August 22, 2001 - by
The Chris Hope Diary – Final Session Of Two-A-Day Practices

Aug. 22, 2001

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    Entry 8, Aug. 21 |
    Entry 7, Aug. 20 |
    Entry 6, Aug. 17 |

    Entry 5, Aug. 16 |
    Entry 4, Aug. 15 |
    Entry 3, Aug. 14 |

    Entry 2, Aug. 11 |
    Entry 1, Aug. 10

    Chris Hope, a preseason All-America first-team selection by ABC Sports Online, is just one day from completing his fourth and final session of two-a-day practices as a member of the Florida State football team. He stopped by on Wednesday for his Daily Drill with and talked about team unity, scouting his opponents, time capsules and Walter Payton.

    What Does The Team Slogan “I Will Hold The Rope” Mean To You?”

    This year’s team slogan means that no matter what circumstances come up, whatever situation we are in as a football team or individual players, whether you are on or off the field, that you are going to look out for your teammates. It also means that we can depend on all of our teammates. For example, if I am in a team meeting, no matter whom I point out, I have the faith and belief that he is going to be there for me and that he is going to hold the rope. In football terms it means that if a defensive end has containment I can depend and trust in him that he is going to be there. If I am supposed to be over the top on one of our cornerbacks and he is relying on my help, whether it is in the deep middle coverage or in a deep third coverage, I am going to be there. We have to believe that we are always there for our teammates. We also have to believe in our coaches and know that our coaches are going to put us in the right situations so that we can play at the highest levels when we are on the field.

    What Do You Look For When You Are Watching Film Of An Opponent?

    When I watch film of an opponent I am looking for their tendencies. I am watching for aspects of their game that they do the most actions that I can pick up on and be prepared when I am on the field. For example, I look for a fullback looking at the hole he is going to run through or leaning toward which way the play is going to go. I also watch the quarterback to see if I can catch him staring down his receivers or looking at the receivers in their different stances they are going out and running their routes. You can tell when the ball may be coming to a receiver by their body language. Another thing I look for is the pad level of the linemen in order to predict a pass or a running play before the center snaps the ball to the quarterback.

    What Three Items Would You Put Into A Time Capsule To Be Opened 100 Years From Now By A Florida State Football Fan?

    I would put the team picture of the 1999 undefeated team, a national championship ring from that season and a Deion Sanders jersey. The first two things I would place in the time capsule (the team picture and the national championship ring) would have to go in because it would show our dominance in the sport of college football. I would include a Deion Sanders jersey in because he is a complete person. He’s not only one of the best football players ever but he is also, when you get to know him like I have been able to in the past couple of days, one of the best people you can ever meet. When people are as blessed as he is, sometimes they become arrogant and don’t feel they have time to spend with people who they feel are beneath them. He makes you feel comfortable around him and he also makes you feel just like him.

    Going Into Your Final Season At Florida State, What Do You Want Your Legacy To Be?

    I hope to be known as a person who worked hard in the classroom and on the field, as a person who helped people in the community and was a role model for kids who looked up to me as a football player and a person. I would also like to be remembered as one of the top defensive backs that have played at Florida State. I have some work to do in order to get to those levels but I am confident that I can become a good enough player to be considered to be among the Seminoles’ all-time bests.

    Who Has Been Your Biggest Role Model In Sports?

    My biggest role model in the sports world has been Walter Payton. Everyone is blessed with some kind of talent and fortunately I was blessed with size, speed, desire, determination and the ability to understand the game of football. Those are all the elements I need to compete at the highest level. I learned determination and the willingness to get better from Payton. He was a quick, powerful runner and he knew the game. The thing that made him stand out was that he worked harder than anyone else. Those are the aspects of my game that I have tried to take from him.

    Do You Have Any Famous Members of Your Family?

    My cousin Gerald Dixon plays for the San Diego Chargers. Others that I consider to be part of my extended family are Harold Green and Terry Allen and Sterling Sharpe of the Baltimore Ravens. They are guys from my home state of South Carolina who I consider to be close friends. I am blessed to be treated like family by those guys.

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