Aug. 9, 2002
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
Antoine Mirambeau, who has played in two national championship games during his career, returns as Florida State’s starting center for the second consecutive season. He is considered by the coaching staff to be one of the most athletic centers at Florida State in recent memory and earned the award as the top offensive lineman in spring practice in 2002. Mirambeau took time out of his busy schedule to discuss two-a-days, the upcoming season and what he likes about the Seminoles’ freshman class with seminoles.com.
As One Of the Seminoles’ Returning Veterans, How Important Is Your Leadership to the Overall Success of the 2002 Team?
“I feel that my leadership as a member of the 2002 Florida State football team is very important. We have young players at quarterback and that makes my position, center, even more important. The center and the quarterback are probably the two most important positions on the offensive line. With Chris Rix being young and me being a fifth-year senior and having the knowledge of the entire offensive system, it is really important that I really make the correct calls and help the offense out as much as I can.”
What Is Tougher – Being Successful In The Classroom Or Being Successful On The Field?
“I think it is tough to be successful in both the classroom and on the field. I would say it has been tougher for me in the classroom. I came from Haiti when I was six-years old and having to adjust to the American way of life was kind of tough for me. It was tough to learn the English language and, on top of that, it was tough to learn the vocabulary system. Academics and football are like two classrooms for me. On the college level it’s all about learning plays on the field and in the classroom its about learning to be able to do well tests. It’s the same strategy, I feel, in both situations. Academically, at least for me, it’s more work in the classroom.”
What Is Your Best Attribute As A Football Player?
“I am a leader by example. I am not an outspoken person. I don’t go out on the field and jump and scream at my teammates. I am more of a thoughtful person who goes on the field and takes care of business.”
What Have You Done To Prepare Yourself For the Upcoming Season in Terms of Physical Conditioning?
“Everybody on this team is in as good a physical condition as I have seen at Florida State during my career. Everybody worked with coach Jost this summer and everybody on this team came to practice ready to play. I tried to stick to his plan and went with his plan and loved it. I saw progress in my conditioning, in my sprinting – in my overall strength and conditioning. I think coach Jost is a heck of a strength and conditioning coach. I went in to the weight room every day and worked off the list of activities he assigned me to make me bigger and stronger. I think being dedicated to the weight room program is the biggest thing I did to help myself prepare for the season.”
What Types Of Things Do You And Your Teammates Do To Motivate Yourselves During Practice?
“Believe it or not, we joke around quite a bit when we are on the practice field. We try to laugh when we can because we know we have to be serious in order to get our jobs done. We try to think up some funny movies and other things to keep ourselves on our toes during practices. I know there aren’t many players in this locker room who enjoy getting up at six in the morning and preparing themselves for practice. You have to get into the flow of practice and that’s not always easy. The way we get into the flow is by laughing. One guy who really motivates us in the morning is O.J. Jackson. He is always excited in the morning and that helps to get us up and into the mood to practice. I think it is very much a sense of teammates pushing each other to become better football players. We all want to get better as players and we are trying to do one thing – win the national championship. This is my last year and I want to end my career with a big bang.”
Complete This Sentence: The Hardest Thing About Practice Right Now Is…
“…The hardest thing about practice right now is waking up in the morning. That’s that hardest thing – waking up in the morning and getting into your flow. After the first couple of periods we are at full speed and ready to learn.”
What’s The Best Thing About Being A Senior?
“The best thing about being a senior is that we are experienced players who know the system and know what we need to do to be successful. Seniors are expected to know what do each time you are on the field. I feel that makes it easier for us as a group because the coaches don’t need to teach us as much as they do the younger guys. During the first three years I was at Florida State, I really didn’t understand mentally what was occurring on the field all the time. As seniors, we know the system and are expected to be leaders. The coaching staff gives you the respect you have earned and they expect you know what you are doing on the field.”
What Strikes You Most About This Years Freshman Class?
“Every member of the freshmen class has a fight within them. They fight on both offense and defense. To me, this is one of the best freshmen groups I have seen since I have been at Florida State. These guys not only working very hard but also they are also really good football players. Our running backs are all on fire. I think these guys can contribute now – this year. I don’t think the coaching staff is going to redshirt too many of these guys because that’s how good they are. I really like the freshman class. I am really impressed with this freshman class. We got the best freshman in the country in my opinion. I wouldn’t swap these freshmen for any other freshmen in the nation. They are really good. Two or three years from now they are going to be really good players.”