April 9, 2012
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Jacob Coker knew before he ever stepped foot on campus last summer that he would redshirt during his first year at Florida State.
His first season in Tallahassee would be spent at the bottom of the depth chart, working with the scout team and watching from the sideline on Saturdays. It was the same initiation and development process that Coker’s new teammates at quarterback — EJ Manuel, Clint Trickett and Will Secord — had participated in during their respective first seasons.
Seminoles.com Senior Writer
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Now on the verge of his first Garnet and Gold Game this Saturday and with Secord no longer a member of the team, Coker finds himself in a heated battle with Trickett for the backup job behind Manuel for the 2012 campaign.
“When I got here, I was getting screamed at for not knowing what to do, but now I’m more comfortable,” Coker said last week, in what was his first interview with the media since joining FSU’s football team. “I’ve learned the plays and they make a lot more sense. I’m just having fun every day.”
To gain that level of comfort, Coker had to dive head first into Jimbo Fisher’s daunting playbook — a learning process that is now in its ninth month.
“When I first saw it, I was like, ‘Oh man. I’ve got a lot to learn,'” Coker said about the playbook.
Aiding him in that acclimation process has been Manuel, Trickett, Fisher and quarterbacks coach Dameyune Carig, who, like Coker, is an Alabama native and one of the main reasons why the Seminoles were able to pry the 6-foot-5, 232-pound signal-caller out his home state where the Crimson Tide and Tigers typically dominate the recruiting landscape.
“EJ and Clint have helped me out since I got here, and I appreciate that,” Coker said. “I’m trying to learn from them and learn from the coaches at the same time. I’m just trying to learn something new every day.”
Fans that attend Saturday’s game or watch it online at ESPN3.com will get their first glimpse at the former three-star recruit.
Coker is listed as the third-team quarterback but he may get repetitions — as has been the case all spring — with the second-team unit as well.
Nick Waisome Q&A
Like Coker, cornerback Nick Waisome is a young ‘Noles player that is using this spring to audition for an increased role come fall.
But unlike Coker, Saturday’s spring game will be Waisome’s second as he enrolled last January and took part in 2011’s spring practices before playing in 11 games — primarily on special teams — as a true freshman. With Mike Harris gone, Waisome has an opportunity to earn more playing time in his sophomore season.
Here is a transcription of some of Waisome’s comments from his first sit-down interview with the media as a member of the FSU football team:
Q: How are you progressing in your second spring at FSU?
Waisome: I feel like I am progressing pretty well. Coming in from last year, I’ve been developing a lot of my skills. I am developing really well.
Q: How much more do you know from a football standpoint now that you’ve been in the program for a year?
Waisome: I’m not sure how much more I know, but the receivers in college are definitely faster [than high school]. You have to use your eyes a lot more and you can’t really gamble as much.
Q: How much did it help you to play on special teams last year?
Waisome: It was good I got my feet wet a little bit. I just took it as a learning year.
Q: You have the chance to possibly work yourself into the rotation at cornerback — particularly at nickel corner. How does your skill-set prepare you for that job?
Waisome: Usually the guys that are the inside are faster receivers and off the line, I feel like I am pretty strong and I can stick with some of those receivers. It’s kind of like a curveball.
FUN-FILLED SPRING WEEKEND
There are plenty of opportunities for FSU fans to enjoy an exciting weekend in Tallahassee before Saturday’s 4 p.m. Garnet and Gold Game even kicks off.
Recording artist Lee Brice will headline the “Friday Night Block Party” in Kleman Plaza the night before the game and the concert is free to attend. Then on game day, the 4th Annual BBQ Cook-Off will take place on Langford Green starting at 11:30 a.m.
One of the judges for the competition is former FSU and current Detroit Lions defensive end Everette Brown.
For more information on the cook-off competition, click here. To see a list of the former FSU football players that will be in attendance at Saturday’s game, click here to visit the Doak Insider Blog.