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You can't make a move without people knowing what you're doing.... It's on the Internet the next hour....

- Chris Spencer, a high school linebacker who signed a letter of intent to play for U of Mississippi

TOP OF THE CLASS

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Florida State is No. 1 - in Recruiting Wars 2001, that is. The Seminoles rebounded from their loss to Oklahoma in the national title game with a recruiting haul that blew away the competition, the Sooners included.

With coach Bobby Bowden calling signals, Florida State signed three high school All-Americans in quarterback Joe Mauer, running back Eric Shelton, and linebacker Chauncey Davis Wednesday, then rounded out its class of 2005 with three other stars rated among the nation's top 25 players.

"It's a slam dunk for Florida State," says Allen Wallace of SuperPrep Magazine. "They completely dominated ... the nation. Nobody else comes close."

Career move

Robert Smith is trading in his football uniform, perhaps for a lab coat.

Smith hasn't said what he will do next, only that he won't be playing running back for the Minnesota Vikings or anyone else in the NFL.

His agent, Neil Cornrich, confirmed Wednesday that Smith is retiring after eight seasons with the Vikings. Smith is leaving the NFL at the top of his game, much like Barry Sanders did in 1999. As a free agent, Smith could have negotiated a huge new contract. Instead, Smith might consider a career as a medical researcher. He pursued a history degree with a strong emphasis on science at Ohio State and is interested in calculus, molecular genetics, and classical music.

XFL's CURIOSITY FACTOR

The challenge now for the XFL is to make sure that the new football league is not a one-weekend wonder. The broadcasts Saturday on NBC and Sunday on UPN were watched by an impressive total of 54 million viewers. "They had a good start. There was a high number of curious viewers. [But] I doubt they can sustain the rating that they achieved on the first weekend," said Neil Pilson, the former president of CBS Sports and now the head of a TV consulting firm.

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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