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Florida State, standout Taiwan Easterling have promising practice

TALLAHASSEE — Florida State's banged-up receiver corps was closer to full strength Monday when the team held its first full-contact practice in preparation for the Dec. 27 Champs Bowl.

Standout freshman Taiwan Easterling practiced for the first time since he sustained a pulled muscle against Florida in the regular-season finale.

"Taiwan Easterling worked good," coach Bobby Bowden said. "He didn't look hurt."

Leading receiver Preston Parker, who injured an ankle in the Florida game, did not practice. Bowden said Parker is working out on his own.

Return of two-a-days: For the first time since preseason practice, Florida State practiced twice Monday. The Seminoles will alternate between one and two practices the rest of this week before moving practices to Orlando on Monday.

Chizik: I'm 'right guy'

Gene Chizik was introduced as Auburn's coach, saying there's only one way to quiet fans who are upset by his hiring after going 5-19 at Iowa State. "You got to win," Chizik said, saying repeatedly that he was the "right guy" for the job.

Athletic director Jay Jacobs said Chizik's plan for turning around Iowa State was part of what got him the job. He called Chizik a "tireless recruiter" with a solid plan to improve Auburn.

Chizik reportedly will receive a five-year contract worth about $2-million a year, about double his former deal that included a $750,000 buyout.

The Birmingham News reported that Chizik told assistant coaches to look for new jobs. According to AuburnSports.com, the news resulted in the decommitment of four-star Fort Meade, Md., quarterback Raymond Cotton, a jewel of the 2009 recruiting class that has dwindled from 26 commitments to 19 since Tommy Tuberville resigned Dec. 3.

CONNECTICUT: Tailback Donald Brown, the nation's leading rusher, will return for his senior season. The redshirt junior said he still has college goals, specifically going to the Orange Bowl.

ILLINOIS STATE: Purdue defensive coordinator Brock Spack, 45, is scheduled to be introduced as coach Wednesday.

SAN DIEGO STATE: Ball State coach Brady Hoke resigned to coach SDSU. He was 34-38 in six years, 12-1 this season. It is unclear if Hoke will coach in the GMAC Bowl on Jan. 6. Ball State had offered to make him the school's highest-paid employee.

TENNESSEE: All-SEC safety Eric Berry had arthroscopic surgery on his left shoulder and should make a full recovery for the fall.

Information from Times wires was used in this report. For more news on instate colleges, go to tampabay.com/sports and click More Sports.

Florida State, standout Taiwan Easterling have promising practice 12/15/08 [Last modified: Thursday, November 4, 2010 12:56pm]
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