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Ready to Rolle

Florida Atlantic reserve running back Avionne Rolle missed most of training camp with a strained groin, but returned to the field on Friday and said he feels better than he did before he was hurt.

Originally published on 8/28/2009

by Marcus Nelson

> Photo Gallery: A look at Friday's rain-soaked practice
> Video: FAU burns "N" for Nebraska at bonfire
> Photo Gallery: FAU bonfire 2009

BOCA RATON – Florida Atlantic reserve running back Avionne Rolle didn’t take many hits in Fridays practice.

In fact FAU coach Howard Schnellenberger wasn’t sure how much real action Rolle saw.
“What drill where you in?” Schnellenberger asked Rolle after the workout. “In the blitz drill I thought you are supposed to deliver them.”
But Rolle knew exactly how much contact  he had – and he enjoyed it every play. A strained groin has kept Rolle from practicing since the first scrimmage of the pre-season and with just over a week to go until the Owls face Nebraska on Sept. 5, Rolle knew he needed to get back on the practice field.
“I feel better than I did before,” Rolle said. “With the good trainers we have, they put us through a lot even if we aren’t out practicing.”
If he’s healthy Rolle will be the backup for Alfred Morris – a role that Michael Barasch had assumed while Rolle was sidelined.
But Rolle, a redshirt sophomore, has some game experience including three carries for 15 yards last season and some time on special teams, while Barasch has not played in a college game, making Rolle's return significant. 
If the groin feels fine on Saturday, Rolle will get back on the field for Saturday’s scrimmage.
“As long as I keep stretching and going through the drills, I’ll be fine,” Rolle said. “When I first came out here I was depressed and kind of hanging my head, but now I feel fine.”
The scrimmage may be a good chance for Rolle to ease back into action. Schnellenberger said the scrimmage will be used to simulate game situations, but will have no tackling,
“It will be a long day,” Schnellenberger said.  “It will be a whole game type of thing, but there will be no tackling. It will be our offense vs. their defense and our defense vs. their offense. We will get a lot of plays in and go through every situation we can think of.”

Hard Knocks At The Ox: A daily look at FAU training camp from the Tom Oxley Practice Fields

 Quick reload:   The Owls  went through practice No. 27 of the pre-season on Friday, which was disrupted by rain and lightning. The Owls will hold a game-prep scrimmage on Saturday, but this is not a normal scrimmage and there won’t be tackling. The scrimmage is at 3:30 p.m. at the Oxley Practice Fields.

 Owl Star Performance: Placekicker Ross Gornall made 11 consecutive field goals, including a 47-yarder to bring practice to an end on Friday.

Chart watch: Now that Rod Huggins is back on the field following his concussion, the safety spot manned by Antonio Rodriguez will be interesting to watch this week.

Instant message:  It was like washing your feet with your socks on

- FAU coach Howard Schnellenberger after Friday’s disjointed, rain-soaked practice
 Worth a Re-Tweet:  When QB Jeff Van Camp takes off running the defensive players call him Vanilla Vick
- Sent by via Twitter during practice 

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