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23 posts from December 2013

December 31, 2013

Jimbo Fisher Officially Signs Extension with Florida State


A little over three weeks after it was first reported by the Palm Beach Post's Tom D'Angelo, head coach Jimbo Fisher has finalized his contract extension with Florida State University. 

Fisher will now be at FSU through 2019.

"We are extremely pleased with the direction of our program and believe that this new contract will assure that Coach Fisher is in place to lead the Seminoles for a long time to come," said athletic director Stan Wilcox in a statement released earlier today. 

"Coach Fisher enjoys the full support of the leadership of the university and we look forward to the continued success of our football program on the field and in the classroom."

There had been rumors linking FSU's fourth year head coach to the vacancy at Texas. It appears -- barring an absurd offer from the Longhorns -- that those rumors will now be put to rest.

Fisher's deal is reported to be in the ballpark of about 4.1 million dollars per year -- making him one of the nation's highest paid coaches. Despite being reported on during the ACC Championship game, it took several weeks before the terms could be agreed upon by both sides. One of the potential hold-ups could have been compensation for assistant coaches. Fisher had to replace half his staff following last season and may have wanted to try to avoid repeating the process again at the start of 2014 too.

Per FSU: "A copy of the contract will not be available for release until later this week, but will include a raise in annual compensation for Fisher."


For all the latest Florida State news and updates, follow Patrik Nohe on Twitter...

December 16, 2013

Video Rewind: Jameis Winston's Whirlwind Weekend in NYC


Jameis Winston is the 2013 Heisman Trophy winner. The 19 year old redshirt freshman became the youngest winner in the award's history last Saturday when he won in a landslide over five other finalists.

Winston finished the season with a Florida State record 38 touchdown passes -- also tops among freshman quarterbacks all-time in NCAA history -- and lead the Seminoles to the first 13-win season in school history. 

After going out on the Heisman media circuit the first few days, Sunday and Monday saw Winston do a wide range of appearances from Dan Patrik and Mike and Mike to CBS' NFL Today and Dave Letterman. 

Check below for a video rewind of Winston's entire weekend:


For all the latest Florida State news and updates, follow Patrik Nohe on Twitter...

December 14, 2013

Jameis Winston Wins the Heisman Trophy


Jameis Winston has become the youngest player in college football history to win the Heisman trophy.

Back in August -- aside from those playing on the Playstation or the XBox -- few could have possibly seen Florida State's redshirt freshman quarterback exploding on to the scene the way he did and capturing a Heisman trophy in just his first season of college football.

He threw 38 touchdown passes. That's more than any quarterback that had ever played at FSU threw for in a single season. That's more than any freshman in college football history had ever thrown for. His 3,820 yards was also an NCAA FBS freshman record.

By the end of the season Winston had written his name all over the Florida State record books, the Atlantic Coast Conference record books and the NCAA record books. It has been a season for the ages for Winston - and he did it without playing past the third quarter of most of Florida State's blowout wins this year. 

“I’m so overwhelmed right now,” Winston said shortly after winning the Heisman trophy on Saturday night. “It feels great to be part of the (Heisman) family. I just thank everyone with the Heisman Trust that allowed me to be in it. It feels great. I cannot explain the feeling that I have inside right now. I’m so overwhelmed. Like I said, it’s just awesome.”

Despite his historic season, Winston wasn't without his share of distractions and obstacles. A month long sexual assault investigation stemming from a December 7, 2012 incident likely cost Winston the Maxwell award (AJ McCarron took home the honor on Thursday night) and 13% of Heisman voters left Winston off their ballot entirely.

"Everyone has their own opinion," Winston said of the snubs. "It's basically a numbers game, and I was blessed to have the majority vote."

Added Winston's head coach, Jimbo Fisher: “When you watch someone work so hard for something and be so team-oriented – not individual, it reinforces that the good things happen to the good guys.

“To know what he went through to get up there on that stage, sometimes it hits you. To me – of all the things – that’s why you coach, watching them grow and achieve the things you know they are capable of even when the odds are against them.”

Winston's ability to flourish in Fisher's complicated offense has been what's set him apart from previous Florida State quarterbacks under Fisher. Winston and Fisher are wired similary, they clash on the sidelines and on the practice fields but are able to separate the message from how it's being delivered and have thrived together with the understanding that they have mutual goals.

The results have been unmistakable. 

Winston runs Fisher's offense nearly flawlessly, checking effortlessly between plays and trusting in his receivers, backs and tight ends to be where they need to be when they need to be there. 

Tight End Nick O'Leary has developed into the most prolific tight end in Florida State history with Winston finding him this season. Kelvin Benjamin, Kenny Shaw and Rashad Greene have all had career years and the Florida State offense is on pace to set a new all-time NCAA scoring record.

"I can't explain how truly intelligent he is," Fisher said. "He always wanted to know why he had success or why he had failure so he could either repeat it or fix it."

Added Winston: "I really believe that people actually just trusted me. People obviously saw us play. But that comes from my team, too."

Winston is now the youngest Heisman trophy winner in the award's history. He is just the second freshman to ever win it and the third Florida State Seminole. Even with nearly one in every seven voters leaving him entirely off their ballot he still won by the seventh largest margin in the award's history.

On January 6th Winston and his Florida State teammates will play for the BCS Championship against Auburn in Pasadena.


For all the latest Florida State news and updates, follow Patrik Nohe on Twitter...

December 13, 2013

Winston Accuser's Attorney Requests State Investigation, Florida's Governor Says 'No'


Friday provided perhaps the final -- and most bizarre -- chapter in the Jameis Winston sexual assault investigation when the attorney of Winston's accuser held a press conference in Zephyrhills, Florida.

Patricia Carroll, representing the complainant's family, requested that Attorney General Pam Bondi investigate the investigation conducted by the Tallahassee Police Department and the State Attorney's Office into an alleged rape committed by FSU's starting quarterback, Jameis Winston.

"There is no other choice than to call upon the attorney general of the state of Florida to conduct an independent investigation into this case and the Tallahassee Police Department," said Patricia Carroll, the attorney for the complainant.

That's not going to happen though.

Per a statement released by Florida governor Rick Scott's spokeswoman Jackie Schutz: “The state attorney’s office and FDLE did a thorough investigation of this case and they concluded that no further action on this matter is required.”

The Florida Attorney General serves on the cabinet of Florida's governor, any investigation into the Winston situation would be at Governor Scott's discretion. He isn't giving it. 

Carroll was asked if there would be a civil suit against Winston and told reporters that was "premature." That was before the statement from the governor's office though. 

"I knew I did nothing wrong," Jameis Winston said from New York on Friday. "I knew I could respect the process and I'd eventually be vindicated. It was more about me being silent for my family because I didn't want to put my family in those situations.

"We had so much respect for Mr. [Tim] Jansen and everything going around, and knew I did nothing wrong and everything would be OK."

Meanwhile, down in Zephyrhills Caroll listed off dozens of complaints over the investigation. 

Most notably, the family doesn't believe the labwork. 

"[The accuser] couldn't remember what happened, intermittent memories, immobility. Completely consistent with a date rape or rape drug," said Carroll. 

Carroll claims her client was drugged via a shot she took before leaving the bar. Per the victim's own written statement she arrived at the bar with friends "Marcus and Monique." The accuser could not legally drink at the bar, but her friend Marcus (also underaged) had a way to procure drinks and she shared five or six with him. 

"We were hanging mostly with Marcus' friends, one of them gave me a shot," said the written statement from the accuser.

The labwork -- blood, urine and DNA tests -- do not support that set of events though. Results showed that there were no drugs and minimal levels of alcohol in her system at the time of the incident.

"I specifically spoke to Mr. Meggs and said I don't have confidence in the validity of these tests," Carroll said. 

Carroll also said she believes Winston and teammates Chris Casher and Ronald Darby were given special treatment because they are football players.

"Do I believe that complete failure of a rape case was related to the fact that this gentleman was on the football team? I do," she said. 

Carroll added that she believes Casher and Darby made statements that were 'patently false' and would like to see Casher retroactively charged with video voyeurism.

As for her own client's underage drinking and the role her client's friend played in purchasing her alcohol illegally, Carroll chalked that up to normal college behavior.

Jameis Winston is in New York for the Heisman trophy presentation this weekend. On January 6th, Florida State will play for the BCS Championship in Pasadena.


For all the latest Florida State news and updates, follow Patrik Nohe on Twitter...

December 12, 2013

Bryan Stork Wins the Rimington Trophy


Redshirt senior Bryan Stork has won the Rimington Trophy, presented annually to the nation's top center. 

When Stork arrived at Florida State five years ago he sat through Bobby Bowden's 7-6 swan song season. It was the "dark ages" as Stork called it after FSU's 37-7 win over Florida a couple weeks ago.

These days though, "it's our time," said Stork.

That sure does seem to be the case lately. Florida State cleaned up at the Home Depot College Football Awards on Thursday night. Jameis Winston won two awards, Roberto Aguayo was named the nation's top kicker and Stork was honored as the country's best center.

At Florida State though, Stork is much more than just a center.

Whether it was his roll as the senior-most leader on a young offensive line three years ago (a line that has turned into one of the nation's best this year) or his willingness to play anywhere -- and through anything -- that have made Stork one of the most integral players on the entire roster this season for the Seminoles.

Stork's feet and ankles were so bad this season that it was a rarity he could make it through a full week of practice -- he even missed the Wake game as a precaution. But when Stork was on the field the line played with a nasty streak and a level of poise that was lacking without him.

He also demonstrated his versatility at key points this year too, for instance in the UF game when left tackle Cameron Erving left the game briefly it was Stork who slid from center to tackle and held down the fort while Erving got treatment. 

A couple drives later Erving was back in the game, Stork was back at center and the Florida State line barely missed a beat. 

On Thursday Stork was honored for his performance this year with the Rimington award.

He is currently projected to be a second day NFL draft pick. Before that though, Florida State faces Auburn on January 6th in the BCS Championship game.


For all the latest Florida State news and updates, follow Patrik Nohe on Twitter...

Roberto Aguayo Wins the Lou Groza Award


Jameis Winston wasn't the only Florida State redshirt freshman making noise this season -- Roberto Aguayo also made his fair share in 2013.

How do you replace the most prolific kicker in NCAA history?

How about by going 119/120 on your kicks and assaulting your predecessor's name in the record books?

Because that's what Roberto Aguayo did. Dustin Hopkins? Pretty good kicker. At this rate though, Aguayo will catch Hopkins' NCAA record for points by a kicker sometime in his junior year. He's already passed him on several other kicking records at FSU.

Aguayo was 19/20 on field goals and perfect on extra points this season. He scored 147 points, nine back from the national best and tops among all kickers. Perhaps more impressively, 'Berto outscored Florida State's competition by himself this season, 147-139. 

On Thursday night Aguayo did something Dustin Hopkins never could, he won the Lou Groza award presented annually to the nation's top kicker. 

Aguayo is FSU's third Groza winner. Sebastian Janikowski and Graham Gano also earned the honor. All three former Florida State kickers, Hopkins, Janikowski and Gano, now kick in the NFL.

Next up for Aguayo and the Seminoles is the BCS Championship game on January 6th in Pasadena. 


For all the latest Florida State news and updates, follow Patrik Nohe on Twitter...

Jameis Winston Wins the Davey O'Brian Award, Named Walter Camp Player of the Year


The Home Depot College Football Awards were held Thursday evening in Orlando, FL and the Florida State Seminoles brought home plenty of hardware for their 13-0 season.

While Roberto Aguayo and Bryan Stork both won awards of their own, it was Jameis Winston that was the big winner on Thursday night. 

A 19 year old redshirt freshman, Winston burst onto the scene with a 25/27, 4 TD debut at Pittsburgh in the Seminoles' season opener and he hasn't looked back since.

Winston set a new ACC mark for touchdown passes in a season, broke Sam Bradford's NCAA record for TD passes by a freshman and set a new national freshman passing yardage record this season. He seemed poised to run away with the Heisman by the beginning of November.

Winston finished the season with 3,820 yards, 38 touchdowns and 10 picks on 67.9 percent passing. In the entire history of FSU football no quarterback had ever thrown as many TD passes in a season -- Winston did it in his very first year on the field.

For his success this year Winston was awarded the Davey O'Brian trophy (given annually to the nation's top quarterback) and given the Walter Camp Player of the Year Award on Thursday night. 

"When you have a team like that, anyone can go out there and do that," Winston said of his teammates after winning both awards.

The 6-4 redshirt freshman was also nominated for the Maxwell award but was edged out by Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron for the honor.

On January 6th Winston will attempt to cap his phenomenal freshman season with a win in the BCS Championship game. 


For all the latest Florida State news and updates, follow Patrik Nohe on Twitter...

December 09, 2013

Jameis Winston, Cameron Erving Win ACC Yearly Awards


The Atlantic Coast Conference handed out its yearly awards at the ACC Night of Legends in Charlotte this past weekend and the Florida State Seminoles took home plenty of hardware.

Most of the awards had already been announced in the week leading up to the ACC Championship Game, but on Friday the players were on hand to pick up their awards.

Left Tackle Cameron Erving won the Jacobs Blocking Trophy, presented annually to the conference's top blocker. Erving was the first Seminole to win the award since Rodney Hudson won it in 2009 and 2010.

The big winner was Jameis Winston though.

Winston won the ACC Offensive Rookie of the year, ACC Rookie of the year, ACC Offensive Player of the year and ACC Player of the year. 

Duke head coach David Cutcliffe won the ACC Coach of the year for taking Duke 10-2 and winning to Coastal division.

Here's a quick video highlight courtesy of Seminoles.com:


(Photo courtesy of Seminoles.com)

For all the latest Florida State news and updates, follow Patrik Nohe on Twitter...

December 08, 2013

The BCS Ends Like it Started for Florida State: With the Seminoles Playing For it All


16 years ago Florida State University played in the very first BCS Championship Game. On January 6th, FSU will also play in the very last BCS Championship game.

In between the program has fallen on hard times and risen again.

"Florida State was in the first three National Championships '98, '99 and 2000 and all those National Championship games, it's kind of funny how it has come full circle like that and I do appreciate the history of college football that way," said Jimbo Fisher. "And we all complained about the BCS and everything that goes on, but it's funny how many times they get it right and how the history just keeps repeating itself."

The Seminoles will square off against the Auburn Tigers, who beat then-no. 1 Alabama two weeks ago and won the SEC Championship game against Missouri on Saturday.

“It honestly didn't matter to me who it was,” said Fisher.  “Auburn [has a tremendous program].  I've coached there, I know them... but I'm just glad that Florida State is there.”

The storylines for this game are too numerous to count.

Fisher cut his teeth coaching in Division I under Terry Bowden at Auburn in the early 90’s. Bowden had coached Fisher as a quarterback in college -- Fisher had even followed him from Salem College to Samford as a senior -- and he gave Fisher a job coaching quarterbacks at Auburn in 1993.

That year would prove fateful for both the Tigers and the Seminoles.

While Bobby Bowden’s Florida State team went 12-1 and won the first national title in the program’s history the Auburn Tigers went unbeaten -- Unfortunately, the Tigers were on probation and weren’t eligible for the postseason.

“I always tell Florida State this:  We should have had half of that National Championship in '93.  We were the only undefeated team in the country,” Fisher said.

20 years later Fisher has returned Florida State to prominence. His team is unbeaten again.

Still, the Seminoles will head to Pasadena as potential usurpers in the eyes of some.

For nearly the past decade the SEC has been king, dominating the BCS and making other contenders look foolish. The state of Alabama in particular has been home to the BCS Champion the last four years straight.

Auburn will be looking to continue that streak and win the last BCS Championship ever awarded.

"We're not going to get involved in all this SEC/ACC stuff because we done made it to where we are and we're not done yet,” said Jameis Winston. “We fear no one.  Our opponent has no face, so we don't care.”

Part of the Seminoles’ confidence may stem from the fact that they are built like an SEC team.

Just don’t tell Fisher that.

“I built our program like I thought we needed to build it to win a championship.  We don't model ourselves after nobody,” said Fisher.  “We're Florida State, we do things the way we do them and the way I think you have to play to win a championship and the kind of team you have to have to win a championship.  That's the way I think we tried to build this team."

Florida State boasts the top-ranked scoring defense in the nation, creates turnovers at an alarming rate (they lead the country with 25 interceptions) and the Seminoles brutalize opponents in the trenches.

Not to mention the fact FSU is on pace to score more points this season than any team in college football history.

Still, until another conference can beat the SEC for a BCS title -- the last BCS title in this case -- some will still going to be skeptical of the Seminoles’ chances.

“Yeah, people are always going to doubt us or have a feeling of upset or something.  But that's why we have that chip on our shoulder,” said Telvin Smith. “That's why we play the way we do, and that just drives us, that feeds us, and that's what it did the whole season, it just fed us, and now we're here going to the big one.”


For all the latest Florida State news and updates, follow Patrik Nohe on Twitter...

Thoughts From the Morning After: The Joyner Effect


Last night Florida State finished the first 13-win season in the program's history and nobody played a bigger role in that than Lamarcus Joyner.

There are plenty of seniors that have had an impact on the return to prominence that FSU is experiencing this season, but few players -- not just in the present, either, but in the entire history of Florida State football -- have done more to prop up the program.

"This program has been down for a while and Coach Fisher came in here and did a pretty great job of recruiting and rebuilding this program," said Joyner last night. "Just to be a part of something special, to be able to bring this program back, watching this program when I was a young child, and to be a part of it and be a part of something special, there's no better feeling right now."

Fisher may have recruited the class, but Joyner acted as Fisher's glue. As a high-profile recruit Joyner used his clout to talk other recruits into signing with FSU at various camps and all-star games. 

'Let's bring FSU back,' was the mantra. And Joyner used it to ensure the class he arrived with would be tight knit and focused on the same goal.

He continued with that mantra once he got to Florida State, using it to lock down recruits on official visits and to build camaraderie with his teammates.

"If you look at the progress that we made over the years, Chick‑Fil‑A Bowl, Champs Sports Bowl, Orange Bowl, we kept getting better, we kept climbing the ladder, and that's what I envisioned to do, coming back as a senior leader to keep climbing that ladder," Joyner said.

Last season, after FSU had won 12 games, recaptured the ACC and won the Orange Bowl, Joyner made the decision to return for his senior season. He likely would have been a second or third round pick. 

The self-interested decision would have been to turn pro. Joyner has admitted before that one of his biggest motivations is getting his family out of its current financial predicament. He had that chance last year and nobody would have faulted him for taking it.

But Joyner came to FSU with a purpose -- one he felt he had yet to fulfill -- and he opted to return for his senior season, this time with one mission: to make sure FSU made it the rest of the way up that proverbial ladder.

"It just goes back to spring training, fourth quarter drills.  I mean, training together and all, just seeing the nation doubt us and being able to come to practice and work every day and look Telvin and Jameis and Coach Fisher in the eye and say 'I love you, Coach;' 'I love you, Jameis;' 'I love you, Telvin,'" said Joyner.

"And then you go find yourself telling someone you love them every day, then you just build a brotherhood, and we started believing in each other.  That's when I felt that we was the best team in the country, and I said that early on at the ACC kickoff that it didn't matter what people said about us or think about us, it was all about what we felt about and thought about each other."

Joyner embodies the ferocity of this year's Florida State defense perfectly. He gets every last ounce out of his physical talents, plays selflessly, trusts his teammates and attacks without hesitation.

That's why it was fitting that Joyner lead the way for Florida State's defense on Saturday night -- much as he has done all season.

It was the former Ft. Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas standout that delivered a fearsome blow to set the physical tempo early on when the teams were still feeling one another out.

It was Joyner who came up with a key interception early in the second quarter after Duke threatened following a Jamison Crowder punt return.

"Larmarcus' interception changed the momentum and got it back for us and it allowed us to go back down and score a touchdown," said Jimbo Fisher.  'That play by the defense to change the momentum by Lamarcus, it was a great play by a great player."

Now only 60 minutes of football stand between Joyner -- and his Florida State teammates -- and their goal of winning a national title. Well, 60 minutes and Auburn.

Perhaps appropriately if the Seminoles are to best the Tigers it will take a big performance from a nickel corner in run support to help stymie the Auburn rushing attack. That means Lamarcus Joyner will have to step up for the Seminoles one final time.

If the past four years are any indication, Joyner will be ready come January 6th.

"We have to just do the little things that we've been doing all season, and by the time we're in California and ready to play in that National Championship, then I'll be able to say that we're confident," said Joyner. "But it's all about the power of preparation and what we do throughout this week and the weeks that come to prepare for this game."


For all the latest Florida State news and updates, follow Patrik Nohe on Twitter...



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