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May 7, 2008

Rookie Preview: Andrew Datko

Each time three-star offensive tackle Andrew Datko walks into the weight room to work out, he tries to remember the challenge that Florida State offensive line coach Rick Trickett gave him.

"They told me I'll have to play right away," Datko said. "Coach Trickett told me to go in the weight room thinking you're first team. I'm trying to live up to that."

While the thought of playing right away on the offensive line at the collegiate level might scare some, for Datko it was one of the main reasons he chose to be a Seminole. It is also what drives him each time he works on his conditioning or when he lifts weights.

"I saw the limited depth," he said. "That was one of the main reasons I chose Florida State. I'm trying to get much better so I can meet their needs."

Datko just finished throwing the shot-put for the St. Thomas Aquinas track team that won the Class 3A state championship. He finished fifth overall at the state meet, but now he is ready to focus on finishing up school and then preparing himself for college football.

"I have two more weeks of school, and then I'm sticking to the weight room," Datko said. "I just try to work my self the hardest that I can. I try to get better and stronger each time. I am just trying to get up to the level where all the other guys are at."

Datko will report to Tallahassee in late June and will room with David Spurlock. If it was up to Trickett, though, Datko would already be on campus.

"When I was up there for the spring game he asked me if I could come earlier so he could start working with me," Datko said with a laugh.

With less than two months left before Datko reports, he said the anticipation is growing. He is ready to begin his college career, but most importantly, he is ready to help Florida State return to national prominence.

"I'm looking forward to getting the program back to where it used to be," Datko said. "I'm looking to help out with the depth and if I need to step in and play, I'll be ready."


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