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June 13, 2007

Q&A: Antone Smith on the summer workouts

Jimbo Fisher and Florida State's offense will depend on running back Antone Smith to carry a heavy load this season. The speedy tailback spoke to the media on Wednesday following the daily workouts. Topics discussed including how he is approaching the offseason, the changes under coach Stroud, rushing for 1,000 yards and more.

How are you approaching this offseason?

I'm approaching this offseason like I always have, just coming in and working hard, trying to be better than the next person and, at the same time, trying to help my team out, especially the teammates at this position. The biggest factor for me is staying healthy and doing all the small things right.

What are your expectations for you?

Basically, just stay healthy. That's one of the things you really can't control, getting hurt, so I'm just going to come out and bust my butt every day. If I go down, I'm going to go down fighting. I don't have any numbers I have to put up, no touchdowns or anything. I'm just going to work hard and everything else will happen.

So the 1,000-yard season isn't the goal, it's just maintaining a high level of play?

I'm just going to stay humble about things like that. If it's supposed to happen, it's going to happen. Only God knows what's going to happen. I'm going to stay focused and do what I've got to do. If I get it, I get it. If I don't I'll still move on from that.

Do those numbers ever creep into your mind?

It does. Just to do it again, I think the fans really do deserve that, to have a guy come out here and rush for 1,000 yards. Leon and Booker came close their sophomore years. It'd be a big pleasure for me to do it. Like I said, if I do it, I do it. If I don't, I just want to help my teammates as much as I can to win. I want to get to the ACC Championship and win that and get a big BCS bowl.

What are hallmarks of the new Stroud conditioning program that may be different from what you've experienced here the last two years?

It's wonderful. He came in and everyone's really buying into it.

What is coach Stroud doing with the players at the workouts?

We are coming out here and he is emphasizing little things like how you are running, how you should stand, and staying low. The little stuff that will basically get us over the hump. That is what we need right now.

A lot of running is involved as well and I presume you like that?

I love it. That is nothing to me. I may get winded for two or three second but after that I am ready to go again. I train all year for stuff like this so it won't be as hard as it is for some of the other guys. I am going to be ready for it. Coach Stroud is doing a good job right now and I am loving it.

Is that something that the team needed, to be more conditioned to go further in games?

The biggest thing for our team is focus. When we come out and do 7-on-7 that is part of being focused and having the dedication that we need. They are coming along. Like I said they are buying into the system and when we come back for the C session I think everybody will be focused and ready to do everything.

How much of a difference does it make that Coach Stroud played the game and knows what you as players are experiencing?

It is a big change. Being that he has been in the position that we are in right now as players and now he is at the coaching standpoint looking in, he is not a guy that is looking out-looking in, he is a guy that has been in the situation that we are in. He knows how to train the body and how much rest and recovery time we need so it is always a good thing.

Transcribed by Derek Redd and Chris Nee


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