Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Q&A with Florida State Seminoles football coach Jimbo Fisher

TAMPA — As usual, it's a busy spring for Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher, who stopped at Raymond James Stadium on Friday night for "Noles Night at the Cove," one out of 15 booster gatherings he'll speak at in a five-week span.

Fisher took a few minutes between a plate of barbecue and pictures with fans to speak with the Times about the season ahead, local high school standouts emerging as Seminoles stars and FSU's return to Tampa Sept. 29 to face USF at Raymond James Stadium. Friday's event drew more than 500 fans, and Fisher took home a $25,000 check from the Tampa Bay Seminole Club toward an indoor practice facility.

Q: Since you're in Tampa, we'll ask about sophomore running back James Wilder, the Plant graduate who was arrested in February and suspended from the team, then reinstated midway through spring drills last month, scoring a touchdown in FSU's spring game. What did you see from Wilder this spring and where does he stand entering the fall?

A: "He's doing very well right now, very well in school. Really thought he had a good second half of spring when he came out. He really understands what he's doing, so he can use that big body and that athleticism. I was very pleased with the spring he had. He catches the ball out of the backfield, he blocks, he runs with power. He's much quicker and faster than people think. He can really add a different dimension to our team. Sometimes, a mistake like that … it made him realize how much he loves ball, how much his future meant to him. He's been outstanding since then."

Q: You have other local stars, like Tampa Catholic's Christian Green, who caught 26 passes as a redshirt freshman last fall. How does he fit in this season?

A: "Very athletic. Plays the slot very well, learning to play outside much better. Very good with the ball in his hands, great runner with the ball. Very strong, very physical. Still learning the receiver position. You know, he was a quarterback in high school. That's what everybody forgets. He's really understanding what he's doing and we expect him to have a very good year. We've got to get the ball in his hands. … (Alonso DT) Demonte McAllister had a very good spring, thought he emerged very big, very strong, a very good pass rusher and successful guy inside. (Hillsborough DT) Moses McCray got healthy this spring. We are excited to see him play. He's a heck of an athlete.

Q: You mentioned sweeping Florida and Miami two years in a row, but you'll also be back in this stadium in late September to face USF, which got a big win in Tallahassee back in 2009. How big is a game like that in the first month of your season?

A: "It's a big game. It's an in-state game. We always talk about a state championship and you add one more team to that. South Florida has a great program. Coach (Skip) Holtz is doing a very good job. It will be a very tough nonconference football game, especially being on the road down here. It'll be a very tough challenge, a lot harder than people think."

Q: This past weekend, Florida's college programs went without a first-round pick in the NFL draft for the first time since 1980. Is there anything you'd point to for the state's down year in the draft?

A: "You've obviously had a lot of coaching transition and, I think, recruiting prowess. There's still great players here. I think you've seen in the last couple of years, we've done a much better job of keeping those kids at home and getting some guys. Things go in cycles, and they'll recycle right back through."

Q: FSU's athletic department made headlines this week with news that the Seminoles had a $2 million shortfall in its athletic budget. Does it concern you that a program as successful as FSU would have such a problem?

A: "I know they'll get it worked out. I'm just coaching football. I've got enough problems on my own, and they'll work the budget issues out. We're the only (school) in NCAA history to have all 19 teams go to postseason play. That's never been done, and we've done it two years in a row. We'll keep having success and people will keep supporting us. I don't think it'll be a big issue."

Q&A with Florida State Seminoles football coach Jimbo Fisher 05/04/12 [Last modified: Friday, May 4, 2012 9:22pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays vs. Rangers, 7:10 p.m. Friday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: vs. Rangers

    7:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 18:  Alex Cobb #53 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a portrait during the Tampa Bay Rays photo day on February 18, 2017 at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Floida.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
  2. Good news for Rays on Steven Souza Jr. as MRI shows 'no damage' to hip

    Blogs

    The Rays got good news today on RF Steven Souza Jr., as an MRI showed "no damage" to his left hip.

    Steven Souza Jr. #20 of the Tampa Bay Rays holds his leg after hurting himself trying to steal second base in the first inning against the Oakland Athletics at Oakland Alameda Coliseum on July 19, 2017 in Oakland, California.
  3. Bucs raise prices for single tickets to marquee games

    Blogs

    The Bucs will have single-game tickets for 2017 home games on sale July 28, with a new wrinkle: the best games will cost more for fans.

    Bucs fans cheer Jameis Winston after a victory in their final home game of the 2016 season. Individual tickets for the Bucs' three most coveted home games (against the Patriots, Bears and Giants) will cost more in 2017.
  4. RHP Alex Cobb feeling safer as Rays make playoff push

    The Heater

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Alex Cobb (53) throwing in the fourth inning of the game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Tampa Bay Rays at LECOM Park in Bradenton, Fla. on Tuesday, March 21, 2017.
  5. HomeTeam 100: Players 61-70

    Footballpreps

    Jefferson wide receiver Dontavius Smith during the game between Jefferson High School and Jesuit High School at Jesuit on Friday, Sept. 16, 2016, in Tampa, Fla.