Hurricane Matthew alters Florida State’s travel plans before UM game

Deondre Francois #12 of the Florida State Seminoles talks to his offense before a play during the game against the North Carolina Tar Heels at Doak Campbell Stadium on October 1, 2016 in Tallahassee, Florida. (Photo by Jeff Gammons/Getty Images)
Deondre Francois #12 of the Florida State Seminoles talks to his offense before a play during the game against the North Carolina Tar Heels at Doak Campbell Stadium on October 1, 2016 in Tallahassee, Florida. (Photo by Jeff Gammons/Getty Images)

It’s not as if Miami fans were rolling out the red carpet to begin with, but Hurricane Matthew has made Florida State’s Miami entrance more challenging.

According to the Tallahassee Democrat, the Florida State football team was planning on arriving in Miami on Thursday in advance of their highly anticipated rivalry matchup with the Miami Hurricanes, but the hurricane has derailed those plans.

Seminoles head coach Jimbo Fisher announced on Wednesday that the team would likely not travel on Thursday in an attempt to avoid the storm, which made landfall along Florida’s east coast Thursday afternoon and evening and may linger until Friday afternoon.

Despite little threat to Miami-Dade County, the Seminoles are being cautious with their travel plans, pushing back their regular schedule for a Saturday game. Fisher told the Tallahassee Democrat that the team will attempt to travel on Friday instead.

There has been no indication that the game will be postponed or moved, and both universities and their officials continue to monitor Matthew’s movement.

If, for some unforeseen reason, the game does need to be postponed, it would not be the first time a hurricane would have affected a matchup between the two schools. In 2004, Hurricane Frances forced the schools to reschedule their season-opening game from a Monday night to a Friday night.

In that 2004 game, the fifth-ranked Hurricanes defeated the No. 4 Seminoles 16-10 in a game that went to overtime. The game also marked the Miami Hurricanes’ first game as a member of the ACC.

With the win in 2004, the Hurricanes extended their win streak over the Seminoles to six games, the same number of consecutive wins that the Seminoles currently have over the Hurricanes.

Read more at the Tallahassee Democrat.

Jimbo Fisher ordered rings for Florida State playing in New Year’s Six bowl, not just winning state title

 

Jimbo Fisher ordered rings for his players following a season in which they played in a New Year's Six bowl as well as won another state championship and won 49 games in four years.
Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher did not pay attention to the reaction over his players receiving rings for this season accomplishments.

Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher is amused over the social media storm caused when one of his players Tweeted a picture of the ring that was presented to each player.

Stephen Gabbard, who sent out the tweet, wrote: State Champs but were looking for more #GoNoles.

 

Fisher told me today that that rings were not handed out for winning a state title but because FSU rewards its players for major accomplishments, such as playing in a New Year’s Six, or major, bowl game, win or lose that game.

“We got them because we went to a New Year’s Six Bowl, that’s always a goal,” Fisher said. “That wasn’t because we were state champions.”

Fisher also mentioned another 10-win season and his seniors winning 49 games among those accomplishments but said he would not have ordered rings if FSU had not been invited to a New Year’s Six bowl.

Fisher’s reaction to the criticism: “I don’t care. That’s why I don’t have Twitter or go on social media.”

Bobby Bowden has plenty of rings.
Bobby Bowden has plenty of rings.

Under Fisher, FSU players have received rings for winning the 2013 national title and three ACC titles (one of those being 2013). They also have a ring for defeating Notre Dame in the 2011 Champs Sports Bowl.

Bobby Bowden had a similar philosophy. His last team received a ring for winning his final game, the Gator Bowl following the 2009 season.

And although this year’s ring recognizes the Seminoles’ state championship among the Big Three schools (their fifth in six seasons under Fisher), it also lists the 49 wins in the last four years and the Chick Fil a Bowl, a 28-24 loss to Houston.

“If we go to a major bowl we get a ring,” Fisher said.

 

Florida State S Derwin James named to Lott IMPACT watch list

 

FSU safety Derwin James is on of 42 players on the Lott IMPACT watch list. (247/Sports)
FSU safety Derwin James was a freshman All-America in 2015 after making 91 tackles. (247/Sports)

Florida State’s Derwin James is one of 42 players on the Lott IMPACT Trophy Watch List.

The trophy, presented annually to the defensive impact player of the year, equally recognizes character as well as play on the field and is named in honor of college and pro football hall of famer Ronnie Lott. IMPACT stands for: Integrity, Maturity, Performance, Academics, Community and Tenacity.

James, a 6-3, 212 rising sophomore, was named a freshman All-America by The Sporting News, USA Today and Campus Insider last season after finishing with 91 tackles, including 9.5 for losses and 4.5 for sacks. He was graded as the nation’s second-best safety overall in 2015 by Pro Football Focus.

Coach Jimbo Fisher has repeatedly praised James’ emerging leadership skills, along with his talent, during his booster tour stops this spring.

Here is what Fisher said about James during spring practice:

“He just gets it. The physical skills are crazy, he’s unbelievably instinctive but he’s an intelligent guy, a very intelligent person, not just football player. And then he’s a great people person. Derwin’s a fun guy to be around. Guys just flock to him. He has that charisma.

“I get to spend a lot of time with (James and RB Dalvin Cook). They’re seeing the big picture of what I’m always trying to accomplish in practice, not just winning the drills and things like that. That’s where he and Dalvin and some of those older guys are really incorporating these young guys in what we’re trying to accomplish when I challenge some of those guys, when I really get on them or when I do a drill.”

EBERLE ON RIMINGTON WATCH LIST

Center Alec Eberle was named to the Rimington Trophy Spring Watch List. Eberle, who will be a redshirt sophomore in the fall, is one of 57 centers on the list. He played in 10 games last season including starting the final six games of the year.

[RELATED: Florida State once again brings joy to ailing lacrosse star]

[RELATED: Stan Wilcox looking forward to next round of renovations at Doak Campbell Stadium]

[RELATED: Jimbo Fisher lobbies for more rivalry games on set dates]

 

Florida State AD Stan Wilcox updates Doak Campbell Stadium renovations

 

FabriTec_FSUDoak_Construction_01

Florida State athletic director Stan Wilcox is pleased with the progress of the renovations to Doak Campbell Stadium and already is looking toward the next round of upgrades.

“Once this is completed then we move onto the next phase and that is figuring out how we do the rest of the bowl and possibly looking into doing club seating on both east and west sides of the bowl,” Wilcox said last week from the ACC meetings in Amelia Island.

Wilcox said everything is “on track” for the completion of the new Champions Club, an $80 million renovation on the south end of the stadium that is expected to be completed for the Sept. 10 home opener against Charleston Southern.

The Champions Club includes more the 5,000 outdoor seats, 70,000 square feet of air conditioned space and 34,000 square feet of covered rooftop terraces.

Stan Wilcox and Jimbo Fisher
Stan Wilcox and Jimbo Fisher

The opener also will be the day fans get their first look at new state-of-the-art, LED videoboards. The new main board in the north end zone will be about 78.4-feet tall and almost 120-feet wide, about three-times larger and two-times higher than the old system.

Additionally, FSU will upgrade, replace and expand more than 320 linear feet of LED ribbon boards throughout the newly constructed canopy and south end zone.

The work also includes the removal of all the bleacher seats to be cleaned and a lot of other upgrades throughout the stadium.

 

[RELATED: Jimbo Fisher lobbies for more rivalry games on set dates]

[RELATED: FSU No. 2 in Athlon ranking but Jimbo Fisher believes best teams could be 2, 3 years away]

[RELATED: Bobby Bowden on Kenny Chesney: “He’s very cool”]

 

Florida State’s Jimbo Fisher lobbies for more rivalry games on set dates

 

 

The FSU-Florida game is always Thanksgiving weekend, Jimbo Fisher would like to see more rivalry games on set dates. (AP Photo)
The FSU-Florida game is always Thanksgiving weekend, Jimbo Fisher would like to see more rivalry games on set dates. (AP Photo)

Jimbo Fisher believes college football can do even more to strengthen its traditions.

Fisher is a big fan of rivalry games. Growing up about 45 minutes from Morgantown, W.Va., he can recall most details of the Mountaineers grudge matches with Pittsburgh. As a Florida State fan, he rattles off the bigger moments of its games with Florida and Miami back in the day.

Fisher would like to see more of those rivalry games played on the same weekend each year, like Florida State’s annual showdown with Florida, which is always the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

But Fisher believes the Seminoles could have more rivalry games built into the schedule, including games against Miami and Clemson.

“I think it only enhances the game and builds traditions,” Fisher said. “You build history and how you play your season, how you plan your season, how you gauge your season of working up to it, how you set your timetables. When people know they set their schedules based off that. They can set vacation, they can set off time. I know I’m going to Florida State-Clemson. I know I’m going to Florida State-Florida. I know I’m going to Florida State-Miami. Think about how many times you have to plan to (do) that.

“And we’re one of the unique schools that has a lot of rivalry games.”

The Saturday after Thanksgiving already gives us the biggest of the rivalries like Auburn-Alabama, Michigan-Ohio State, plus several other cross-state games.

But there are others that Fisher can use as examples, like the Red River Showdown – Texas vs. Oklahoma – which is always played during the second weekend of the State Fair of Texas in October; or Alabama vs. Tennessee, which is always played the third weekend of October; or Florida vs. Georgia, which is the last weekend of October.

FSU could easily spread out its games against Miami and Clemson before facing Florida on Thanksgiving weekend.

My proposal: Move the Miami game back to the first weekend in October, which is where it was six times in the 1990s (three other times during the decade it was the second week of October) and play Clemson three or four weeks later to make sure the two best teams in the ACC Atlantic Division meet closer toward the end of the season.

[RELATED: Florida State No. 2 in Athlon ranking but Jimbo Fisher believes best teams could be 2, 3 years away]

[RELATED: Bobby Bowden on Kenny Chesney: “He’s very cool”]

[RELATED: James Cook, brother of Dalvin, reclassifies to 2018 class]

Jimbo Fisher still not sure if Florida State will host satellite camps

 

JUPITER – Jimbo Fisher will send his assistants to participate in satellite camps but the Florida State coach still has not decided if his staff will host

Jimbo Fisher (r) with former FSU assistant coach Billy Sexton (l) and former FSU receiver and College Football Hall of Fame member Ron Sellers of Palm Beach Gardens at the Bear's Club.
Jimbo Fisher (r) with former FSU assistant coach Billy Sexton (l) and former FSU receiver and College Football Hall of Fame member Ron Sellers of Palm Beach Gardens at the Bear’s Club.

a camp.

Fisher said today he has spoken with his coaches and the administration about the possibility of hosting a satellite camp. Some reports say the costs can run more than $1 million.

“We’ve talked about it but we got to get together with the administration,” Fisher said. “Making sure we’re on the same page. We’ve got to decide what we want to do, too.”

Fisher was at the Bear’s Club today to speak and pose for pictures with FSU boosters playing in the Seminole Boosters Spring Tour golf tournament.

Fisher agreed with the NCAA’s Division I council’s decision in April to ban the satellite camps. But that ban was overturned weeks later by the NCAA board of directors and he said last week at the ACC spring meetings in Amelia Island that although he still is not in favor of satellite camps, now it’s a matter of keeping up with other elite programs. Fisher still is concerned about the time demands on assistant coaches who now could be asked to attend camps hundreds, and in the case of some schools, thousands of miles from home during a time they could be spending with their families.

The cost of sending one assistant to participate in a camp is far more reasonable than shipping an entire staff, including trainers and other personnel, off campus to host a camp.

Fisher said he will send assistants to camps “to watch, or see, whatever.” But in each case it’s usually just one coach. But as far as hosting, “We’ll talk about it as a staff to see where we need to be, where it would help, and whether it’s in state our out of state. Everybody thinks it’s just out of state. That’s not true, you do them in state too.”

Fisher said a decision will be made in a week or two. The camps are permitted during the same window schools are allowed to run camps on their campus.

Fisher has schedule camps at FSU for June 11 (kicking), June 12-14 (youth), June 15-17 (High School I), June 18 (7 on 7/linemen) and July 19-21 (High School II).

[RELATED: Bobby Bowden on Kenny Chesney: “He’s very cool”]

[RELATED: James Cook, brother of Dalvin, reclassifies to 2018 class]

[RELATED: Fisher says FSU is ‘OK’ at running back after Pender dismissal]

 

 

Weekly 3: Recapping three of the biggest stories this week from Florida State

 

 

ESPN's Mel KIper does nto have Dalvin Cook among his top 25 draft prospects for 2017.
ESPN’s Mel Kiper does not have Dalvin Cook among his top 25 draft prospects for 2017.

We take a look back at three of the biggest stories from Florida State in the past week.

KIPER DISSES DALVIN

ESPN’s Mel Kiper is not too high on Florida State RB Dalvin Cook.

Cook is nowhere to be found in Kiper’s first “Big Board” for the 2017 draft. In fact Kiper, who has two Seminoles in his top 25, didn’t even have Cook among the five names he listed under “others considered.”

Kiper has OT Rod Johnson at No. 10 and DE DeMarcus Walker No. 19. Johnson is the No. 2 OT behind Alabama’s Cam Robinson. Walker is the fifth DE listed.

Cook appears in several early mock drafts/big boards. SB Nation compiled 11 such drafts/big boards and Cook is one of eight players who appears in all 11.

Read the full story here.

WHO ARE THE TRUE HEISMAN CANDIDATES IN THE ACC?

Jimbo Fisher got some people thinking this week when asked about if he feel the need to defend the ACC as a football conference any longer. He said “no” and then rattled off the elite teams of the last few years, the league’s presence in the draft and said the ACC has probably got “three Heisman candidates” in Cook, Clemson’s Deshaun Watson and Miami’s Brad Kaaya.

Everyone agrees, Cook and Watson belong in that group. The is does Kaaya? When it comes to betting odds, the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook has Watson the favorite at 5/1, Cook fifth at 10/1 and Kaaya is 18th at 40/1. Bovada has Watson the favorite, Cook tied for sixth and Kaaya 14th

Read the full story here.

JIMBO’S BEARD THE TALK OF ACC SPRING MEETINGS

IMG_1554    Fisher started growing his first beard about two weeks ago at the NFL Draft in Chicago and decided to keep it. Now, it’s a matter of convenience.

“I hate shaving anyway,” he said.

How long will he keep it? Who knows. But he has enjoyed surprising people on his spring booster tour.

“I’ve spoken with it a couple of times,” he said. “Shocked people.”

Read the full story here.

 

 

Where Florida State’s Jimbo Fisher stands on the major issues

 

 

Jimbo Fisher likes the idea of centralized replay as long as it doesn’t interrupt flow of the game.
Jimbo Fisher likes the idea of centralized replay as long as it doesn’t interrupt flow of the game.

With the ACC spring meetings in the books, the biggest news was the league announcing it will aggressively implement centralized video replay for 2016, the first college football conference to go to an NFL-type of model.

Several other issues were discussed and Florida State’s Jimbo Fisher had an opinion on most.

Here is where Fisher stands on the issues:

Centralized replay: Fisher is all for it as long as it doesn’t interrupt the flow of the game, which he believes it will not. “(Careers) are depending on that, kids with what they can achieve,” Fisher said. “I think any time you can get it right, it’s great. We’re basically for it.”

Time demands: This is a major issue with administrators and athletes. Fisher said most of his players come in to do work and do other things related to football on their own but said they are never above the 20 hour limit with coaches. “Academics is No. 1, by far (but) I don’t think it takes away from academics. I don’t think it’s hard to legislate (any changes),” he said. “Occasionally I need to tell a guy to take a break but if a guy wants to come in on his own if you block that off to him he’s going to go to Gold’s Gym or he’s going to go somewhere else.”

Early signing period: Fisher has been an outspoken proponent of an early signing period, and not in December, but in the summer just before preseason camp. He was asked about the notion of allowing a prospect to sign on his visit. “That’s getting more legs in the NCAA than an early signing period, if a kid comes on a visit and wants to sign, sign him. We need an early signing period,” he said. The advantages: “You find out if a kid is really in. Also, you want to save money. .. You spend all that time and money to keep trying to recruit a guy all the way through. It gives an assistant coach more time to coach. We’re the only sport that doesn’t (have an early signing period). I can’t figure it out.”

Technology on the sideline: Fisher is for allowing iPads on the sidelines, but he is in the minority among ACC coaches. “A lot of them want the old school, which I understand,” he said. “I think technology is good. More voted against than voted for it.” Fisher likes the idea of immediately being able to show the players what they did wrong. “You would know exactly what’s wrong with a play, which kid made a mistake, how to correct it,” he said.

[RELATED: Fisher says FSU is ‘OK’ at running back after Pender dismissal]

[RELATED: FSU’s Wilson Bell, Katherine Plessy representing athletes at ACC spring meetings]

[RELATED: ESPN’S Mel Kiper snubs FSU running back Dalvin Cook]

Florida State’s Wilson Bell, Katherine Plessy representing athletes at ACC spring meetings

 

Florida State athletes Katherine Plessy and Wilson Bell at ACC spring meetings.
Florida State athletes Katherine Plessy and Wilson Bell at ACC spring meetings.

AMELIA ISLAND – Two Florida State athletes – football player Wilson Bell and beach volleyball player Katherine Plessy – were among the five athletes on the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee who attended the ACC meetings.

Bell, the Seminoles starting right offensive guard, is one of three ACC athletes on the Autonomy Committee. They hold voting power on proposed NCAA rule changes under the Division I autonomy process. They are invited to attend various ACC governance meetings and participate as members of the voting delegation at the 2017 NCAA Convention.

Bell and Plessy participated in meetings this week to fight for athletes rights.

“It’s a great opportunity to get our voice out there and let them understand we have needs and wants,” Bell said. “Sometimes a coach’s idea, what’s best, is not similar to ours.”

Bell is a rising redshirt junior from Mobile, Ala. He is majoring in communications/English. He is on schedule to graduate next spring.

Plessy
Plessy

Plessy, from Marietta, Ga., will be a fifth-year senior in the fall. She is four-time member of the President’s List (4.0 GPA) and three-time member of the Dean’s List. Plessy is the acting president of SAAC at FSU and the ACC.

“They have strong opinions,” FSU athletic director Stan Wilcox said. “They’re both very good advocates and they speak their minds.”

Bell, who started every game last season, called it a “Godsend” when he was recommended to join the committee.

“I always wanted to help implement rules,” he said. “I felt this is the best opportunity to do so. When I got in SAAC I really liked we were trying to make a difference for my fellow student-athletes.”

Bell
Bell

Coach Jimbo Fisher is not surprised Bell is part of a leadership committee.

“Tremendous human being,” Fisher said. “You hope you raise your kids just like him. He has the right values, principal core values of everything he does.”

Plessy is preparing for an internship this summer with the NCAA.

“SAAC is the reason I met as many people as I did, it’s the reason I’ve been able to develop as a leader,” she said. “SAAC is really what’s made me stand out. It’s taught me how to do so many things that I’m going to have to do in the real world.”

[RELATED: ESPN’S Mel Kiper snubs FSU running back Dalvin Cook]

[RELATED: Jimbo Fisher says Cook, Deshaun Watson, Brad Kaaya Heisman candidtates. Does Kaaya belong?]

[RELATED: Recruiting: Busy day for Tim Brewster plus more news]

 

Florida State’s Jimbo Fisher says Cook, Watson, Kaaya Heisman candidates. Does Kaaya belong?

 

 

Florida State RB Dalvin Cook is among the favorites to win the Heisman Trophy.
Florida State RB Dalvin Cook is among the favorites to win the Heisman Trophy.

AMELIA ISLAND – Florida State RB Dalvin Cook and Clemson QB Deshaun Watson are among the leading Heisman Trophy candidates for 2106.

But Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher believes the ACC has one more player who deserves mention.

Fisher said the ACC has three Heisman Trophy candidates and included Miami QB Brad Kaaya in the group.

Fisher was asked at the ACC spring meetings if he feels the need to defend the ACC as a football conference any longer. He pointed to the league’s presence in the first two years of the playoff with both FSU and Clemson being part of the final four, the Seminoles winning the title in 2013 and Clemson playing for the championship in January. He talked about the league’s presence in the NFL draft.

And then he mentioned the star power.

“We probably got three Heisman candidates this year with Dalvin, Deshaun and Kaaya,” he said.

 

Is Miami QB Brad Kaaya a Heisman candidate? Jimbo Fisher thinks he is.
Is Miami QB Brad Kaaya a Heisman candidate? FSU coach Jimbo Fisher thinks he is.

Does Kaaya belong in that group? Depends how far down the list you go and still say a player is a “candidate.”

When it comes to betting odds, the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook has Watson the favorite at 5/1, Cook fifth at 10/1 and Kaaya is 18th at 40/1. Bovada has Waston the favorite, Cook tied for sixth and Kaaya 14th

In 2015, Watson threw for 4,109 yards and 35 TDs while completing 67.8 percent of his passes (333 of 491). He tossed 13 interceptions. Watson also rushed for 1,105 yards and 12 TDs.

Kaaya threw for 3,238 yards and 16 TDs and completed 61.2 percent of his passes (238 of 389). He had five interceptions.

Cook set an FSU single season record with 1,691 rushing yards. He had 20 TDs, 19 rushing and one receiving.

Kaaya, though, may have the ultimate honor above Watson and Cook. Some mock drafts project Kaaya as the No. 1 pick in 2017. Others, though, have Watson gong first overall.

In the 2015 Heisman voting, Watson finished third, Cook was seventh and Kaaya was not in the top 10.

Watson and Cook have one huge advantage over Kaaya – surrounding talent. Both play for teams that are certain to be in the preseason top 10 and both likely will be in the top 5.

Miami is expected to be outside the top 25.

[RELATED: Jimbo Fisher’s beard talk of the ACC meetings]

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