Dec. 21, 2011
By Bob Thomas, Seminoles.com
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Throughout their careers Florida State offensive linemen Zebrie Sanders, Andrew Datko, David Spurlock and Jacob Stanley have been the first players on the practice field each day and the last to leave.
That was once again the case Wednesday - with a slight twist.
The quartet of senior Seminoles were carried off the Al Dunlap Practice Fields by their fellow linemen; a nod to their service and commitment as they completed their final on-campus workout under the direction of line coach Rick Trickett.
"They went out, went through it and had a good day," FSU head coach Jimbo Fisher said of his seniors, as they were being carried off the field. "They were having fun."
Fisher, in fact, liked the way the Seminoles put a wrap on their final Tallahassee practice before they head to Orlando to complete preparation for the Dec. 29 Champs Sports Bowl match-up against Notre Dame (5:30 p.m., ESPN).
"They were actually into it," Fisher said. "They didn't leave too early and they had a good practice."
Fisher dismissed the team shortly before noon and said they will gather again on Dec. 24 at the Orlando Hilton, the Florida State headquarters for the bowl game, where a team meeting is scheduled for 5 p.m.
"We've got so many guys [from Florida] its easier going to Orlando," Fisher said. "If we were farther off, I like going as a team."
The Seminoles will practice Dec. 25 and 26 at 11 a.m. at the Florida Citrus Bowl practice fields, and on Dec. 27 3 p.m. He will treat those practices like a normal Tuesday-Thursday schedule during the regular season.
Seminoles land touted JUCO lineman
Florida State has not wasted time addressing its offensive line needs, landing New Mexico Military Institute tackle Daniel Glauser Wednesday - the first day junior college players can sign grant-in-aid and national letts of intent. At 6-foot-6, 320 pounds, Glauser projects as an offensive tackle, where he will get the opportunity to have an early impact as a January enrollee.
"I'm very excited to get Daniel," Fisher said. "He's a very big, athletic guy; very strong and mature. We're very blessed to have him in our program. It's a position of need. Being able to come in this semester and get the spring [practice] is huge."
Fisher described Glauser, who was raised in Switzerland and played his first football there, as "highly intelligent" when it comes to understanding the game.
"The sacrifices he's made to get himself in a position to do this is tremendous," Fisher added.
Powell earns consensus All-America distinction
Senior punter Shawn Powell will have his likeness placed prominently on the wall encircling the Florida State locker room. That was came clear Tuesday night, when the NCAA announced that Powell had earned consensus All-America honors, which is required to make the wall.
Powell enters the Champs Sports Bowl as Florida State's all-time leader in career average (44.01) and currently leads the nation in both punting (47.0) and net punting (42.04). The Rome, Ga. native was a first-team All-America selection by both the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) and the Walter Camp Foundation; two of the five All-American teams designated by the NCAA to be used for consensus status. The Associated Press, Football Writers Association of America and Sporting News are the other three teams.
Powell was the only punter to earn first-team honors from two of the outlets.
"He should have been [consensus]," said Fisher, who has called Powell the team's MVP at points during the year. "He affected our team. ... The guy was phenomenal and Dustin [Hopkins] had a heckuva year."
FSU's kicking game has been instrumental in the Seminoles posting an 8-4 record and ranking among the top defenses nationally in 2011.
"They affect the game," Fisher said of his punter and kicker. "I've never seen a championship team that wasn't great on defense and the kicking game. The kicking game plays as huge a part in playing great defense as playing great defense because of field position. ... If you want to have a great kicking game you've got to cover and return it, but you've got to have great kickers."