Thursday, June 21, 2018
Colleges

FSU Seminoles trying to keep focus on title defense

TALLAHASSEE — Florida State players briskly jogged to the middle of the indoor facility, filing in line for the first practice of preseason camp.

Looming over their shoulders on the eastern end zone wall was the phrase "National Champions" with the newly designed logo splitting the words. Above that: "1993, 1999, 2013."

Here, past and present meet.

The Seminoles are a less than a year removed from winning the 2013-14 national championship, and there are reminders everywhere of the undefeated season. Jameis Winston was running around in his green practice jersey. Rashad Greene and P.J. Williams, stars of the BCS title game against Auburn, were all business during individual drills.

Shaking themselves free of memories from last year could be difficult. The Seminoles are brimming with proven talent and will be favored to repeat. But forgetting the past, or at least not letting it consume them, is an important step for returning players to take leading up to the season opener against Oklahoma State on Aug. 30.

"It's not tough to separate" last season from this season, Greene said after Monday's practice. "You separate it by knowing exactly what you want again. We have a whole different team, new guys on the team and you have to get them to have the same attitude as you.

"Some of the guys on this team didn't win a national championship … so we're all hungry for another national championship."

With 14 starters coming back, FSU's biggest challenge will be remaining focused. Coach Jimbo Fisher has repeatedly said during the offseason that he wants his team to have fun, that he wants it to remain aggressive and not worry about defending a national title.

So far, players say they grasp the message.

"We're going to hunt another one," starting LB Terrance Smith said. "Everyone has that same mentality like we didn't even win it."

WILSON IN CAMP: WR Jesus Wilson practiced but will remain suspended indefinitely, according to Fisher. Wilson was suspended last month after admitting to stealing a scooter on FSU's campus.

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