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New FSU coach Jimbo Fisher finds Bobby Bowden helpful, not crowding

FSU coach Jimbo Fisher, on right with quarterback Christian Ponder, says former coach Bobby Bowden isn’t the type to lurk around, but he has told Fisher to call if he needs anything.

Associated Press

FSU coach Jimbo Fisher, on right with quarterback Christian Ponder, says former coach Bobby Bowden isn’t the type to lurk around, but he has told Fisher to call if he needs anything.

TALLAHASSEE — New Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher isn't surprised that Bobby Bowden hasn't been hanging around town to keep an eye on him.

Heck, Bowden was just voted into the FSU Hall of Fame but asked if his induction could be postponed until 2011 so he could give his successor space.

"I think it's important for the program. I really do," Fisher said during Sunday's media day. "I heard him say that years ago when (Bowden's son) Terry was at Auburn, and coach (Pat) Dye was a great guy and a great coach and was always around. I think it made it harder on Terry when he first took over the Auburn program. I heard him make that statement then, and he made that statement when I became the head coach-in-waiting: 'Listen, buddy. When that time comes, I'm not going to be around for at least year. If you need me, call me and we'll talk.' "

They have, even though Bowden has been keeping a breakneck schedule of speaking engagements and family trips, including one to Jerusalem.

"As a matter of fact, I need to call him again just to say hello," Fisher said. "He's been very busy. He's been around the world."

Making an impression: In the days that followed the announcement that Fisher would be taking over for Bowden, heralded CB Lamarcus Joyner was credited with turning other prospects toward choosing FSU. Or, at least, considering it.

Now, the USA Today national defensive player of the year out of Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas is turning heads. On Saturday night, for example, he broke up what would have been a long completion to a fellow freshman, WR Kenny Shaw.

"I'm very excited about Joyner," defensive coordinator/secondary coach Mark Stoops said Sunday. "He has a long way to go. I'm not ready to put him in the Hall of Fame yet, but I really like his competitiveness and his athletic ability. He made a couple plays in practice. I've coached some pretty good defensive backs, and I haven't seen too many plays like that in the first practice or two. That's a good sign."

McCray evaluated: Junior DT Moses McCray, a former star at Hillsborough High who started nine games last season despite an elbow injury that required offseason surgery, injured his left knee Saturday. He is expected to have an MRI exam early this week. He missed the spring practice while recovering from surgery to the elbow and a shoulder.

Crowded backfield: FSU is blessed with depth at running back, so much so that junior Jermaine Thomas, who gained a team-high 832 yards, is listed second on the depth chart, tied with Middleton High's Ty Jones (251 yards), and behind sophomore Chris Thompson (120 yards).

"That's what we like — competition," Thomas said. "We talk about it every day. We're all trying to fight for the same thing."

That would be breaking through in the standings, not a logjam at a position.

"I just go into this camp every day trying to get better and just keep working hard and never fall down from what I'm doing," Thompson said.

Not back yet: Reserve S Ed Imeokparia, who was accepted into a diversion program to resolve a felony charge in connection with the theft of a cell phone, won't be allowed to play until he completes the terms of the program, including 96 hours of community service. He must also fulfill the "internal punishment" that Fisher will levy.

Brian Landman can be reached at landman@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3347.

New FSU coach Jimbo Fisher finds Bobby Bowden helpful, not crowding 08/08/10 [Last modified: Sunday, August 8, 2010 9:28pm]
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