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FSU Football Report: Seminoles Prepare for Spring at Fourth Quarter Drills

By: FSU Sports Information
By: FSU Sports Information

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The national champion Florida State football team opened Thursday’s conditioning workout – Fourth Quarter Drills – to media and it was clear that head coach Jimbo Fisher was impressed with the leadership of his upperclassmen as well as the emergence of some younger players.

Fisher as well as All-ACC wide receiver Rashad Greene and veteran linebacker Terrence Smith spoke to media following the workout at the Albert J. Dunlap Indoor Practice Facility and their quotes are below.

Head Coach Jimbo Fisher Post-Workout Quotes

Opening Statement:
“(We’re) finishing up another season of Fourth Quarter Drills. I like the way they’ve gone so far, I really have. A lot of our young guys – that still played a lot as freshman, this is the first time they’ve experienced this so they had to get adjusted. I’m very proud of the way some of the senior leadership is jumping up – very consistent. I love the conditioning of our team right now. I like the mental makeup as far as how it’s working now. Coming to work every day and having three good days. It’s just consistent across the board. The new guys that have come in, I’ll tell you what, it seems like every one of them out there doing the drills act like they’ve been here for three years. They’ve jumped right in (and) of course their athleticism we all knew (about that), but they fit right in and (they’re) doing everything. I’ve been very pleased. It’s been a very good offseason. I like the demeanor and mentality of our team right now, hopefully we can take it to spring practices and continue to grow but I’m very proud of them. They know what to do, they know the culture, they know what’s expected and they’re going to take care of business.”

On the importance of Four Quarter Drills heading into spring practice:
“Right now is when the identity of your football team - it develops its attitude, its camaraderie, its work ethic, its family atmosphere. All of the little traits as a human being that you develop – the habits are being developed right now. I say player development January through August is a very critical time and these fourth quarter drills are a huge part of that and when they go well you usually have success.”

On if he’s been pleased with the leadership following the departure of the senior class:
“It’s very good to see and I think two of your best leaders are not even out here – Jameis (Winston) and Jalen Ramsey. Those two are extremely vocal and have extremely strong personalities that will really take over. One is at track and the other is at baseball and they’re not even going through fourth quarter (drills). They won’t miss spring practice, but those two aren’t even out here and I’m very comfortable where our leadership has been with the two strongest not even there.”

On the players that missed all of last season – Kevin Haplea, Jarred Haggins and Tyler Hunter:
“I’ll tell you what, Scooter (Haggins) to me is running better now than he ever has. Tyler Hunter looks like he hasn’t missed a beat and Hap has been outstanding – the best he’s look since he’s been here. He’s taking that time to work and has been really outstanding –all of those guys.”

On how the coaching staff dynamic with the offseason changes:
“It’s great, like you’ve been here the whole time. Like I said, all of our guys – he (defensive coordinator Charles Kelly) could have coached DB’s (defensive backs) last year, Jeremy (Pruitt) could have coached linebackers. That’s one thing about that group, they know the system and they can cross over and coach different positions and fit right in. (Linebackers coach) Bill Miller has been a great addition and he fits right in and he knows everything about the whole system- how we do things and is a tremendous recruiter and has a reputation for recruiting this state.”

On rising senior defensive lineman Desmond Hollin:
“I tell you what, Hollin has been off the charts. Nile (Lawrence-Stample) has been really good and Eddie Goldman has been solid – needs to get in a little bit better shape but he’s been looking good. Desmond Hollin, he’s almost 290 pounds and he’s running better than he’s ever run. I expect him to have a great year. I’m extremely happy with his progress right now. Derrick Mitchell has done some nice things inside, but Desmond has jumped off the charts.”

Rising Senior Wide Receiver Rashad Greene Post-Workout Quotes

On Fourth Quarter Drills conditioning:
“Oh it has been great. We are definitely getting ready for spring, to start the process all over again and try to get back where we finished off last year and do a repeat.”

On the Seminoles’ leadership and the team being on the same page:
“Most definitely. It only takes one time to set a standard and know what it takes to get a certain goal and we did that last year and the people that are already here know what it takes and the ones that are coming in, once you see guys leading the way that we have been leading and setting the standard, it’s easy to just fall in. Those guys want to prove themselves so they’ll come in and do exactly what we are doing which is trying to get that goal again.”

On being a leader:
“I’m definitely trying to lead the overall team a little more than I did last year. Not much will change. I still have belief in all the guys that we still have here. The guys that are coming in, we are going to make sure that they get caught up on stuff but I feel like it will be the same thing next year. I will kind of be a little more vocal but at the same time I can only be myself. I definitely want to lead by example and if need be I definitely will speak up.”

On older wide receivers being able to contribute right away versus having to lead the younger group of wide receivers:
“They are definitely able to contribute. They know the offense, know the system so they have an advantage to come in and get back into the system and those younger guys I feel like they are my responsibility so anything that goes wrong with them I take all fault for it because I’m the leader and I want to lead by example and make them play up to my standards and that’s my goal this year focusing on the younger guys and making sure that they compete at a high level as we did last year.”

On how the younger players have performed during Fourth Quarter Drills:
“They have been doing great. They’re pushing through, they are learning to push their bodies to the limit and just getting that channel to being a collegiate football player and I definitely see a lot of potential in those guys.”

Rising Redshirt Junior Linebacker Terrence Smith Post-Workout Quotes

On linebackers Matthew Thomas and EJ Levenberry entering their second season with the Seminoles next fall:
“Those two young guys are going to be the young guys that we are going to depend on this year. This offseason they’ve just been working on getting bigger, stronger, and faster and they’ve really been dedicated to the program.”

On the transition on the coaching staff with Charles Kelly moving to defensive coordinator and Bill Miller coming in as linebackers coach:
“Yeah, it’s pretty much been a good transition. Nothing has changed too much as far as our defense and our scheme and the way we call things. It’s been a pretty smooth transition overall.”

On being the veteran leader of the linebackers:
“To be a veteran this year it’s a new role for me and I just had to step into it myself and get my confidence right so I can lead the defense and make all the calls and do everything that Telvin Smith did so we can have a vocal leader on this defense this year.”

On learning from past players:
“(I learned) from Telvin Smith and Christian Jones, watching them last year, seeing how they were able to motivate guys and lead guys and get us to do what we had to do to get where we were going that helped me out a lot.”

On the difference this coming year following a National Championship:
“Everyone says we have a target on our back. Pretty much, right now, we are just working but we have the plan and we have the process. We know how to get where we want to go, everyone just has to work hard to do it and as long as we can get the team to have the same mentality and same physicality as we had last year I believe that we can have a good year.”

On seeing his teammates hungry for more:
“Yeah. This is what Fourth Quarter (Drills) are about. Fourth Quarter’s are to push us physically and mentally and strengthen our bodies and the guys did that this year so we are going to come back pretty good.”

On spending time with new linebackers coach Bill Miller:
“Yeah. We have had several conversations. I feel like he’s a pretty good coach. He knows what he is talking about.”


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