Aug. 6, 2010
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The second day of Florida State’s preseason camp marked the first time the Seminoles practiced with a national ranking under first-year coach Jimbo Fisher. Fresh off picking up a No. 20 ranking in the USA Today/Coaches preseason poll, the Seminoles worked out for just over two hours Friday.
|EJ Manuel Interview|
Florida State’s touted recruiting class continued to impress in just the second day of work in shorts and helmets. Fisher, who has pushed the importance of mentoring within the team, was quick to point out the role the veterans have played in their early development of the youngsters.
“Our older guys are doing a good job,” said Fisher, explaining the role they’ve taken on with the newcomers. “You see them in there coaching them and pushing them. I’ve been pleased with that aspect of our team, trying to help those young guys.”
In the grand scheme, the quicker the younger players get a grasp on the systems, the greater an impact they can have on the field; not only adding depth but also challenging for significant playing time. It’s a role the older players don’t take lightly.
Junior strong safety Terrance Parks, who is a leading candidate to start after two years in a limited role, likes what he sees when he looks around at the entire time.
“The veterans are making improvements,” said Parks. “We know the playbook and we’re helping the young guys. Right now that’s essential for our program, to help the young guys come along so we can be the best team.”
Count redshirt sophomore quarterback EJ Manuel among the many Seminoles who have been especially impressed by the quartet of incoming receivers, which includes Jarred Haggins, Greg Dent, Christian Green and Kenny Shaw.
“All four of those guys can go,” said Manuel. “Every one of them is different. Jimbo was raving over them, actually. We had them in 7-on-7 when they first got here and they’ve done a great job. They listen. They don’t have a lot of egos. They’re great kids and they have a lot of personality, too.”
“Those guys kind of showed them the ropes and they took off,” he said.
Nigel Bradham, the 2009 team leader in tackles for the weakside linebacker position, also had high praise for the newcomers in his segment. They have stood out, despite the fact that linebackers coach Greg Hudson is busy cross-training the entire group to play multiple positions.
“There are a lot of great young linebackers and they are going to get a lot of playing time,” said Bradham, who mentioned Christian Jones, Jeff Luc and Telvin Smith by name. “Jones and Luc, they are like a different breed. They are pretty stout, I feel like they will be ready.”
Still, there’s always room for improvement, which Fisher pointed out at the end of Day 2.
“The effort was good,” said Fisher. “We got sloppy at the end when we got tired and made mental mistakes, which you can’t push through. But that’s the second day of practice and that’s what we’ve got to work out.”
Fisher on the `Noles checking in at No. 20:
“They [the players] shouldn’t look at it. It doesn’t mean anything. It’s just like expectations. Expectations don’t win games and don’t lose games. It’s a matter of going out, getting fundamentally sound and doing what you’ve got to do.”
Play-making junior college transfer cornerback Michael Harris was added to the roster and participated in his first practice Friday. Harris’ addition brings the camp roster total to 104…Redshirt sophomore safety Ed Impeokparia also made his practice debut… Former FSU center David Castillo, a third-year medical school student, stopped by to visit practice…Also dropping by was Jesse Forbes, who starred at wide receiver and in track sprinter for the Seminoles and is a highly-successful coach at Tallahassee Godby High…After practicing in comfortable conditions Friday the Seminoles are scheduled for a 3 p.m. workout Saturday. It will also mark the next step in the mandated acclimatization period as the Seminoles put on shoulder pads and helmets (shells)…Fan Day is set for Sunday at the Donald L. Tucker Center with the doors opening at 11 a.m. The entire FSU team and coaching staff will sign autographs from 12 noon to 2 p.m. It will be followed by a practice inside Doak Campbell Stadium, which will be open to the public and begin at 4:30 p.m. A single concession stand will be open on each concourse level and selling drinks. Admission to Fan Day and the practice is free, as is parking at both events…FSU coach Jimbo Fisher and two-time All-American cornerback Terrell Buckley’s summer victory in the Chick-fil-A Bowl Challenge charity golf tournament will be televised Saturday, Aug. 7 in a one-hour special beginning at 12 noon on ESPN2. The Fisher/Buckley tandem teamed to beat back a field of ACC and SEC coaches and their partners, good for a $120,000 contribution to FSU’s general scholarship fund.