Yesterday and today's Florida State practices have both been at 5:30 in the morning. Whereas they closed things off to the media on Wednesday (mercifully), as of the time this is scheduled to post today I'll be finishing up watching the morning's practice and heading to player availability.
That means I'll have plenty to share with you later on in the day, but for this morning's edition of the Early Read, here's one of Jimbo Fisher's ruminations on the way his seniors have progressed...
One of the early themes from Florida State's camp has been the concept of quiet confidence. Fisher mentioned it several times on Monday and seniors Dustin Hopkins and EJ Manuel have talked about it as well.
"I think a quiet confidence [is present with this team]," said Fisher. "I think there's an urgency, I think there's a fun, but I see, it's like EJ, everyone says EJ did a great thing, he seems different. Yeah, I think the world slowed down for him."
That's not just limited to Manuel either.
"I see it in (DE) Brandon Jenkins too, Jenkins was ready to go to the NFL, could have been an NFL player," said Fisher. "But there's something about being a senior and getting enough of them that have played, and to have quality seniors and leadership, the world just slows down for them. And from that standpoint I see a quiet confidence."
Fisher was quick to point out the benefit that having a good group of seniors has on underclassmen and in establishing an overall culture within the program.
"It's one of the first times where the program is starting to take that turn to the way we want to do things," Fisher opined. "And it takes that group of seniors, and you can say we've had seniors [before] but they hadn't been in the system long. I think now guys are really comfortable with where they're at, what their abilities are and what's expected of them."
This is a very good senior class for Fisher, headlined by Manuel and Jenkins, but also featuring strong character-type players like Chris Thompson, Vince Williams, Everett Dawkins and Anthony McLoud, all of whom can provide different brands of motivation and leadership.
Even Greg Reid fit into that group before his dismissal.
Having the confidence that comes from being in a program for four years is a huge part of being able to lead and mentor the younger plays on a team, Fisher knows this and is happy to see it playing out in his own senior class.
"These guys know they need all those young guys to play and win championships," said Fisher after Tuesday's practice. "I mean, they're going to play and do the good things [themselves], but they've got to have quality back ups. They've got to have quality reps and guys competing for the job. And that's the one thing we've created is that competition and our old guys are doing a real good job of acclimating those young guys into how we do things."
A Couple Links
If you need a little bit more of a Seminole fix, here are a couple of Florida State items from this morning's edition of the Miami Herald.
Ok, I'll have lots more for you later today...