills. Linebacker Robert May’s pass deflection at the line of scrimmage drew some of the biggest applause from the defense at the end of period 18.
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