October 20, 2005 - by
Thursday’s Practice Report

Oct. 20, 2005

The 10th-ranked Florida State (5-1, 3-1 ACC) football team concluded preparations for Saturday’s game at Duke (1-6, 0-3 ACC) with a 15-period workout in shorts. The game will be televised on ESPNU at 3:30 p.m.

The Downtown Athletic Club of Orlando, Inc. (DACO), the organization which annually presents the prestigious Butkus Award® to the nation’s best collegiate linebacker, has announced the 10 semi-finalists for this year’s award and Florida State’s A.J. Nicholson and Ernie Sims are included on the list. The semi-finalist list will be cut down to three finalists on November 10. The winner will be announced Saturday, December 10, 2005 at the Butkus Award® Gala in Orlando, Fla. FSU, one of two ACC schools with a player on the list, is the only school that has two representatives among the final 10 semi-finalists.

Florida State has had two Butkus Award winners: Paul McGowan (1987) and Marvin Jones (1992).

Part II of ESPN’s The Season, featuring Florida State football, will air late tonight at 1:00 a.m. on ESPN2. There will be additional showings of the program so check your ESPN and ESPN2 listings in the coming weeks.


Executive Head Coach/Linebackers Coach Kevin Steele

(on the week overall)

“I thought our leadership stepped up and provided great leadership to rededicate things and refocus and correct the things we needed to correct. It was done by leadership and when it’s done from within the team, it’s a whole lot more effective.”

(on Nicholson and Sims being named semi-finalist for Butkus Award)

“It’s a honor. It’s a honor for the team. It’s a honor for the group and it’s a honor for them individually. Quite frankly, I might be a little biased, but when you’re the best like those two are at your position, you get honored with the best.”

LB Ernie Sims

(on being a Butkus Award semi-finalist)

“It makes me feel good. A lot of hard work is paying off but it doesn’t end there. I’ve still got a lot of things to prove and I still have to make a name for myself. Of course, it says a lot when you are categorized with high-profile players like Derrick Brooks and Marvin Jones. It makes me feel good about myself, but at the same time, I just want to keeping working because I still have a lot to live up to the status of what they’re doing right now.”

LB AJ Nicholson

(on being a Butkus Award semi-finalist)

“It’s a blessing. I really don’t know much about it or how it is selected, but it’s a blessing to be recognized as one of the 10. But we’re striving to get better and we (the team) look forward to Duke and that’s my main objective and goal right now.”

(on playing in home state of North Carolina for the last time)

“North Carolina has been my place, my home, for 22 years and when I go back there, I want to make sure I put my period on things. Not a question mark, not an exclamation point, but a period so they’ll remember that A.J. Nicholson played as hard as he could and he played to the best of his ability being an ultimate competitor.”

TB Leon Washington

(on week of practice)

“We practiced the same as usual. Guys are taking this team serious, they’re not joking around. It doesn’t matter who we play. This team is different. These guys take it serious no matter who we play. I think if the offense goes out there on the first drive and makes something happen, I don’t think there will be any hang over from last week. We’ll go out there and try to dominate as usual. We respect them (Duke). Last year, they beat Clemson and we struggled with them for the first half so we do respect those guys. We treat this like any other game – that we have to go in there and take care of business as usual.”

Related Articles