First Impressions

Youth helped Booker, Noles soar to win (AP Photo)

<b>John Frady </b> was one of five Florida State true freshmen to play in the Seminoles' season-opening victory over the North Carolina. Although small in numbers, FSU's recruiting class made an impressive impact during preseason drills. Frady said sprinting into Kenan Stadium last Saturday night and mixing it up with the Tar Heels was a dream come true. "My goal was to be ready if I was called upon. That's what I worked for all summer," Frady said. Click here for more.

It‘s a snapshot etched in John Frady‘s memory, a feeling he will cherish forever.

"It was amazing. It's a whole different ballgame, playing at the college level. Everything's so much faster," Frady said.

Frady was one of five Florida State true freshmen to play in the Seminoles' season-opening victory over the North Carolina Tar Heels.

Although small in numbers, FSU's recruiting class made an impressive impact during preseason drills.

The class didn't disappoint Saturday before a soldout crowd at Kenan Stadium and a regional television audience on ABC.

Frady, FSU's second-team center behind David Castillo, was joined in the fray behind fellow offensive lineman Mario Henderson, linebacker Ernie Sims, defensive lineman Clifton Dickson -- wearing jersey No. 97 with no name -- and cornerback Antonio Cromartie.

Frady admitted he entered the game not knowing if he would play.

"I guess everybody kind of hopes to, but in the back of your mind, you're thinking, ‘Well, I'm a true freshman, this is one of the top programs in the country, I'm probably not going to get to play'" Frady said.

"My goal was to be ready if I was called upon. That's what I worked for all summer. I hope that, as the season progresses, if I'm called upon again, I'll be even more up to the challenge."

Frady also said going up against the Seminoles' experienced defense during the preseason helped prepare him for the opener. Frady certainly has the battle scars as proof, suffering a slight concussion, tweaking a knee and experiencing heat-related issues.

"I really think that going against our defense in practice every day really helped prepare me for what I'm going to see in the games," Frady said. "The speed that our guys have out there is just incredible. It's among the best in the country."

Noseguard Brodrick Bunkley was one of eight true freshmen who saw action last season. He also was impressed with Seminoles' youth, pointing out how it helps with player rotation.

"We have an awesome freshman in Clifton Dickson, and Charles Howard – he's a little undersized, but quick as a cat," Bunkley said.

"And we've got me, Dock (Darnell Dockett), Jeff (Womble), and Travis (Johnson). I feel comfortable. Every time we're out there on the field and somebody gets winded, we always have somebody fresh to move in.

"We have a nice rotation. We've got guys in there that are able to do their job and do it well. We could have one of the best D-line units – that's what our goal is, to be one of the best D-line units in America. Like I said, we've just got to get our heads on straight. Everything's going fine right now, everybody's healthy. When it comes game time, and the adrenaline's going, you don't worry about anything."

Of course, FSU's first-year players such as Frady and others still have plenty to worry about. Cromartie and Sims arrived at FSU as two of the nation's most heralded recruits.

"I thought it went well -- it was everything I thought it would be," Cromartie said and smiled about his first collegiate game. "But I still have so much I need to work on. It was a start."

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