TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – There are only so many things a head coach can quantify on the first practice of the preseason. But when looking at the intangibles of fourth-ranked Florida State Football, head coach Jimbo Fisher came away very impressed on Tuesday evening.
“Good energy. Good energy (on the) first day,” Fisher said following Tuesday’s practice. “A lot to look at, we’ll get the film and see. I liked the energy, I liked the tempo for the most part. I’ll tell you with some of those young guys – that heart – sometimes I think their shirt was flying out about 20 feet, the anxiety of doing things. It was a good day. They adjusted well, they adapted, the seniors helped, the upperclassmen helped those young guys and we’ll look at the film and see what we’ve got.”
While laying out the schematics will come very soon for Fisher and his coaching staff, there were already strong signs of the boundless enthusiasm this year’s group shows. Many of the student-athletes often spoke of their excitement and anticipation heading into Tuesday’s first session. Senior defensive back Marquez White mentioned he could barely sleep last night and struggled to nap today as he counted down to day one.
Some of the positive characteristics that this year’s group of Noles seem to possess fits into what Fisher is looking for as he prepares for his seventh season as head coach at Florida State.
“Just the tempo and the attitude,” Fisher added when asked what he keeps an eye out for in the first day of practice. “The demeanor. Are you willing to learn, willing to be coached, are you willing to be pushed? And we’ll get to the execution as we go.”
With a veteran group that includes 16 of its 22 offensive and defensive starters returning (including all 11 on offense), leadership should be plenty abound. Junior tailback and Heisman Trophy candidate Dalvin Cook already likes what he sees after a productive offseason and based on what he saw Tuesday.
“I see a lot of guys voicing their opinion and they’re backing (up) their play,” Cook said. “That’s a good sign.”
FSU Credit Union Fan Day on Sunday
Florida State football supporters have a chance to meet and receive autographs from their favorite players and coaches this Sunday. The FSU Credit Union Fan Day will be held on Sunday, Aug. 14 from noon-2 p.m. at the Donald L. Tucker Center. Admission is free and the doors will open at 11 a.m.
Sunday’s fan fest will also include appearances by Osceola, Renegade and the FSU cheerleaders. Fans are asked to limit one item per person for autographs in an effort to keep the lines moving.
FSU Media Day to Precede Fan Day
The tradition continues with Florida State Football holding its annual media day prior to fan day. Media day held at the Moore Athletic Center will run from 9 a.m.-11:45 a.m. and will include select student-athletes and coaches.
Head Coach Jimbo Fisher Post Practice Quotes – Aug. 9, 2016
“Good energy. Good energy first day. A lot to look at, we’ll get the film and see. I liked the energy, I liked the tempo for the most part. I’ll tell you with some of those young guys that heart, sometimes I think their shirt was flying out about twenty feet, the anxiety of doing things. It was a good day. They adjusted well, they adapted, the seniors helped, the upperclassmen helped those young guys and we’ll look at the film and see what we’ve got. For a good day, a good energy practice. We’ll look at the execution as we go.”
What is it you look for during a first practice?
“Just the tempo and the attitude. The demeanor. Are you willing to learn, willing to be coached, are you willing to be pushed? You know what I’m saying? And we’ll get to the execution as we go.”
How early on do you get a feeling for the identity of the team?
“I think it always starts. That’s an ever-changing thing daily. It changes from everything you do. You feel that from meetings. Think about this: How often do you get opinions on people? All the time, am I right? That’s exactly what a team is like. Every time you go to a meeting, every time you ask them to do something, whatever it is, they build that character constantly.”
Junior running back Dalvin Cook
On the first day of fall practice
“It was the first day getting back to the helmets and used to the weather. It was kind of what I expected, we just have to be more consistent with what we’re doing. We returned a lot of guys so we just have to be more consistent.”
On the maturity of the team with a lot of returning players
“Especially with a lot of guys stepping up into big roles. I see a lot of guys voicing their opinion and they’re backing (up) their play. That’s a good sign.”
On what he is doing this season to get his teammates motivated
“I think if I bring my energy and come out here ready to practice every day they will look at me and say, ‘Why aren’t I?’ I’m just going to keep bringing it every day and we are going to buy in. This team did nothing but buy in all summer, spring, and they’ve been growing. We’ll continue to grow and buy in more.”
Senior defensive back Marquez White
On the defense improving after losing fifth-overall draft pick Jalen Ramsey
“We can be just as good. He’s a great player and is going to do his thing in Jacksonville, but like he told us when he left, it’s on us. We can’t reminisce about when he was here, we have to build our own legacy. We’re going to be the hardest working secondary in the nation.”
On what he can do to get better from last season
“Just focus on the details, taking my angles on the ball and playing the ball to the right hand. Getting my head around, chasing the running back in the break. I can always get better at something.”
On his offseason football camp in his hometown of Dothan, Alabama, that a number of FSU teammates attended
“That was a great sign of respect that they have for me. They took time out of their schedule – they could have gone home to be with their family, but they knew what I was trying to do for the kids in my community and they jumped at it as soon as I asked them.”
On the FSU receivers
“[Junior] Travis [Rudolph] knows I come out here every day trying to whoop him. Every receiver, we come out here trying to get each other better, especially the guys that I came in with. We all have a dream for the next level and this is our last shot and we have to make it count.”
Junior left tackle Roderick Johnson
On the biggest difference between the first day of practice as a junior than as a freshman
“No difference. Same goals. Same technique. Nothing’s changed. My goal now is to make less mistakes than I did last year, perfecting my craft everyday like that.”
On if he’s interested on how the quarterbacks do in practice
“I would, but my hands are full right now. Whoever is back there, I trust Coach Fisher and Coach (Randy) Sanders to put the best man back there for the team. I have no worries about that.”
On if anyone jumped out on defense today
“Yes. The entire defense. Derwin James, (Josh) Sweat, DeMarcus (Walker), (Derrick) Nnadi, (DeMarcus) Christmas – as an offensive player I am very excited to see what the defense can produce this year.”
On if they have something to prove this season
“We do. We know that last year wasn’t our best year. We have a lot of room to improve and we’ve got a lot of work to do. So, we have a huge point to prove this year.”