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2 posts from December 30, 2012

December 30, 2012

Lonnie Pryor Preparing to Finish Strong


Lonnie Pryor is a character. Few players on the Florida State roster bring the sort of electric personality and genuine sense of humor to an interview that Pryor provides. On Sunday morning the senior fullback completed his last practice ever at Florida State, but in his typical fashion, he wasn't waxing nostalgic about what has been a great FSU career. 

He was finding ways to make his own fun.

After practice as reporters swarmed around Jimbo Fisher, recorders and cameras in hand, Pryor snuck up to the back of the pack and did his best Edwin Pope impersonation.

"What are you going to do get the fullback the ball?" came a voice from the back of the gaggle.

As reporters turned to see who had asked such a strangely specific question, Pryor ducked out of the sight of Jimbo Fisher, but evidently not fast enough of as Fisher zinged him back:

"I'm going to have to recruit one that's real fast and athletic, that's a good player and does all those good things, [one that] can catch and not drop balls. We've got no recruiting for that."

As Pryor walked off laughing, Fisher reminded him, "Hey, you know I always get the last word. You should know better than that!"

Then Fisher turned back to reporters and said in earnest, "No, that guy right there, we can get him the ball and he does thing. He's one heck of a football player."

That will be the legacy Pryor leaves behind at Florida State, a tweener-type running back who was willing to do anything and everything to help his team, Pryor has been a weapon at fullback for Florida State the past few seasons. Whether he's asked to carry the ball, catch it or block, Pryor handles his business with a workman-like quality that has rubbed off on his teammates and made him beloved by Florida State fans.

"This is a great way [to finish out my career]," said Pryor later when I asked him about playing in the Orange Bowl. "[I'm enjoying] some of the events and just being on South Beach. We're in Miami, there's always something to do, the wind, the sun's always out, the wind's always blowing. It's a nice area, we're in a great hotel, so it's a great place to be here in Miami."

Next up for Pryor after the bowl game will be looking for a place to train and get ready for the pro's. Already Pryor has drawn comparisons to current Denver Bronco fullback Jacob Hester. Hester had a similar career at LSU and was selected by the San Diego Chargers in the third round of the 2008 NFL draft.

"Hopefully I'm going to find a place to train and go from there," said Pryor. "I don't have any invitations to any of the [senior] bowl games. I'm going to just keep [doing] me and hopefully everything works out. [Maybe] I need to [start lobbying some people]."

I don't know how Pryor hasn't received an invitation to play in either the Shrine Game or the Senior Bowl, but once he shows up at the combine his draft stock should get a nice boost. 

For now though, Pryor is just focused on leaving Florida State with a win.

"We're just going to go out there and play football," said Pryor. "We're not worried about what anyone's saying or anything , we're just going to go play football like we always do."

Florida State Practice Report: 12/30


Florida State was hard at work during practice on Sunday morning, just two days out from their Orange Bowl matchup with Northern Illinois. It was a brisk day, cold by Miami standards, but the sun was shining and the sky was cloudless for the Seminoles as they put the final touches on their preparations for the Huskies.

“Good cold Thursday, it was cold today, I even had to put my sweater on," joked Jimbo Fisher after practice. "The wind was blowing pretty good, but it actually warmed up. The guys had a very solid practice, did some nice things. I like where we’re at mentally, I like where we’re at physically, now it’s just a matter of going and playing the game.

“We’ve just got to- during the last 48 hours- make sure we’re dotting our i’s and crossing our t’s and understand all situations and be ready to go.”

What exactly does that entail?

“Just knowing what to do and relaxing and just doing it," said Fisher. "It’s just like anything, the more you know it, see the film, see how the guy covers you or how he’s going to block you or whatever it is and maybe get a read or whatever it’s going to be. It’s not just knowing what you’ve got to do, it’s knowing how you’ve got to do it.”

Josue Matias Update

Left guard Josue Matias was out at practice with his ankle taped up, he is still expected to play on Tuesday though.

“He’s good, he’ll be fine, he took reps today and everything, we just rested him a little bit today. He’ll be fine. He should be 100%," said Fisher. "[It was] just a little tweak and we wanted also get some reps in there for Bobby [Hart] too, we moved him in to guard a little bit because he’s been a guard and tackle, we wanted to get him some reps in there because you’re always trying to play some situations and Bobby’s had a good week of practice.”

Last Practice for Seniors

Today was the last day of practice (ever) for Florida State's senior class, but Jimbo Fisher was quick to caution that a player's last practice, last game or even senior day itself brings with it a wealth of unwanted emotions. 

"You can't worry about that, you see that's the thing about these last practices," said Fisher. "It's like senior day, hate to say [this], senior days a great thing, but it does nothing to help you win a game. Every emotion you have on senior day or the last practice is actually opposite of what you [need] to make you play good. Because you don't want those feelings, you think about this when it's all over, you have to learn to put this behind you and play the game. You reminisce about all the old things after everything's done."

So how was the final practice?

"We bounced around, we had fun. You all peeked in there," Fisher joked with reporters. "You all watched them, they're competing and running around. Guys were having a good time."

Tomorrow's Plan

Florida State will approach tomorrow like the typical Friday before a Saturday game, including its meetings and walkthrough. 



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