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62 posts from August 2012

08/30/2012

Tyler Hunter Issues Formal Apology (Full)

Over the summer Tyler Hunter got himself in plenty of hot water over some very incendiary remarks he made on Twitter about the police. The incident caught a few headlines and rankled the FSU administration enough that they have placed Hunter in reconciliatory program aimed at educating him as to just how inappropriate the remarks were. Hunter volunteered his time, received eductation from former and current police and did ridealongs with Tallahassee law enforcement.

Jimbo Fisher was very careful to make sure Hunter didn't apologize publicly until he had satisfied the coaches and administrators that the lesson had been learned.

On Thursday, Hunter apologized in a written statement:

“Before I take the field to represent Florida State again, I wanted to make sure I apologized for the hurtful tweets I posted on my twitter account about police officers. It was a terrible mistake and something I wish I could take back. I never meant to be hurtful and disrespectful to police officers and the families of fallen officers. I’ve appreciated the time the Florida State police officers have spent with me educating me about their jobs and the jobs of other officers. I’ve learned about the risks they take daily for our safety, the sacrifices they make and know it’s not an easy job. Nothing should have caused me to quote or use words like that.

“I never meant to embarrass my teammates, my coaches, my family, the university or the alumni like that. I’ve learned from this and hopefully can move past this so I can represent Florida State in the right way.”

Afterwards head coach Jimbo Fisher also provided a few comments, but admitted that he'd like to see this put behind Hunter provided the time is right.

“I want to put it behind us if it’s ready to be put behind us," said Fisher. "That was a major thing he [Hunter] said and did, and he knows he was wrong. That’s why I wanted to make sure he understood and got enough knowledge of what he was actually talking about, so he could understand the ramifications of what people go through and what happens. Those people put their lives on the line for us every day.”

“I think he has a greater appreciation for that now.”

Hunter is a sophomore safety who is expected to play a role in nickel sets and as a key reserve this season.

 

Florida State Injury List: Week One

Florida State put out their injury list on Thursday and there were not many surprises on it. It looks, from first glimpse, as though FSU's defensive line is about to have issues, but given the number of talented underclassmen, the trio of senior DT's missing on Saturday shouldn't have a major impact.

OUT

OL Daniel Foose (Back)

DL Anthony McCloud (Chest)

DL Moses McCray (Head)

DL Jacobbi McDaniel (Ankle)

DL Derrick Mitchell (Back)

DOUBTFUL

WR Josh Gehres (Hamstring)

OUT FOR THE SEASON

TE Dan Hicks (Knee)

RB Mario Pender (Sports Hernia)

 

I'll be back with more updates later tonight. Hope you're enjoying the first night of the college season.

08/29/2012

FSU's Michael Snaer Named First Team Preseason All-American by Blue Ribbon Yearbook

Today one of the more notable college basketball publications came out with their preseason All-American list and Florida State's very own Michael Snaer was on the first team.

Snaer has been on an absolutely mercurial rise since about midway through last season when he began hitting clutch shots, carrying the offense and turning the heads of opposing coaches like Roy Williams and Coach K. 

After winning ACC Tourney MVP honors last year, Snaer made a tough choice to return for his senior season. Now he hopes that he can lead Florida State to a national title in hoops. 

The guys at Blue Ribbon clearly think Snaer is at that elite level too.

Snaer was named to Blue Ribbon’s First Team All-America team along with center Cody Zeller of Indiana, forward Deshaun Thomas of Ohio State, forward Doug McDermott of Creighton and guard Peyton Siva of Louisville. 

“I have always thought of All-American awards as team awards,” said Snaer through a Florida State press release. 

“Because without a great coaching staff and great teammates that make-up a program, no player can believe that he can be an All-American by himself.  Coach Hamilton and his staff have put our team in position to reach goals that we have only dreamed of during our careers.  This is a great honor but this is a new season and we have to work harder than we ever have before to reach our goals because the goals we have set are higher than they have ever been.”

As I wrote about on Monday, in Michael Snaer's eyes it's National title or bust. And he wants to be at the center of that effort.

“This is a tremendous honor for Michael,” said head coach Leonard Hamilton in the same press release. “Michael is the leader of a core group of veterans on our team that will need to lead a young and inexperienced group of players this season.  Michael had a great season as a junior, he is our most experienced returner and his leadership is going to be invaluable to our younger players during the upcoming season.  We have improved each season with Michael on our team and we expect that improvement to continue this season.”

Like I mentioned, I just sat down with Michael on Monday, he's focused and poised for big things in 2012-13 (you can read all about it on this blog). I'm sure this won't be the last honor to come his way before the start of the season, during and after it, but this is definitely a distinction worth acknowledging.

Snaer told ESPN he thinks he's the best 2-guard in the country last weekend, Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook agrees.

Make sure to keep checking back for FSU updates and news.

The Early Read: Michael Snaer's Decision to Return for his Senior Season, Relationship with Coach Hamilton

One guy I legitimately thought would turn pro after last season was Michael Snaer.

The former McDonald's All-American turned heads nationally as he was awarded ACC Tournament MVP honors and the Seminoles topped UNC for their first conference title. 

His stock was high, NBA shows were beginning to mention him and I figured given the history at FSU with guys like Von Wafer, Alexander Johnson, Chris Singleton and Solomon Alabi, that Snaer was likely to make the jump.

Florida State fans will be happy he didn't.

After capturing the form many around Tallahassee had hoped to see from the 5-star guard when he arrived three years ago, Snaer made the decision to stick around for his senior year and try to accomplish something big at Florida State.

[Update: This morning Snaer was named a preseason first team All-American by Blue Ribbon Yearbook.]

I talked to Snaer on Monday, he was extremely expansive on a whole range of topics (some of which I covered that day) and two of the things that stuck out at me the most were his decision to return for his senior year and his relationship with, and faith in, his coaches.

"My biggest concern right now is the same as last year, is this team," said Snaer. "I didn't worry about deciding if I was going to go into the NBA until the last game was over [last season], and that's when I sat down and started thinking about it with Coach Ham and my parents.

"When I started thinking about if I'm going to declare for the draft or not that wasn't until after the season looking back on what type of season I had. But as far as this year it's going to be the same way, I won't look forward to any of that until when it's done. I know I have to go because I'm a senior so regardless I know there's no decision to make, I'm going regardless, the hardest part is over."

Snaer admits though, the decision last off-season about whether to come out or stick around another year was a very difficult one, and one he sought the counsel of Coach Hamilton on implicitly.

"It was an extremely hard decision for me and for my coaches helping me, mentors helping me, my mom helping me it was an extremely tough decision because it's a decision that's going to shape the rest of your life," admitted Snaer.

"For me it came down to so much, honestly we could sit here and talk all day about it and I wouldn't say the same thing twice. There are so many little things that went into making this decision that I just decided yeah at the time it sounded good and if you looked at first glance it's like 'you've gotta go, it's a great idea.'

"But coming back and you really look at it from a business standpoint, sitting down with Coach Ham him talking to me about it, he's the main guy in my corner, he knows this game, he's been doing it for so long he knows what to do, he knows how to get guys where they want to be and I trust him 100%."

Snaer's faith in his coaches, Hamilton in particular, is the kind of stuff that Florida State administators would probably like to bottle and sell to parents. Snaer is incredibly mature, but at the same time there's something to be said for Coach Hamilton's ability to inspire confidence and faith from the young men he coaches.

Hamilton is 64 years old, he started at Austin Peay back in 1971 but really cut his teeth at Kentucky as an assistant over 12 years in the 70's and 80's. His first head coaching gig was at Oklahoma State in 1986, he took over the University of Miami in 1990 and stayed for a decade. After a year as the coach of the Washington Wizards Hamilton arrived in Tallahassee in 2002.

He's built up programs in all three collegiate stops and has taken basketball at Florida State from novelty act to a legitimate interest, largely thanks to his ability to mentor young men like Snaer.

"Ever since I've been here I've done everything he's asked me to do so I know that he's going to look out for me," said Snaer. "That's just how it goes, that's for any player that comes here, any player that has dreams of going to the next level Coach Ham will look out for you 100%. I had some bumps in the road, I had some times I should have done a lot better than what I did but he stayed with me, stayed in my corner and now I'm back in a position to do what I want to do.

"Even if things don't go as planned in the beginning we've got a coaching staff like Coach Ham, Coach Stan Jones and Coach Williams and those guys have been there, they've done that, they know what they're doing."

Michael does admit he's a little biased though.

"For any player that wants to come here, in my opinion – well of course my opinion, this is my school and I think Florida State is the greatest – but I really do think that our coaching staff is one of the best."

Snaer says it starts with Hamilton the moment he begins recruiting you and grows into a relationship he'll carry with him for the rest of his life.

"It's like any relationship, it starts right when he starts recruiting you," said Snaer. "Of course you don't get as much interaction with him [at first] because you're in high school but from that first phone call, from the first time he sees you play it starts slow, it starts small but it starts.

"And from that point on it just builds and once you step foot on campus it just builds slowly and over time you look back on it and you just remember all the experiences you had, all the battles you've been in, all the times he's had to really jump on you, all the times he's given you praise, all the times he looked out for you and made sure you didn' get into trouble and kept your career going in the right way."

That confidence should pay dividends for Snaer this season, any pressure he may feel to establish himself in the eyes of NBA personnel is diminsihed by the fact he has coach Hamilton and the Florida State staff in his corner. 

You'll hear the term "lottery pick" tossed out in relation to Michael this year, sometimes that can cause players to sag under the pressure, but as a result of his maturity and faith in his coaches Snaer has the comforting realization that as long as he does his part, good things will happen for him.

"I'm not saying that [I'm a lottery pick], I'm saying that if I play the way I'm supposed to play, the way my coaches expect me to play I'll get drafted," said Snaer. "That's what it comes down to. At what pick? I don't know, I can't control that but I mean there's guys who are supposed to be lottery picks that end up slipping extremely far I've seen that happen plenty of times. It's too unpredictable, you never know what's going to happen."

When it all comes down to it though, right now the NBA is not a concern for Michael Snaer.

"If I play the way I'm supposed to play and do the things I'm supposed to then my coaching staff is going to take care of me 100 percent and they're going to push me and fight for me so there's no doubt in my mind that I will get drafted. I don't really worry about it at all, first round, second round, no matter where it's at and I know I'm the type of player that once I get in there I can bring a lot to a team, so I wouldn't worry about making a team or staying on the team, there's really not too much to worry about as far as the NBA goes, it's not like I'm a sophomore or a junior and I have to decide if I'm going to have to leave after this year,

"Florida State is kicking me out." 

08/28/2012

FSU's Bjoern Werner Talks Football in Germany, Twitter Fame

Bjoern Werner is a pseudo-pop culture phenomenon in Tallahassee and amongst the Florida State fanbase.

The 6-4, 250-pound German-born defensive end cuts a menacing figure, sports huge mutton-chop side burns and absolutely obliterates ballcarriers and quarterbacks.

And the fans love him for it.

A local radio host has dubbed him Von Striker, complete with an explosive sound effects package every time his name is mentioned during the show. He's been the subject of memes on Twitter and message boards across the country. 

Werner admits he tries not to get caught up in the sideshow, but it's hard sometimes.

"I don't try to follow it, but it's hard because of having a Facebook. Your teammates have fans and they all have Twitter and it's posted and even if you don't try to look for stuff like that you find it," said Werner. "So yeah I saw it."

Werner has a sense of humor about these things though, one meme in particular had him in stitches.

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"I've seen the Game of Thrones picture, that was pretty funny, man. I was laughing hard," said Werner. "I thought it was a pretty good picture, too."

One of the things that makes Werner so unique is one of the things he'd like to change though if he achieves the level of success he envisions for himself.

Werner was born in Berlin, he is on an NFL trajectory which is something very few actual Germans have ever accomplished. Football is growing in popularity in Germany, but not at the rate Werner would like.

"Not taking off like soccer but it's growing," said Werner. "It's getting bigger, more and more people have started playing football so it's starting to get there."

But if Werner can make the NFL he has a shot to really make an impact. There have been a handful of German-born players in the NFL, but many were born on US army bases, far fewer are actually of German descent.

Werner has a chance to be a superstar at the next level, NFL scouts are acutely aware of this and already as a junior Werner is on many a big board around the league. 

The impact being the first real NFL star out of Germany would be massive on the country's football programs. It could help launch a generation of young German children that want to grow up to be Bjoerns.

"Oh yeah, I always think about if I can reach all of my goals how can I give back to German football, how can I improve it?" said Werner. "That's a main goal for me, I've got a lot of support back in Germany I just want to try and hopefully reach all those NFL stars and I can go back and say 'I made it, hey, let me teach you guys how I did that.'

"It's a plan of mine."

As for what those plans might be specifically, Werner isn't ready to say just yet.

"I don't know yet," joked Werner. "I have a couple of ideas that I cannot say because, you know, what if another German jumps ahead of me?"

Don't Forget About Seminoles' Carradine, Not That He Plans to Let You

Cornellius Carradine, better known as Tank, probably isn't one of the first names out of your mouth when you think of this Florida State defensive line.

The senior, who arrived as a juco transfer last season, has quietly flown under the radar as the Seminoles' starting defensive ends and talented freshmen get all the headlines.

But as Bjoern Werner told me emphatically earlier today, Tank Carradine's ready to break out.

"It's not only me and Brandon, it's me, Tank (Carradine) and Brandon," Werner told me when I asked him about competing for sacks with Jenkins.

"Tank's playing on a level that's just amazing, for him to be called a backup is just crazy because he's as good as me and Brandon. All three of us know that and it's going to a three-way sack [race]."

Last season Carradine came in after two years at Butler Community College and struggled to pick things up at the beginning of the year. But now, after a full spring and summer to get comfortable in the defense, things look to be different in Tank's senior year.

"I feel great because I know the system, I know all the plays, I know everyone's job so I feel much better about this year as opposed to last year because I didn't know too much what I was doing," admitted Carradine. "I know a lot now in this defense so I feel much more comfortable this year."

Werner took it a step further, he thinks by year's end Carradine will be in the same grouping as him and Jenkins, who was named a preseason all-american by SI. 

"Me and Brandon get a lot of attention and he wants to prove everyone wrong," said Werner. "He wants people to speak about him too. He wants to show that he's as good as we are. And me and Brandon know that [he is].

"He's going to have a great year, me and Brandon know that because we see how hard he works and how good he is, it's just people don't know about him yet."

They will soon, even despite struggling to pick things up as a junior transfer, Carradine still notched 5.5 sacks and was a force on the line by the end of the season. 

This year he's being unleashed, with a better grasp of the defense the coach's have let him play both sides, something that should significantly increase his playing time.

"Last year I only played one side," said Carradine. "This year I'm playing both sides so I think I'll be getting equal reps as the ones, but I will be playing more this year playing both sides."

One element that may actually give Carradine a bit of an advantage in the sack-race with his fellow defensive ends is his ability to come off the bench fresh against worn down offensive tackles. 

After Jenkins and Werner terrorize oppozing tackles they will be spelled by a fresh defensive end whom both swear is every bit as talented as they are.

Opposing offenses should just love that.

"They get tired and when I come in I'm fresh, I'm ready," said Carradine. "You can tell some tackles they don't hit their full potential, they're not motivated, they like moving fast and running and stuff, but when I come they just die down."

The Early Read: Nick Waisome Has His Head on Straight

One of my favorite parts about having this space is that I can be a little bit less formal at times and give you my actual opinion as opposed to a more straight-laced news-only approach. 

To be frank, sometimes the latter is preferable. Not all players are engaging and occasionally you find yourself sitting across from a guy and it's like pulling teeth to get him just to talk about how practice is going. That's why when you meet a kid that's actually got some personality – and will show it to you – it's so refreshing.

Nick Waisome is one of those players. 

I got to speak with Waisome yesterday for the first time and I'm looking forward to getting to cover him over the next few years because he's definitely a character.

Waisome won the starting job at field corner, beating out Ronald Darby in a hotly contested camp battle. To listen to him talk about it though, you hear a maturity that belies his age. 

"You're going to have to compete wherever you go to play," said Waisome. "I just felt like I was good enough to play and I just had to compete for a position." 

There's a ton of things to like about the way Waisome has approached this camp, but we'll start with his preparation. All camp the players and coaches have talked about how Waisome had the mental edge. He really took advantage of the opportunity to learn during his freshman season and came into the summer with the mindset that he would be competing for a job.

"I knew I thought I would probably get some playing time this year so I would just try to prepare myself and be on skills more, work on my technique a lot more because I knew Mike Harris was leaving," said Waisome. "So in cases like nickel and anything like that I would try to be able to step in there."

Once Greg Reid was booted and the starting job at field corner came open, it was just a matter of stepping up his game.

"I just had to stay hungry and be on my job and make sure I don't get beat that much. I just tried to stick to my technique, listen to coach a lot, go up and watch a little bit of film and just become a better player."

Here's where Waisome distinguished himself from a lot of other players, when asked what he improved on the most this past offseason he actually gave a thoughtful response. 

"My eyes," said Waisome. "I was real weak at double moves and stuff like that but I feel like my eyes have gotten a lot better. Quarterback to the receiver and then securing myself to make a play on the ball, I feel like I got a lot better at that."

"In high school you're working with receivers that aren't as fast as you so I feel like you can gamble a little bit, look back at the quarterback, but I mean now I feel like you have to try to stick your eyes on the receiver and watch if he's making a double move, you can't relax on the route really. You have to play hard every play."

Most athletes stop after saying their eyes, some may say it's helped with double moves. Very few 20 year-olds can extrapolate on the nuanced differences in the high school and college games so effortlessly. 

One of the other ways Waisome shows his maturity is in his outlook on the positional battle he just won.

"You can't take it as a threat, you've just got to help each other out," said Waisome. "I don't see it as fighting for the position, if [Darby] beats me out, he beats me out. But if I'm ahead I'm still going to tell him what it is, I'm not scared or anything about him coming and playing. I mean if he starts one game, he starts one game."

As for the target Waisome will wear on his back opposite Xavier Rhodes, he looks forward to it.

"Bring it on. Bring it on, I'm ready for it, that's more plays for me I feel like."

As for some of that personality I mentioned at the top of the post, Waisome isn't bashful about his ability. He played everything in high school from Tennis to Volleyball.

"I mean I'm pretty decent at everything I do," said Waisome as laughter split through his attempt at a straight face. "I'm not going to lie."

"There's no sport I've tried that [I wasn't good at], I mean golf, I've tried but I'm not that good, I'm shooting high a little bit," joked Waisome. "That one the ball, I don't know man it's just curving on me and what not. Nick O'Leary [FSU TE, Grandson of golf legend Jack Nicklaus], I played with him one time and I wanted to just break the clubs. I rented them so I couldn't."

08/27/2012

For Michael Snaer it's National Title or Bust

Michael Snaer has found his confidence.

Not that it was ever lacking, but considering some of the downright cockiness that exudes from former McDonalds All-Americans, Snaer trends more towards humble than brash.

That's why last season Snaer turned heads when he predicted the Seminoles would win the ACC mid-season.

They did.

Florida State ended up winning their first conference tournament championship a couple months later and the junior guard was named tournament MVP. 

"Just from gaining that confidence from last season where Coach was giving me a little more freedom to do some of the things I want to do on the court has given me just a completely different outlook on the game than I've had here," said Snaer, who admits he's had to grow into the player he is now.

"You know you come here freshman year and you don't really know what you can and can't do. But now I kind of have a good idea of what I can and can't do and I know how far my skills will take me and I'm really feeling confident about the skills I developed over summer and the skills I've developed while I'm here and I feel like it's going to take me far."

When Snaer arrived at Florida State he bore considerable hype. A five star recruit, McDonald's All-American, Snaer had spurned offers from much more established programs in the hopes of building one at Florida State.

It wasn't without aches and pains, Snaer admits as much. He admits at times his confidence wavered.

But just three years later Snaer and his teammates were cutting the net down in Atlanta and the Seminoles had won the first ACC basketball title in school history. Along the way Snaer lead the Seminoles to wins over the ACC's most historic programs, beating Duke and UNC in the semifinals and finals respectively. Coach K raved, calling Snaer the best competitor in the ACC. Roy Williams praised him effusively too. He won tournament MVP.

Snaer sat opposite Leonard Hamilton and guard Luke Loucks after hoisting the title and talked about what it meant for a football school to be playing basketball so well.

They may not be there to stay, but it's safe to argue that as of last season the Seminoles had arrived.

And as a result of his impressive junior year Snaer received invitiations to NBA summer camps held by Lebron James and Kevin Durant after the season.

He squared off against top competition, continued gaining even more confidence, and then told ESPN last week that he didn't think he could be guarded. That he think he's one of the best two-guards in the country.

He isn't backing down from those claims.

"Definitely on the court my confidence has grown to a level that it hasn't been in a good while and now I'm finally at that point again where I do feel like I'm very talented on the court and that's how you're supposed to feel," said Snaer.

"Any other guy who you would ask at my position would tell you the same thing. That just comes from being around some of the best competition, no disprespect to those guys I think that there's so much talent out there and I'm very fortunate just to be in that company with those guys. It was an amazing experience for me."

Here's the thing about Snaer though, despite all of the confidence he's gained from three straight trips to the NCAA tournament, winning FSU's first ACC title and entering 2012 as one of the top guards in the country...

Snaer doesn't think he's lived up to expectations.

"My biggest thing is, something that I've been thinking about lately, I want to earn the right to be here," said Snaer.

"I don't want to let the fans down, let the people down who are counting on us to do well, counting on me to come here and get something done because I said in my freshman year that I wanted to come here and I wanted to make history. I wanted to be part of one of the best teams in Florida State history. To bring our fans something they haven't felt and I don't want to let that down."

Clearly making history wasn't winning conference titles or just getting invited to the dance.

Snaer's eyes are set on a national championship. It's title or bust. 

"I feel like we have an opportunity to maybe go out and get a national chamionship," Snaer admitted. "If we can do that, if we have that team that would be great. I'm definitely going to push it. I'm going to give it everything I have and I'm going to demand everything of my teammates and you know however far that takes us – hopefully it's to a national title game – however far it takes us I'll know at least I got the best out of myself, the best out of my teammates."

"But I'm not settling for anything lower than that."

Really, Snaer doesn't want to settle at all. Just like he believes he's one of the best guards in the nation he believes Florida State can win a national championship in basketball this season. 

And he's telling the truth when he says he doesn't feel he's earned his way yet.

"Not yet. I don't feel [like I have], I mean I've been given a chance to get an education off a scholarship, I've been given a chance to do something remarkable and I haven't accomplished it yet is pretty much how I feel," said Snaer.

"And even though we gave our fans a little something last year, it's just like an appetizer, I'm hoping we can bring that to them this year. If we don't I know that's something I'm going to have to live with that I didn't bring that to the fans here and to the university that I love."

 

Seminoles Finalize a Couple Starters

FSU's depth chart is out and finally there is some closure on camp battles after the field corner and right tackle positions have been determined. 

At right tackle it's Menelik Watson, who despite having played just eight games of football, is poised to become the starter opposite Cam Erving, another lineman who's never taken a snap at his position in college. 

The battle was between Watson and Daniel Glauser, both seemed to have performed well in camp according to Fisher but it was ultimately Watson's potential that won out. 

"I thought Menelik was definitely the most efficient and he has a very big upside," Jimbo Fisher said earlier today. "Menelik played well in the scrimmage on Thursday, played extremely well on Saturday and he really brings a lot to the table."

Along the offensive line it will be Cam Erving at LT, Josue Matias at LG, Bryan Stork at C, Tre' Jackson at RG and Menelik Watson at RT.

Nick Waisome will be the team's starting field corner. He edged out Ronald Darby for the spot, though both will see plenty of playing time this season.

"Nick's been around, played very well, made a lot of good plays, can run, very intelligent guy who's been in our system," said Fisher. "I really thought he had a great camp."

Also, Rashad Greene will replace Greg Reid at punt returner. I have no idea when Greene was healthy enough to win the punt-return job, it seemed like every time we spoke to Jimbo during camp Rashad had been out with illness or just had an appendectomy or was still working back from one of those. It's kind of a testament to the sophomore receiver's athleticism that he still grabbed the job with such limited time.

08/25/2012

Could Hurricane Isaac Impact the Seminoles Season Opener?

Isaac track

We're just a week a out from the start of the football season and while much of the country, particularly the southeast, rejoices in antipication, today Florida declared a state of emergency ahead of Hurricane Isaac. 

There's a distinct possibility the Isaac strengthens in the Gulf of Mexico and slams into the Florida panhandle near Tallahassee around mid-week. 

While the storm itself isn't likely to bother Saturday, some of the effects of Isaac sure could.

To help out I enlisted the help of a friend, Seminole alum, Kevin Roth, now a meteorologist (and the object of affection for scores of middle-aged women) in Shreveport, LA. Kevin was more than happy to forecast how Isaac could impact the Seminoles late this week and on Saturday:

"$5 cases of Bud Light. That was the aftermath of hurricane Katrina in Tallahassee. No historic flooding, no mass influx of evacuees, just $5 cases of beer, sold directly off the back of beer trucks that were originally destined for New Orleans. In Tallahassee, it was a stroke of good fortune amidst a national tragedy. This time around, Seminole-City might not be so lucky.

"Exactly 7 years ago from tomorrow, Hurricane Katrina was pushing into the Gulf of Mexico after brushing Southern Florida, just beginning to gain strength in the bath-warm waters near Key West. In a few short days, tropical storm Isaac will enter those very same waters. With a steady diet of warm water and light wind shear, Isaac is expected to strengthen into a hurricane this weekend. 

"The official hurricane track from the National Hurricane Center takes Isaac Northwest across the keys, and west of the Florida peninsula. The track then shifts north, and brings the storm into the Florida panhandle. The timing of landfall looks to be in the middle of next week, with Wednesday morning being the current model consensus. 

"Storm surge and wind speed will be highest on the eastern half of the storm, so a landfall just southwest of Tallahassee (Crawfordville area) would be a worst case scenario. If the storm veers farther east, towards Perry, the threat will be lessened. The main concern with Isaac for a non-coastal city like Tallahassee will be flash flooding from heavy rainfall. The Hydrometeorological Prediction Center (HPC) is estimating rainfall totals to be over 10 inches throughout the Florida Panhandle. 

"A storm track is projected by a “cone of uncertainty”, and hurricane forecasting is notoriously fickle. The current cone stretches from Crystal River, Florida to Gulfport, Mississippi; a span of near 500 miles. Forecasting where a storm will make landfall is difficult enough, but predicting the storms strength upon landfall is even more challenging. Isaac currently has wind speeds of 60 miles per hour, but those winds could easily exceed 100 mph by the time the storm reaches the Gulf Coast. 

"While Tallahassee is currently near the middle of Isaac's forecast track, it’s still unlikely that it ends up directly hitting the city. That being said, the unusually large size of Isaac means that no matter where in the Gulf Coast it makes landfall, Tallahassee will still see some effects.

"As previously mentioned, the main threat locally will be flash flooding from the near foot (12 inches) of incoming rainfall. That kind of rain and the accompanying thunderstorms will likely keep football practice on hold for the back half of the week. By game time on Saturday, most of the storms will have moved on, but it will still be a soggy trek to the DOAK for all interested parties. 

"Tailgating could be even messier than usual, with the oversaturated ground not able to soak up the week's deluge. The combination of wet tailgating areas and thousands of trucks and RV's could easilly tear up the fields, leaving an unsightly scene for weeks to come. 

"Be sure to stay weather aware in the coming week, and tune in to your local meteorologists for the most relevant information." 

- Kevin Roth KSLA

Here's a look at the potential rainfall the Florida panhandle could be looking at courtesy of Mr. Roth:

Isaac rainfall


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