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Florida State's Ochuko Jenije adjusting to switch in secondary

Florida State’s Ochuko Jenije breaks up a pass in last season’s game against Colorado at Jacksonville Memorial Stadium.

WILL VRAGOVIC | Times (2009)

Florida State’s Ochuko Jenije breaks up a pass in last season’s game against Colorado at Jacksonville Memorial Stadium.

TALLAHASSEE — Senior Ochuko Jenije is the only returning starter in Florida State's secondary. Jenije figures to start again this season, but it won't be at cornerback, where he had played since arriving at FSU.

Coaches moved him to free safety midway through preseason practice, and Jenije is likely to start there Saturday when the Seminoles open against Samford.

Jenije, who lost his job at corner to redshirt freshman Xavier Rhodes, said he has embraced the change.

"Coach (Jimbo) Fisher's always talking about us being team players, and so I guess my number was called to be a team player and move over there," Jenije said Saturday. "It's going over pretty well. I'm learning every single day, getting more comfortable every day, and I'm excited about what's going to happen."

Jenije said he has an appreciation for the more cerebral aspects of playing safety, which allows him to better see the field and read opposing offenses. Nick Moody, a junior, had been the likely starter at free safety, but he has been hampered by a recurrent groin injury.

FINE-TUNING: Fisher said he and his staff focused on specific situations — substitutions, the kicking game, clock management, end-of-game timeouts. "Every situation that could possibly happen," Fisher said.

TRANSFER OUT: DB Dionte Allen, who left the program this month, has decided to transfer to Ohio State, the Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch reported. If the transfer goes through, Allen would have one year of eligibility left after sitting out this season.

Orlando Sentinel, Times wires

UF: Camp comes to end

GAINESVILLE — After an early Saturday scrimmage, Florida officially completed training camp. The Gators will move into normal game-week preparation Monday, as they prepare for Saturday's season opener against Miami of Ohio.

"We got done what we wanted to," Florida offensive coordinator Steve Addazio said. "We had a really hard, grinding, tough camp. Your goal is to come out of it unified as a unit, developing chemistry through toughness. And having guys have a chance to get on the field and show what they can do in live scenarios. So we got all of that done."

WALKING THE FINE LINE: With two-thirds of its team made up of freshmen and sophomores, including members of the Gators' No. 1 2010 recruiting class, it can be tough blending veterans with young players, especially with the potential that the young players might be more talented.

After reports last week that defensive star freshmen Ronald Powell and Dominique Easley were disgruntled, coach Urban Meyer said neither had talked of transferring but acknowledged it can be hard for former high school stars to adjust to the rigors of college and the reality of the hard work. For UF defensive coordinator Teryl Austin, keeping a few talented players happy will never take precedence over the team.

"I'm not worried about that," he said. "I'm worried about keeping our team happy, and keeping our team happy is the best players on the field that give us a chance to win. So that's really what I care about. … The only thing I care about is our team. What is best for our team? If guys don't understand that, they can have a hard time here. But all I care about is what is best for our team and the best guys that give our team a chance to win."

Captains: Five players were voted by teammates as captains for the season: senior S Ahmad Black, redshirt senior LB A.J. Jones (Middleton High), senior DE Duke Lemmens, senior C Mike Pouncey and senior DE Justin Trattou.

Antonya English, Times staff writer

UM: Cooper uncertain

CORAL GABLES — Miami senior RB Graig Cooper has been eased into contact drills in the past week, but it's uncertain whether he will play Thursday against Florida A&M.

Cooper, still recovering from a serious knee injury in the Champs Sports Bowl, has been getting more reps in practice. Coach Randy Shannon said he tried to get Cooper into the final scrimmage Monday but decided against it because of the field conditions after heavy rain.

"He's getting a little banging here and there, but he hasn't gotten tackled yet," said Shannon, adding if Cooper isn't ready to play, "we're just not going to put him in a bad situation."

A redshirt is being considered. Shannon said that decision will be up to Cooper, who led the Hurricanes in rushing each of the past three seasons, including 695 yards on 134 carries and four touchdowns last season.

Shannon will start the season with a tailback rotation of senior Damien Berry, sophomore Mike James and redshirt freshman Lamar Miller.

WATCH FOR: The Hurricanes return to practice this morning after taking off Friday and Saturday, their longest break since camp started. … DE Allen Bailey was named to the watch list for the Lombardi Award (best down lineman).

South Florida Sun-Sentinel

UCF: Harvey improving

ORLANDO — Former Largo star RB Brynn Harvey, a junior coming off a major knee injury suffered in the spring, is ahead of schedule, coach George O'Leary said. O'Leary said Harvey could be cleared to practice by mid September, but it is unclear when the running back will be ready to play.

Orlando Sentinel

Fast facts


Miami: vs. Florida A&M,

7:30 p.m. Thursday

Florida: vs. Miami (Ohio), noon Saturday, ESPN

Florida State: vs. Samford, noon Saturday, ESPNU

UCF: vs. South Dakota,

6 p.m. Saturday

USF: vs. Stony Brook, 7 p.m. Saturday, BHSN

Florida State's Ochuko Jenije adjusting to switch in secondary 08/28/10 [Last modified: Saturday, August 28, 2010 11:16pm]
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