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Familiarity adds another wrinkle to Demon Deacons game

By BRIAN LANDMAN
Published November 12, 2006


TALLAHASSEE - Florida State freshman linebacker Dekoda Watson had some extra motivation entering Saturday's game against Wake Forest.

He and redshirt junior tailback De'Angelo Bryant, both of whom ran track in high school, worked out together throughout the summer with a track coach Watson knows well.

"We were talking and I said, 'If I get to play, you know what's happening?' " Watson said with a sly smile. "Going into the game knowing I have to play to the best of my ability and knowing he's on the other side of the field, we already told each other that once we get on the field, we ain't going to be friends."

He and Bryant are just two of the many players in this game with ties, including Wake quarterback Riley Skinner and offensive lineman Cannon Gaskin, who both played at Jacksonville Bolles with FSU center John Frady.

WELCOME BACK: FSU sophomore weakside linebacker Geno Hayes, who had missed the last three games after spraining his right knee on kickoff coverage at Duke, returned Saturday and started.

HONORING THE VETS: The lateness of the kickoff forced a cancellation of a flyover by two Air Force B-1 bombers, but FSU designated veterans Jeremy Franklin (Chamberlain High), who served in the Navy, Josh Johnson (Pinellas Park), who was in the Army, and Eric James, who was in both the Navy and Army, to serve as honorary captains. All three are walk-ons and only Franklin, a linebacker, plays.

REMEMBERING VELLER: FSU fans observed a moment of silence for Don Veller, the school's first full-time football coach (1948-52). He died on Friday.

REMEMBERING PATA: The Seminoles wore black stickers on their helmets with No. 95, the jersey number of Miami's Bryan Pata, who was shot and killed last week. Pata's brother, Edwin Pierre-Pata, is a walk-on tight end at FSU.

ANOTHER ONE SIDELINED: FSU junior defensive end D.J. Norris, who hadn't played in the past six games, will have shoulder surgery and miss the rest of the season.

FAMILIAR FACES: St. Petersburg has been fertile recruiting ground for the Demon Deacons with a quartet from the area on the roster: Receivers Kevin Marion (Dixie Hollins), Trey Schmidt (Shorecrest) and Chip Brinkman (Clearwater Central Catholid) and offensive tackle Louis Frazier (Clearwater).

DID YOU KNOW?: Governor-elect Charlie Crist is a FSU alumnus, but he also was a walk-on quarterback at Wake Forest in 1975 and played on the junior-varsity team.