TALLAHASSEE - Sophomore receiver Willie Reid provided one of the few offensive highlights for Florida State in its loss Saturday against Miami.
After a Rufus Brown interception at the Hurricanes 18, Reid ran a simple fade down the right side despite a hard jam at the line by cornerback Glenn Sharpe and made a leaping, juggling catch for a touchdown.
"I bobbled it at first because my gloves were wet," Reid said. "I tried to catch and it bounced out of my hands, but I caught it again."
It was his first play in the game.
"We leave a lot up to them (the receivers) to rotate themselves," coach Bobby Bowden explained. "I kept going up to Willie (and saying), "Willie. Why aren't you in the game?' (He'd say), "I'm fixin' to go.' "
But the athletic and versatile Reid is a soft-spoken team player. He has moved back and forth between receiver and running back without complaint, though it has stunted his development.
"There's great players in front of me," he said. "I'm not being selfish about anything. Whenever I get the chance, I just have to do my thing."
The coaches may have to force the issue a bit, give him less freedom to insert himself and set more of rotation to assure him more chances to do his thing.
"That's a move I'm going to make happen," offensive coordinator and receivers coach Jeff Bowden said.
HISTORY LESSON: In the past two decades, the Seminoles have followed a loss to Miami with a victory eight out of 12 times, including two years ago with a 43-7 win at Virginia. GETTING STARTED, PART I: Men's basketball coach Leonard Hamilton usually prefers his experienced upperclassmen to assume some on-court teaching duties to benefit newcomers. But last year was his first at FSU, so no returning player was experienced in the Hamilton way. Not so now.
"I do feel that because some of the returning players have some semblance of an idea of what we're trying to accomplish, it might be easier for the new guys to pick up things because you're going to have some guys who are capable of demonstrating," Hamilton said.
School's in session beginning Saturday, the first day of practice, and Hamilton's teaching assistants loom large. The Seminoles welcome one of the nation's top-rated recruiting classes in Von Wafer, Alexander Johnson, Diego Romero and Al Thornton.
"We've got five key seniors, Mike Mathews, Michael Joiner, Nate (Johnson), Orenn Fells and myself; we caught on to the system," star guard Tim Pickett said. "It took us a while, but coach looks to us to teach the younger guys (a little). They're going to respond more to players (than coaches)."
GETTING STARTED, PART II: As the women's basketball team begins practice Saturday, one of the more intriguing subplots figures to be the transition from high school for Dorian "Shante" Williams.
The state's two-time player of the year and a two-time Parade All-American at Jacksonville Ribault is a dazzling ballhandler and scorer. Coach Sue Semrau believes it's easier for a youngster to adapt as a shooting guard rather than at the point, where the player must distribute the ball and know all her teammates' tendencies and strengths. And that takes time.
"She's the kind of kid who has to have the ball in her hands; she makes great decisions," Semrau said. "But she'll need to develop as a point guard. She'll have to gain the respect of the players on the team and the knowledge of our system."
At least at the start of practice, expect sophomore Holly Johnson to run the point and Williams to work more as her backcourt mate as the shooting guard.
- Brian Landman covers Florida State athletics. He can be reached at 813 226-3347 or by e-mail at email@example.com