TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida State’s fourth practice of spring saw the Seminoles strap on full pads for the first time as FSU continued to transition back into season mode.
After inclement weather cut short the team’s first week back on the practice fields, FSU grinded out its second practice this week, finally getting back to physical play and tackling. The Seminoles eased back into the swing of things using the first three days to mix in work with just helmets, shorts and one day of shells.
FSU returns to the practice Thursday and Saturday for two more practices. All practices are closed to the public. Fans can begin counting down to the Spring football weekend which will be capped off with the annual Garnet and Gold Spring football game at 2 p.m. at Doak Campbell Stadium on Apr. 13. The game will be carried on ESPN3.com and replayed on ESPNU.
TE Coach TIM BREWSTER AND RB COACH JAY GRAHAM COMMENTS
Tight Ends Coach/Recruiting Coordinator Tim Brewster
On the transition and the decision to come to FSU:
“My decision to come to Florida State had a lot to do with the tradition and history of this University. I have tremendous respect for Florida State. I was with Mack Brown at North Carolina for 10 years from 1988 to 1998 and one team that we never beat was Florida State. We had some tremendous battles with Florida State, but it’s a special place and I’ve got a tremendous respect for the tradition and the tradition of college football and this is one of the best. When you have an opportunity to join one of the great programs in college football, it’s a very exciting opportunity. I left a great program at Mississippi State. Dan Mullen was amazing to me and my family. I was very close with those kids in a short period of time. It was a very hard thing to do to say goodbye to those people in Starkville. But, Jimbo Fisher offered me to be a part of a program that has a chance to win a national championship and that’s why I’m here – to win a national championship again at Florida State. This University gives you all the things you need to be able to win a national championship. You need to be able to recruit the absolute best high school football players in America. We can do that here and that’s exciting here because you guys know that I like to recruit.”
On his first impressions of the tight ends:
“I’m very impressed with the group. Nick O’Leary is a guy that’s got tremendous talent. He needs to just continue to understand that the details of the game are very important. All the little things are important. It’s not about the big picture. It’s about seeing the little picture and the little things that are involved in each and every play and teaching him to truly become a student of the game. Totally understand what the defense is trying to do so you can react instinctively. Christo (Kourtzidis) is another kid with athletic ability. He’s got to get bigger, got to get stronger in the run game. Finesse full guy in the passing game – he does have some natural instincts in the passing game. We need for him to be better on the line of scrimmage. (Kevin) Haplea is a kid with a little funk to him. He’s the type of guy that can become a post player. We’re looking for a post player – a guy that can dominate on the line of scrimmage because one thing that we’re going to do is run the football. A key ingredient in running the football is tight end play. We’re going to play with one tight end. We’re going to play with two tight ends. We’re going to play with three tight ends some.”
On the type of feedback he got from his Twitter postings:
“I’m not bashful and I’m extremely proud of the University I represent – Florida State University. We know that at Florida State University one of the things we need to do is win the state of Florida. We need to beat Miami. We need to beat the University of Florida. That’s vitally important to us. I want to make sure that people understand that we’re going to take an extremely aggressive approach to getting the best players in the state of Florida to come to Tallahassee. We’re going to recruit relentlessly. We’re going to coach relentlessly. I think that if you do that – a whole staff of guys that do that. One of the things that I’m amazingly excited about is the staff that Jimbo has put together. We’ve got nine outstanding coaches and nine outstanding recruiters. I think that Seminole fans are going to see great results. I think what we’re going to do is a great job of getting the message out, where Florida State is the place to be. The great players in the state of Florida need to be Seminoles. There is no reason not to come. You can get one of the best educations in America. It’s one of the most beautiful campuses in America and [has] a football program that every year is going to compete for a championship. I think that ought to be exciting for young people and I want to make sure that with young people that message gets to them.”
Running Backs Coach Jay Graham
On his relationship with Jimbo Fisher:
“I didn’t know him very well, but there are guys on this staff who I coached with, that I played for and that I (was a graduate assistant) for that knew me. So that’s how I came to know him.”
On the FSU running backs:
“They’re tough and they give great effort. It’s been a joy to be in the meeting room with those guys. It’s a close knit group. I’m really excited about the future with those guys. We’ve been working really hard and practicing. We’re tying up the little things and continuing to improve.”
On if the players ask about his playing career:
“They do. It’s getting farther and farther away. They ask me questions about the NFL and stuff like that. For the most part, they’ve just been feeling me out – what’s my coaching style and what kind of drills I like. I’m feeling them out the same way. I’m asking them what they like, what they didn’t like – things like that.”
On reuniting with quarterbacks coach Randy Sanders:
“It’s been great. Coach Sanders has known me since I was 17 years old. He coached me. It’s good. He knows me well. He’s got a really good sense of how I’m doing and what I’m thinking. It’s good to have guys I know at the staff table. Coach (Sal) Sunseri – he’s been around me. It’s good to have guys at the staff table who have been in the trenches with you.”
On what was appealing about the Florida State job:
“Biggest thing was every time the conversation comes up about the best programs in the country, Florida State is always in that conversation. It’s a great university with a great football tradition. The opportunity came along and it was a special opportunity. I enjoyed my time at Tennessee. There was a lot of changeover. From the time I started, I think there were 26 coaches. There was a lot of change. The people there were great. It was great to coach at my alma mater.”
TWO more days FOR SEASON TICKET RENEWALs
The deadline for Football Season Ticket Holders to renew seats for the 2013 season and maintain priority is Friday, Mar. 29. Visit Seminoles.com or contact the Florida State Ticket Office at 1-888-FSU-NOLE for any questions.
THOMAS RHETT To Kickoff Spring Football Weekend
Florida State Athletics in conjunction with IMG College have announced Thomas Rhett as its headline for the "Friday Night Block Party" in Kleman Plaza on Friday, April 12, 2013 to kickoff Spring Football Weekend in Tallahassee sponsored by SunTrust. This concert event will serve as the official kickoff to what ESPN has tabbed as the "Best Spring Weekend in College Football”. More details on the spring weekend will be released in the coming weeks. On Saturday, Seminole fans will get a chance to enjoy the annual barbeque cook-off on Langford Green before heading inside Doak Campbell Stadium for the 2013 Spring Football game scheduled to kickoff at 2 p.m.