TALLAHASSEE — The start of the Jimbo Fisher coaching era has inspired optimism among the Florida State fan base, but apparently that hasn't translated into ticket sales.
Ben Zierden, director of ticket operations at Florida State, said Friday that about 15,000 tickets remain for the home opener against Samford on Sept. 4.
"I ain't got no money to buy 'em," Fisher said at practice upon hearing the number of unsold tickets. "Dadgum. That's a lot of tickets."
A ticket to the Samford game costs $50, but admission is $12 for those 18 and younger.
"We're trying to make people realize how this is not just a home opener but the beginning of a new era," Zierden said.
Fisher, meanwhile, said, "I hope it's full when we walk in there. … Like I say, it's family. You always go see your family play."
Quick hits: Fisher said the defense has tightened up against the run in practice recently. … He said the quarterbacks are "camp tired" but added that is a good thing because it means they've put in hard work.
USF: Top kick returner won't start in that role
TAMPA — USF senior WR Dontavia Bogan will not return kicks to begin the season because of injury concerns, coach Skip Holtz said.
Bogan, the school's all-time leader in return yards with 1,540, really wants to do it, Holtz said, but with the lack of depth at receiver, it is too risky to leave Bogan more exposed to injury.
Holtz did say that Bogan could possibly return to the position later in the season, once senior A.J. Love (knee) and sophomore Sterling Griffin (ankle) are healthy enough to rejoin the receiving corps.
"I just told him right now with where we are from a depth standpoint, it scares me," Holtz said after the team's nighttime scrimmage. "We let him run with the (second team) tonight. I do realize … the all-time school record and all those types of things, but it's not about his records. It's about the team. But as we start the season, I'm not looking to put him back there."
Holtz mentioned three names that are likely to earn the starting kick returner spots for the season opener against Stony Brook on Sept. 4: sophomore CB Kayvon Webster, sophomore WR Lindsey Lamar and freshman CB Terrence Mitchell, the latter two being Hillsborough High graduates.
Kerry Klecic, Times correspondent
UF: Summer arrests
GAINESVILLE — Freshmen Matt Elam and Solomon Patton were arrested during the summer for possession of alcohol in separate incidents, the Miami Herald reported.
Elam, a defensive back, was arrested July 2 and charged with a first-degree misdemeanor after reportedly holding a can of Four Loko, according to the arresting police officer. Elam pleaded no contest and paid a fine. He will not be suspended for the Sept. 4 opener against Miami of Ohio.
Patton was charged with a second-degree misdemeanor Aug. 1 for allegedly possessing a drink containing vodka at a lounge. The playing status of the reserve receiver is uncertain.
Quick hit: Senior OL Mike Pouncey was named to the watch list for the Lombardi Award (nation's best down lineman on either side of the ball or linebacker).
Orlando Sentinel, Times wires
UM: Calm corner
CORAL GABLES — Hurricanes CB Brandon Harris has got everything covered when it comes to stuff to on the field.
What Harris is trying to avoid are the off-field distractions. He has been named to nearly every preseason All-America team.
"I'm just working on staying humble," said Harris, who is on the watch list for the Thorpe Award, given to the nation's top defensive back. "With some of the accolades I've been receiving in the preseason, I don't want to let it affect my game, don't want to let myself think I have to do too much more than what I've been doing already."
After earning first-team All-ACC honors last season, Harris' name is known nationally.
"Brandon Harris, all you have to do is Google his name," WR LaRon Byrd said. "He's an All-American candidate. … He's not a guy that plays the game for the fame, the newspaper. He loves football. He kind of reminds me of Ed Reed a little bit."
Quick hit: RB Graig Cooper is unlikely to play in the season opener. He continues to recover from offseason knee surgery.
South Florida Sun Sentinel
UCF: Still a hitter
ORLANDO — Junior Ronnie Weaver is a running back, but his real specialty is dishing out bruising hits.
Weaver, who only started playing running back as a senior in high school, has developed into a special teams star at UCF, effectively smothering kick and punt returners. The coaching staff named him the special teams player of the year last season.
"I still have a defensive mentality, an aggressive mentality," he said. "I'm a hit man."
Weaver is healthy after missing the St. Petersburg Bowl last season because of a ligament tear and broken bone in his shoulder.
Quick hit: The Knights' Ultimate Tailgating Party is from 2 to 6 p.m. today at Wall Street Plaza in downtown Orlando.