By Tim Linafelt
Seminoles.com Senior Writer
@Tim_Linafelt on Twitter
LOS ANGELES – Welcome to Round 3 of the California Dreamin’ blog.
The last few days here in L.A. have been a bit of a whirlwind for the Oregon and Florida State football teams, as well as the mass of media looking to cover them. Monday marked the official “Media Day” for the Rose Bowl, but, really, every day has been media day.
Players and coaches from FSU’s offense and Oregon’s defense spoke to reporters on Sunday, and they’ll flip on Tuesday.
In between was a wild free-for-all in which every single player, coach and staff member was made available for interviews in a big conference room at the L.A. Hotel.
It was a pretty cool scene. Freshmen, who are off limits to media during the season, spoke for the first time. And popular assistant coaches like Rick Trickett and Lawrence Dawsey shared their thoughts on some of their players as well as the season.
But Media Day can also be a bit frantic. There are hundreds of media members here and everyone is pursuing their own stories, so it can sometimes feel like a bit of a rat race to get around to everyone during the allotted time.
Some highlights included an insightful interview with Roderick Johnson, who sounds really excited to have played a role on this year’s team, but also seems even-keeled enough to keep his perspective. If you haven’t already, check out this piece on Johnson from Monday.
Freshmen receivers Travis Rudolph and Ermon Lane also spoke, and Rudolph in particular was pretty insightful when discussing the foot injury that slowed him down earlier this season.
“That was definitely frustrating,” he said. But, eventually, he learned to trust his foot and the results have at times been spectacular.
So you get an idea, here’s some shots of the festivities:
As usual, Jameis Winston had a crowd hanging on his words. (Note: This was taken during Winston’s Sunday session.)
The Seminoles stream into the conference room at the L.A. Hotel.
No surprise, freshman Dalvin Cook drew a lot of attention on Monday.
The scene was massive and just a little overwhelming.
Even former FSU quarterbacks Danny Kanell took a turn in the spotlight. Kanell, now an analyst with ESPN, spoke at length on the Rose Bowl and the matchup between Winston and Oregon’s Marcus Mariota (he compared Mariota’s personality to that of former FSU star Charlie Ward). He also said that, with so many dramatic victories, the Seminoles this year have been the most exciting team in the country.
Things continue on Tuesday as defensive coordinator Charles Kelly speaks publicly for the first time since August. Tuesday also marks Day 5 of Florida State’s time here in California, which means we’ve moved into “day after tomorrow” territory for the Rose Bowl game. It’s finally getting close.