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Florida State Seminoles say having fewer scholarship quarterbacks is a good thing

Florida State coach Bobby Bowden isn't fretting about having just two scholarship QBs, Christian Ponder and E.J. Manuel, with spring practice fast approaching on March 16.

As long as neither gets hurt, it's actually a good situation.

"You start working with three and four and they're not going to get enough reps," Bowden said.

That would have been the case had D'Vontrey Richardson not opted to return to baseball this season. As it is now, Ponder, a rising fourth-year junior who was the starter in 2008, still needs work and Manuel, who sat out his freshman season, definitely does.

"It's ideal for him," Bowden said of the heralded Manuel.

While Ponder should be solidly entrenched atop the depth chart, Bowden said that a healthy competition would be a good sign, assuming Ponder was performing well and Manuel showed steady progress from his stint as the scout team QB.

"That would really be excellent," Bowden said. "That's what you would want."

Still on hold: WR Corey Surrency, who is hoping to be granted an extra year of eligibility, continues to be in limbo with the start of spring practice on March 16 fast approaching.

"He's just living one day at a time until we get an answer from the NCAA," Bowden said.

His return looms large, especially in wake of Preston Parker's dismissal this month and Taiwan Easterling's surgery for a ruptured Achilles tendon.

Long-range planning: For track and field coach Bob Braman, the ACC indoor championship meet that begins today at Virginia Tech is something of a balancing act.

It's not that he and his athletes aren't interested in winning a title; they are. The men have won six straight and are ranked No. 3 nationally, and the women are legit contenders for what would be their first ACC indoor crown. But if you're shooting to do well at the NCAA finale March 13, it isn't prudent to do too much on this stage.

So you probably won't see sprinter/hurdler Teona Rodgers (Wharton High) in three or four events, for example, or sprinter Charles Clark in the 200- and 400-meter if he runs a leg of the 4x400 relay as expected.

"We have to be careful with our distance and sprint kids; we can't double and triple them," Braman said, adding both teams have athletes who still need to hit qualifying marks for the NCAA here or the following week at the so-called last-chance meets.

Nice start: Baseball coach Mike Martin had said he would be relying on sophomores, namely CF Tyler Holt, LF/RHP Mike McGee and 3B Stuart Tapley, to set a tone. Well, for those scoring at home, Holt is hitting .571, McGee is right behind him at .545 and is 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA, and Tapley is at .385 for the Seminoles (4-0), who host SEC rival Auburn tonight.

Poll talk: The softball team cracked the national rankings this week thanks to an 11-inning, 6-5 win against Michigan, coming in at No. 25 in the ESPN.com/USA Collegiate Top 25. The Seminoles then proved they were poll-worthy, losing to the No. 6 Wolverines 1-0 in 13 innings on Tuesday.

Lonni Alameda, in her first year as coach at FSU, said her team has shown grit and determination, not just against the Wolverines but in late-inning comebacks against Stephen F. Austin and Texas.

"That's been an awesome thing to see,'' she said. "They're playing their tails off.''

The Seminoles (12-4) can continue to show that trait and that they belong with the best at this weekend's NFCA Leadoff Classic in Columbus, Ga. FSU (12-4) opens Friday against Houston and will also play No. 19 Louisiana-Lafayette, No. 20 Ohio State and No. 23 LSU.

Brian Landman can be reached at landman@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3347.

Florida State Seminoles say having fewer scholarship quarterbacks is a good thing 02/25/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, February 25, 2009 8:45pm]

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