Search
News
26
Florida State Practice Report 12/26
Report courtesy of Florida State Sports Information / Seminoles.com

It was work before play for the Florida State football team Monday as the No. 25 Seminoles got in a 2 ½-hour practice Monday inside the Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium as preparation continued for the Dec. 29 Champs Sports Bowl.

For all but a handful of ‘Noles, it marked the first time they had an opportunity to test the field turf at the stadium where they will take on Notre Dame in Thursday’s sold out game (5:30 p.m., ESPN). The artificial surface was not in place when FSU defeated Wisconsin in the 2008 Champs Sports Bowl; the first of three consecutive bowl wins by the Seminoles.

“It’s great if you can get them on the field one time and get them used to what they’re going to play in,” FSU head coach Jimbo Fisher said at the conclusion of the spirited, full-pads session.

“It’s great to come in and get a feel for the turf; see what type of shoes that you’ll need and what type of field turf is out here,” said senior cornerback Mike Harris. “The footing is a little different and it’s something you have to adjust to.”

It marked the second of three practices for the ‘Noles, who arrived in Orlando on Dec. 24. FSU will work out again Tuesday afternoon and walk through Wednesday. That leaves plenty of time for an array of bowl activities, which included Monday afternoon’s Best Buy shopping spree.

Tuesday’s schedule will include a Day For Kids event, with both FSU and Notre Dame players participating. There’s a Kickoff Luncheon set for Wednesday and an ample amount of free time to take in some of the local venues during down time.

“I love this bowl,” said Fisher, who was FSU’s offensive coordinator when the ‘Noles defeated Wisconsin in 2008. “Our kids are having a blast here in Orlando. This is a great town and a great venue. You have the weather and all the things around here for the kids to do; it’s tremendous.”

Of course, defeating Notre Dame to cap a nine-win season remains a top priority. Still, having fun as a reward for a successful season, is also on the list of things to do.

“Enjoy yourself, have fun and remember why you’re here,” Fisher said. “The bowl games I’ve had the most fun on are the ones we’ve won. When it’s time to work, it’s time to work. When it’s enjoy yourself and play, do it and make good decisions and not get yourself in trouble. It is a reward. That’s one of the great things about the bowl season. It’s not a one-game deal and you’re out. You get to enjoy the week. Tomorrow we’ll get a chance to spend some time with some little kids who are not as fortunate as us and that’s part of it.”

FSU HEAD COACH JIMBO FISHER:

On his thoughts on the Champs Sports Bowl and Orlando:

“I love this bowl. Our kids are having a blast here in Orlando. This is a great town and a great venue. You have the weather and all the things around here for the kids to do; it’s tremendous.”

How the appeared to get after it during Monday’s practice:

“That’s the way we practice every day; we practice all year like that. We’re always good on good at some point – inside drills, 7-on-7 and team – we do that Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s of every week to keep the speed of the game.”

On the overall bowl experience:

“Enjoy yourself, have fun and remember why you’re here. The bowl games I’ve had the most fun on are the ones we’ve won. When it’s time to work, it’s time to work. When it’s enjoy yourself and play, do it and make good decisions and not get yourself in trouble. It is a reward. That’s one of the great things about the bowl season. It’s not a one-game deal and you’re out. You get to enjoy the week. Tomorrow we’ll get a chance to spend some time with some little kids who are not as fortunate as us and that’s part of it.”

Reason for practicing inside Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium on Monday:

“Getting on the turf, get a feel for the shoes they need to wear and get acclimated to the stadium. … It’s great if you can get them on the field one time and get them used to what they’re going to play in.”

About facing Notre Dame:

“It’s a great opponent, not only history-wise, but they’ve got a great team – an up-and-coming team – also.”

Discussing the injuries on offense, which have led to many freshmen playing:

“I’ve never been through injuries like we’ve been through this year.”

“In the end it gave a lot of young guys time to develop and play. Hopefully we’ll play well in the game and I think going into the spring and hopefully next year, it makes it look very promising.”

SENIOR CORNERBACK MIKE HARRIS:

Regarding practicing inside the stadium Monday:

“It’s great to come in and get a feel for the turf; see what type of shoes that you’ll need and what type of field turf is out here.”

“The footing is a little different and it’s something you have to adjust to.”

JUNIOR DEFENSIVE END BRANDON JENKINS:

On bowl practice to this point:

“It’s been fun. We’ve been getting back in the groove of it.”

On facing a Notre Dame offensive line that has been very good protecting the quarterbacks:

“They are some big dudes. We have to bring our A-game, pass rush wise and running wise. They can attack you in different ways and we have to be prepared for it.”

SENIOR WIDE RECEIVER BERT REED:

On his progress from a hamstring injury that threatened to keep him out of the bowl game:

“I feel way better. The trainers did a great job. They really got me back to where I need to be way ahead of schedule.”

His goals for his final game in an FSU uniform:

“I just want to put it all together, run good routes, get open and try and contribute to the team. Going into a game like this, you just want to contribute, however it is – blocking, running, catching.

On whether he thought his FSU career was over when he was injured during the first bowl practice:

“It definitely crossed my mind. I felt like I messed something up because I never felt that before. I couldn’t even run. It kind of scared me, but I knew that if I worked hard, stayed in the training room, I’d get back and be able to play.”

About The Author

Matt Repchak
Matt Repchak

Matt (Tampa, Fla.) joined FCSports in 2005 after graduating from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. He started in the communications department and gradually became the point person for all digital projects within the organization, including web, video and social.

Matt enjoys The Black Keys, Joss Whedon, Paul F. Tompkins and the Tampa Bay Rays.