Dec. 31, 2001
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
It has been more than six months since Adrian McPherson left his parents and sisters in Bradenton, Florida for the state capitol and the campus of Florida State. Fortunately, the young Seminole quarterback/point guard has had little trouble adjusting.
“I think my parents did a great job of raising me, getting me prepared for this. My father has tried to keep me with a level head, keep me focused.”
Events moved quicker than expected for McPherson, who soon found himself playing backup to quarterback Chris Rix.
“I was planning on red shirting this year, but with all the injuries I wasn’t able to do that.”
McPherson, however, is not content with the backup role.
“I came here to compete for the job, I’m going to go out there this spring and compete, then see what they want to do with me.” As the football season comes to an end after the Seminoles’ appearance in the Gator Bow against Virginia Tech, it will be time for McPherson to switch gears and move on to his more natural sport. “I always preferred basketball. I didn’t start football until I was in high school.”
McPherson enjoyed a great deal of success at Southeast High School, leading his football team to a State championship as a sophomore.
“I went in when we were 0-2 and my coach wasn’t expecting a whole lot out of me. Then we ended up at the state title game. That was my most memorable achievement because I showed great improvement over the course of the season.”
His credentials on the basketball court were also among Florida’s elite. As the leader of the team he averaged 35 points, 10 rebounds and 9 assists per game. McPherson’s high school accolades reached a pinnacle when he was named Mr. Football and Mr. Basketball for the State of Florida following his senior seasons.
Many schools recruited McPherson and the finalists included North Carolina, South Florida and Florida State. McPherson was prepared to announce his decision to become a Tar Heel, when a last minute change of heart surprised the Seminole faithful. “I went into my press conference wearing a North Carolina shirt and hat. Then I committed to Florida State, I don’t know why I did it, it was a last minute thing, and it was where my heart told me I should be. Up until that day, I was going to Carolina.”
McPherson found a friend and great influential figure in Dominic Robinson, another young, talented Seminole. “He’s not a real big going-out type person, he always goes to church. If he’s going to church and your just sitting in the house, he won’t just let you sit there, he’ll make you go to church. I like that about him. He’s the same age as me, but he is a leader.”
When asked about his abilities on the court, McPherson was quick to point out his strengths and weaknesses.
“My strength is shooting the ball, dribbling the ball, being 6’1 and playing point guard. My weakness is that I’m not as strong as I’d like to be yet. When I go to the hole, I’m not able to do what I want do. Right now I need to stay in the weight room, get a little bit stronger.”
McPherson claims his success is comes from two important sources: “My parents and the Lord. He (the Lord) blessed me with a lot of talent. I’m trying to make the most of it and put it all in His name. My parents put me in every situation to make me successful. When I told them I wanted to play basketball, they sent me to basketball camps in Kentucky and Maryland. I think they did a great job of putting me in the right places.”
The personality of Coach Robinson was one of the main factors in luring McPherson to Tallahassee.
“He is one of those coaches who treats you like you want to be treated, like a father away from home. He tries to do everything like a family. That was definitely something I was looking for when choosing a school.”
McPherson, who won’t turn 19 until May 2002, could be Florida State’s most promising athlete. He is young, determined and ready to help his Seminole teammates in any way possible. Keep an eye out for number five, as Adrian should be worked into the basketball lineup more and more as the football season comes to an end on January 1st.
By Ben Tario
Sports Information Assistant