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April 12, 2014: 

Mellor: 2014 spring game recap:

Jameis Winston and the Garnet team beat the Gold squad, 31-14, Saturday in Florida State's annual spring football game at Doak Campbell Stadium.

Winston, who arrived in Tallahassee four hours before kickoff from Atlanta, Ga. where he was with the FSU baseball team for its series at Georgia Tech, completed 27 of 56 pass attempts for 394 yards with two touchdowns and one interception against the first-team `Noles defense on the Gold side. Asked afterwards why he threw nearly 60 times in a scrimmage, the reigning Heisman Trophy winner cited the Seminoles' most pressing offensive need this off-season.

Building chemistry in the passing game.

With so many young receivers being asked to step up and replace key contributors Kenny Shaw and Kelvin Benjamin, Winston needed as many repetitions this spring with Isaiah Jones, Kermit Whitfield and Jesus Wilson.

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Winston leads Garnet to 31-14 win over Gold:

Jimbo Fisher interview:

Jameis Winston interview:

Spring-game highlights:


April 10, 2014: 

Mellor: 2014 spring game preview:

What a difference a year makes.

Before climbing to the top of the college football mountain, Florida State entered the 2013 spring game 12 months ago with a four-player quarterback competition that generated national headlines and spurred debate among FSU fans. The Seminoles were also a team in transition, with head coach Jimbo Fisher charged with capping off the practice period after an off-season defined by a major staff overhaul.

One year and one title later, none of those story lines have defined FSU's month of spring-time practices. In fact it's been the opposite.

Jameis Winston went on to win that quarterback competition in fall camp and of the four student-athletes that competed last year, only Winston and Sean Maguire remain. This is Winston's team -- and his college football world, for that matter -- and spring talk has centered around the competition around him -- not including him.

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April 9, 2014: 

Jimbo Fisher post-practice interview:

The reigning national champion Florida State football team practiced in helmets and shorts during a productive session on Wednesday afternoon at the Albert J. Dunlap Athletic Training Facility.

The Seminoles will hold just one more practice on Thursday before the annual Spring Game at 3 p.m. (ESPN) on Saturday at Doak Campbell Stadium. 

“A very productive practice,” Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher said. “I liked it even though it was only with helmets and shorts. We did a lot of clock management situations – end of the game, before the half, third down stuff, a lot of blitz stuff. I was very happy with the work we put in today. We got something accomplished and got better in a lot of areas. We made some mistakes but then we corrected them. We got a lot of good teaching in. I’m very happy with the way the day went.”

Following practice, Fisher talked about the importance of versatility as several players are learning multiple positions this spring, including defensive ends Mario Edwards, Jr. and Chris Casher. 

“Those guys (Edwards and Casher) are being very multiple with what they have to do, inside and outside,” Fisher said. “They are doing a very nice job. Those guys can create mismatches with pass rushes, getting on a back, getting on a guard, getting on a tackle, how a protection goes. We are just trying to create guys that can create plays on the quarterback.” 

Edwards was an All-ACC Third Team selection last fall as a sophomore and came up huge on the biggest stage, tallying 3.0 tackles for loss in the BCS National Championship Game versus Auburn.

Casher appeared in 13 games last season as a redshirt freshman and totaled 25 tackles and 5.0 TFLs.

Overall, Fisher and his staff are excited about Saturday’s spring game because the atmosphere of a live crowd is something the Seminoles can’t duplicate in regular practice or scrimmage.

“The spring game is important to me,” Fisher said. “You get a live scoreboard. You get 30, 40, 50 thousand people – however many come to the game – and you get out there and get nervous. You can’t simulate that. I don’t care how many times. You are walking into that stadium with live things happening that count in front of a TV that is in front of fans. Just how they respond at all positions. I think it is very critical. That is why I try and emphasize a big crowd. It is as close as you can to simulating a game.”

Jimbo Fisher Post-Practice Quotes

Opening Statement:

“A very productive practice. I liked it even though it was only with helmets and shorts. We did a lot of clock management situations – end of the game, before the half, third down stuff, a lot of blitz stuff. I was very happy with the work we put in today. We got something accomplished and got better in a lot of areas. We made some mistakes but then we corrected them. We got a lot of good teaching in. I’m very happy with the way the day went.” 

On what there is to gain when practicing without pads:

“Situational football, consistently. How to do things consistently and then how to go out and hustle hard. Clock management. You have go to be able to understand red zone, tight zone, third down, third and short, third and long, two minutes before the half, two minutes before the game, you have three timeouts, you have two timeouts, you have no timeouts, you need a field goal, you need a touchdown. Many of those things you can do over and over and pound it in their head to understand situational football. When it comes down to good teams that is what it is going to come down to and who can manage those situations. That is what we are constantly trying to do right now.” 

On defensive end Mario Edwards learning all the positions on the defensive line:

“He and [Chris] Casher both. Mario is doing a lot and Casher is doing a lot. Those guys are being very multiple with what they have to do, inside and outside. They are doing a very nice job. Those guys can create mismatches with pass rushes, getting on a back, getting on a guard, getting on a tackle, how a protection goes. We are just trying to create guys that can create plays on the quarterback.”

On how linebacker Matthew Thomas has been looking this spring:

“He looks really well. He is really learning inside. He is getting off blocks better. He is so instinctive and flashes and gets to a point. He can tackle. He is a great space player. He is 228 pounds. He is running well, playing well. He is a really good player.”

On how players handle coaching:

“It’s not personal. When it gets in between these white lines they know. When I go off this field I am for these kids one-thousand percent. When you get in between these white lines there is a standard in which you can’t go below and there is an expectation on our part as coaches and their part as players. It is our job to make you the player you can be not the one you are. You have to understand it is not a personal thing. We are not attacking you personally. You have to take coaching.”

On left tackle Cameron Erving playing center:

“If he has to be. We are pleased with [Austin] Barron. We just keep developing centers. You can’t have enough and he is very athletic in there. Barron is playing very well and doing a nice job, but he [Erving] is a very good center also. He has big time capabilities. Sometimes you get bigger bodies at different positions and you can move him in there. He is very intelligent. It is very critical.”

On quarterback Jameis Winston playing both baseball and football:

“He likes baseball and he likes football. Whatever he has to do for his teams to play just like he did last year. That is part of being a two-sport guy. You have to balance that and do that. Very few are capable and he is one of them.”

On early enrollee defensive back Trey Marshall:

“Trey Marshall is a real player. Trey Marshall is (the real deal) now. He is going to be a good player here for a long time.  He can do a lot of things. He can play safety, he can play corner, he can play nickel and he can play dime. He is a smart guy. Smart guys win.” 

On the importance of a spring game:

“I think knowledge and how they compete is critical. Going out there in front of a live crowd. The spring game is important to me. You get a live scoreboard. You get 30-, 40-, 50,000 people however many come to the game and you get out there and get nervous. You can’t simulate that. I don’t care how many times. You are walking into that stadium with live things happening that count in front of a TV that is in front of fans. Just how they respond at all positions. I think it is very critical. That is why I try and emphasize a big crowd. It is as close as you can to simulating a game.”

Jesus Wilson interview:

Keith Bryant interview:

Spring practice photo gallery 10:


April 7, 2014: 

Jimbo Fisher post-practice interview:

As rain poured down outside for much of the afternoon, the reigning national champion Florida State football team didn't skip a beat holding its second scrimmage of spring practice on Monday inside the Albert J. Dunlap Training Facility. 

FSU head coach Jimbo Fisher was impressed by several players on both sides of the ball and said that without a doubt the competitive nature was there during the practice session. 

"Both sides made plays when the other side was doing things right," Fisher said. "That's what you have to have. We still have to be consistent - still have to get better. It was a very physical, good scrimmage. I liked it."

Rising sophomore Freddie Stevenson is expected to replace Chad Abram at fullback in the fall, but the Bartow, Fla., native has been getting plenty of reps at tailback as the Seminoles remain thin at running back with injuries to early enrollee Dalvin Cook and rising sophomore Ryan Green. 

Fisher also announced that rising senior running back Karlos Williams will be held out for the rest of the spring as a precaution. Williams rushed for 730 yards and 11 touchdowns on just 91 carries as a backup last season. 

For the second straight practice, rising redshirt senior left tackle Cameron Erving got a few reps in at center. Fisher said he is happy with the play of expected senior starter Austin Barron at center, but noted that there is always a need to develop backups.

"Cam is an exceptional left tackle, but he can be an extremely big-time center," Fisher said. "We're happy with (Austin) Barron, we're just doing things to develop guys as backups and get more snaps. I'm not displeased with Barron at all; Cam Erving is just so quick and athletic.

"Center is like quarterback. You can move guards and tackles and receivers, but centers and quarterbacks - that's a learned profession. You have to have as many as you can."

The Seminoles are scheduled to practice two more times - Wednesday and Thursday - before the annual Spring Game at 3 p.m. (ESPN) on Saturday at Doak Campbell Stadium.

Fisher on Florida State's refined logo:

"I have no problem. Our logo is our logo. They changed it. It's still our Seminole head, it's a beautiful head. It's what it is. It doesn't change Florida State and what our values are and what our systems are. I don't see an issue with it. Now, did I like the old one? Yes. Do I like our new one? Yes. It's our logo and it's not drastically that much different. To me, and I haven't been here that long but I've been a Florida State fan too, I don't think it's that big of a deal. If the Seminole Tribe is fine with things and they like it, to me that's great. It still doesn't change our tradition, our values and what we are."

Jimbo Fisher Post-Scrimmage Quotes

Opening Statement:

"A lot more intensity - more physical. More plays being made. For instance, a guy is covered and we make a great throw and catch. You can see in the open field a guy comes flashing through and makes a play. Better football was played. Both sides made plays when the other side was doing things right. That's what you have to have. Still have to be consistent. Still have to get better. It was a very physical, good scrimmage. I liked it." 

On what he looks for in a scrimmage:

"How you compete and the culture you create when you play. And the consistency of how you play football. Everybody says, `well that guy made a big play' ... and that's great. Well if it's really just because the other side blew the assignment you really don't know anything about your guys except they know what to do. Can they do it when the other side does it right and things like that. And I was looking for much more consistency and being much more physical in this scrimmage." 

On what players impressed:

"A bunch. I thought the whole scrimmage was like that. I will look at the film. I noticed (linebacker) Matthew Thomas a bunch on the goal line. (safety) Jalen Ramsey made some good plays. (quarterback) Jameis (Winston) made some good throws. `80' (wide receiver Rashad Greene) made some catches. Bobo (wide receiver Jesus Wilson) made some really good catches. Christian Green on third down made some plays. Some of those guys emerged out there. I think (cornerback) P.J. Williams made a play or two. I'm trying to go off the top of my head. It was much better. There was tackling all around. There was some pop. No doubt the competitive nature was there."

On the quarterback play in today's scrimmage:

"Jameis threw the ball pretty well. We caught the ball well and played around him well and let him function." 

On rising sophomore running back Mario Pender:

"He had a couple nice long runs, and I think he got dinged in the head on the goal run. Freddie (Stevenson) ran well. He's going to play tailback for us in certain situations."

On the injury status of rising senior running back Karlos Williams:

"We're going to hold Karlos out the rest of the spring. We know what we've got there. He'll keep getting banged and bruised up."

On whether they will draft again this year for teams in the spring game:

"We'll wait and see how many people we have. We'll see how many people we have left and match them and make sure we don't get the O-line discombobulated. That's what causes chaos in a spring game is the mismatching of offensive linemen."

On the relative health of the team:

"We're alright. We're banged and bruised; it's been a physical spring. On the O-line we are pretty healthy, seem to be anyways."

On rising redshirt senior left tackle Cam Erving getting some reps at center:

"He had a series or two in there. Cam is an exceptional left tackle, but he can be an extremely big-time center. We're happy with (Austin) Barron, we're just doing things to develop guys as backups and get more snaps. I'm not displeased with Barron at all; Cam Erving is just so quick and athletic."

On the importance of depth at center:

"Center is like quarterback. You can move guards and tackles and receivers, but centers and quarterbacks - that's a learned profession. You have to have as many as you can."

Scrimmage video:

Jalen Ramsey interview:

Rashad Greene interview:


April 5, 2014: 

Jimbo Fisher post-practice interview:

Ukeme Eligwe interview:

Freddie Stevenson interview:


April 4, 2014: 

Podcast: Spring practice impressions:

Spring practice photo gallery 9:


April 3, 2014: 

E.J. Levenberry interview:


April 2, 2014: 

Practice video:

Jimbo Fisher post-practice interview:

Spring practice photo gallery 8:

Cameron Erving interview:


April 1, 2014: 

Mellor: Kareem Are's late start hasn't hindered his impact:

It took longer for Kareem Are to get on the field than it took for him to make an impact at practice for Florida State.

Are, a junior-college signee in the 2014 recruiting class that enrolled in classes in January, had not participated in the first week-and-a-half of Florida State's practices before officially being cleared to join his new teammates March 27. Three practices -- one of which was Monday's scrimmage -- later, Are has made a habit out of turning heads. 

"I think Kareem Are has a chance to be one heck of a player," FSU coach Jimbo Fisher said. "I think he's doing a really nice job of coming along. I'm very pleased with him."

Click here to read the full story


March 31, 2014: 

Practice video:

The reigning national champion Florida State football team held its first scrimmage of spring practice on Monday afternoon on Bobby Bowden Field at Doak Campbell Stadium.

Head Coach Jimbo Fisher said there were no surprises during the scrimmage, noting he expected to get a better grasp of who stood out after he looked at the film.

"It was the typical first scrimmage," Fisher said. "Offense - they had a couple of big drives. I think Rashad (Greene) caught a long touchdown. There were a couple of picks here and there on defense. It's just solid. I don't think it was bad. I don't think it was good, either way. I think it was just a solid typical first scrimmage.

"It may be that you're very good on both sides - you have good players on both sides. We'll look at the film and see it there but I thought there should have been a little more juice in the scrimmage."

Fisher said rising senior running back Karlos Williams has performed well this spring, as he and several key players have been in green non-contact jerseys in an effort to keep as many healthy bodies on the field.

On defense, Fisher said he was impressed with defensive backs P.J. Williams, a rising junior, and Jalen Ramsey, a rising sophomore, and called rising redshirt sophomore linebacker Ukeme Eligwe "extremely talented."

Williams started at cornerback and was named the Defensive MVP of the BCS National Championship Game last season, while Ramsey was a Freshman All-American who started at cornerback and safety in the fall. Eligwe starred on special teams and gained valuable experience as a backup linebacker. 

The Seminoles will hold a second scrimmage before wrapping up practice at the annual Spring Game on April 12 at 3 p.m. (ESPN).

Jimbo Fisher post-practice interview:

Spring practice photo gallery 7:

Mario Edwards, Jr. interview:

Rashad Greene. interview:

Practice sights and sounds:


March 29, 2014: 

Spring practice photo gallery 6:

Practice video:


March 28, 2014: 

Haggins, Haplea happy to be healthy:

Kevin Haplea interview:


March 27, 2014: 

Mellor: Jalen Ramsey ready for new role:

Jalen Ramsey is already a national champion just one year into his collegiate career. Now Florida State's rising sophomore defensive back wants more hardware.

"I feel like if you're a DB and you don't have your eyes on that Thorpe Award, then something is wrong with you," Ramsey said. "That's like the Heisman for the DBs right there. All of our defensive backs on the team are all going for it. We're competing with each other. "We're just trying to get that third Thorpe Award back to Florida State."

Deion Sanders and Terrell Buckley are previous FSU winners of the Thorpe Award and Lamarcus Joyner nearly captured the honor last year when the senior playmaker was named a finalist.

As spring-time preparations continue for the reigning kings of college football, Ramsey isn't just focused on being in the same post-season award conversation as Joyner -- he's focused on replacing him as well. After becoming the first FSU freshman to start at cornerback since Sanders and then moving to safety after Tyler Hunter's season-ending injury in 2013, Ramsey is on the move again -- this time to Joyner's vacated spot at nickel back.

Click here to read the full story


March 26, 2014: 

Practice video:

Jimbo Fisher post-practice interview:

Fisher Post Practice Quotes

"Much better tempo today. I liked the whole tempo. With some of these in-and-out drills, guys are starting to get the hang of it. With spring ball you've got less people so you have to get more reps. The physical part of it I liked. We were physical, not hurting each other, practicing the right way, doing things with our hands. Defensively we did some real nice things. I see some real athletic guys over there at three levels - front, linebackers, secondary. Offensively, I feel we caught the ball much better today. We've got potential, we just have to be in the right places and be consistent."

On if the emphasis is placed more on defense after losing several star players:

"I'm going to tell you now, the defense I'm pleased with. There's a lot of knowledge with those guys. Even with the guys that left, there's a lot of experience with this group. For the linebackers, (Ukeme) Eligwe jumps out at me, Matthew Thomas looks really good, as well as Terrance Smith. Those guys have all jumped out there and stepped into some roles that I'm very proud of. Eddie Goldman is getting better every day, I like his progress. Some of those guys in the secondary are pretty talented back there." 

On the reasoning behind Terrance Smith's move to the Will linebacker:

"Just versatility, being able to play two or three positions. You don't know when a guy gets injured, so when you can mix and match guys to get the best personnel on the field in different packages, when you get older you need to be multiple in your positions and it allows you to understand your defense better. Like if you know what the Will or Mike is doing as a Sam, it allows you to play differently in different situations."

On the versatility of rising sophomore Jalen Ramsey:

"Jalen can do about anything he wants to. He's playing safety, nickel, corner. I've been extremely pleased with the way he is playing. P.J. (Williams) is playing real well, Lamarcus Brutus has had a good spring. I think Trey Marshall is going to be a really good player. I think he has corner capabilities too. It's been a good group."

On Ramsey's intelligence:

"He's smart and he knows all three positions. He can lead, he can talk, he's intelligent, he processes things and gets them to his teammates. I'm pleased with his whole dynamic in the way he is playing. He's taken on that role and he feels comfortable doing it."

On the play of the wide receivers so far in the spring:

"Scooter (Jarred Haggins) playing in the slot has done some good things. I've been really pleased with BoBo (Jesus Wilson) out there. BoBo has played well, Isaiah (Jones) has come on, Kermit (Whitfield) was consistent and we got him making some plays in space and he was better in his routes. Christian Green has been solid."

On cross-training players to different positions during spring ball:

"It is (difficult) because they have to learn quickly in a limited amount of time. In the long run it's going to help, but right now we have to cram as much information in as we can. You have to build your library right now, because however we play now is not going to count. It's getting them to the fall and getting them as many reps. When you are familiar with something it makes it easier to learn when that package is pulled out. Right now we have to cram as much information to those guys as possible."

Spring practice photo gallery 4:

Practice sights and sounds:

Jalen Ramsey interview (audio):

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March 25, 2014: 

#IgnitionTradition: What if...:


March 24, 2014: 

Practice video:

Practice sights and sounds:

Spring practice photo gallery 3:

Tyler Hunter interview:

Nate Andrews Interview:


March 22, 2014: 

Roberto Aguayo interview:

Sean Maguire interview:


March 22, 2014: 

Practice video:

Jimbo Fisher post-practice interview:

Spring practice photo gallery 2:

Practice sights and sounds:


March 21, 2014: 

P.J. Williams interview:

Mario Edwards, Jr. interview:


March 20, 2014: 

Jimbo Fisher and Jameis Winston press conference transcripts:

Click here for access to written transcripts from FSU head coach Jimbo Fisher and quarterback Jameis Winston's interviews with the media to start spring practices.


March 19, 2014: 

Practice video:

Brandon Mellor's opening-day practice observations:

The reigning national champions of college football kicked off spring practices Wednesday afternoon and here are a few observations from our first look at the 2014 Seminoles:

Number changes

This time of year, jersey-number changes always draw the most attention and there were several `Noles that have new digits.

Quick disclaimer: these are not yet official and some could still change. The official FSU spring roster will be updated by the Florida State Sports Information Office in the near future.

In the mean time, the following are some of the changes you can expect to see when the roster is revealed. 

Sophomore tailback Ryan Green came out to practice wearing No. 6 after wearing No. 15 last season. Despite being at FSU less than a year, this is actually Green's third number. He began his career last fall with No. 24 but switched before the Boston College game so that he could play on special teams alongside linebacker Terrance Smith, who, you guessed it, wears No. 24.

Click here to read the full story

Practice video:

Spring practice photo gallery 1:

Podcast: Spring Practice Preview:

Jimbo Fisher Press Conference highlights:


March 17, 2014: 

Position-by-position previews:



March 12, 2014: 

FSU football ignites locker room renovations:


March 6, 2014: 

4th Quarter Drills come to a close:


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