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April 25, 2012

Jimbo Fisher

COACH FISHER:  Thought our spring went extremely well.  We made a lot of strides in a lot of areas which we felt we needed to.  We had some bumps and bruises, but nothing that will keep guys out of the fall, which is very intriguing.  Guys had a very physical spring.  Concentrated very much on running the football and doing some things and developing some of our younger players.  Felt very good in that stride.
Thought our depth becoming more of a program, getting a lot more depth at some key positions.  I was overall very pleased with the way spring went, had great attitudes and work ethic.  For the most part got everything we needed to get done.

Q.  We all know that your offense revolves heavily around the quarterback, and you put a lot on his plate.  You've had a bunch of them make it to the NFL.  If your offense is going to be all it can be this season, do you need E.J. Manuel to turn into a conference Player of the Year type guy, even a Heisman Trophy type candidate?
COACH FISHER:  No, I don't think so.  I think he has the ability to do that.  The key is we play well around him.  We first of all take care of our needs up front, and we get better up front and allow us to function.  I think we have to find the receiver who is a guy that's going to go catch 70 balls, and the back that's going to be able to tote it and make the plays at the end and so forth, and the tight end create things.
I think he will.  When I looked at his numbers at the end, he didn't play perfect, but he did pretty good with the situations we had around him.  And I don't necessarily think that's true, especially with the capabilities we have.  I think we'll be able to run the football much better.  Make more plays out there, and play great defense and special teams.  I think he can, but I don't think he has to.

Q.  Could you talk about the development of Kelvin Benjamin?  Where does he fit in a position that is so deep?
COACH FISHER:  I think he really came a long way in the spring.  I think, learning to be more consistent, learning to be more detailed.  The big plays he makes, he's learning to become a much better down in and down out receiver, a very good blocker.  It's deep, but his talent level is as good as anybody's on this team.  I think there is a big role for him.
If he keeps developing, he has a chance to make us a very good football team with some things that he'll continue to grow on and develop in the spring.  That's what I was happiest about.  His work ethic and attitude I thought were very good in the spring.

Q.  Coach, I'm doing a story on summer camps.  I just wonder if you could talk about how important summer camps are and the evaluation process in recruiting, and if you could give a percentage of the number of kids that ended up signing that went to your summer camp?
COACH FISHER:  I think summer camps are huge, especially for the head coach.  It's the only chance that me, as a head coach, I get to evaluate them.  Because we're not out in spring.  That crazy rule that doesn't allow head coaches out.  We're responsible for everything that happens and we judge our players.
But our summer camps aren't just based off recruiting.  We treat them and coach them extremely hard.  Our camp is very tough.  The development of high school players in general to promote the game.  It's not a recruiting camp.  Now probably 80 to 85% of the guys we sign are in our camp.  They come to our camp because they like coming down.  They want to see what it's like to be coached by us.  As much as us seeing them, they see us, because we coach them the same way we do.  Our coaches are involved in everything we do.  I'm there every day coaching in positioning and coaching a segment.  So I think they get a good feel for us, and it's important for them.
So probably 80 to 85% of the kids come to our camp, but we don't solely make it a recruiting camp.

Q.  Just a follow‑up.  I wondered if there's any competition between you and your counterparts on a state level or in the conference as far as the kids that show up, the five stars and four stars and that kind of thing?
COACH FISHER:  No, competition as far as what?  I'm misunderstanding what you're saying.  What do you mean?

Q.  The type of kids, the quality of kids that show up at your camp in terms of top recruits compared to other schools whether in the state or the ACC.
COACH FISHER:  I don't worry about what the other schools do.  I just worry about what we do, and we put on a good high school camp to develop players and let them do it.  If great players want to come, we definitely encourage them to be here so we can be with them.  They can see us and we can coach them for a day in camp.  They can see what it's like to be coached here and coached by us.  It's a mutual thing.
There is not a competition.  We don't try to create that.  For lack of better terms, we have enough problems at Florida State, that we try to take care of our own and don't worry about what others do.

Q.  They're having the BCS meetings in South Florida this week.  What are your thoughts on them?  One, some slight adjustments to the BCS, two, a four‑team event where they play in a semifinal and have a championship, three, the original plus one system.  Or the last one, the four team‑plus system.  Which one do you prefer?
COACH FISHER:  I haven't really‑‑ personally, I haven't detailed each one to see the pros and cons of what each one is.  A plus one is really a semifinal game.  In essence, it's the same thing when you do it or how you do it.  I think change is inevitable in life.  I think you have to reevaluate after a while to find better ways to do it.  But I don't think change needs to have change if there's not a better way.  I think sometimes we think change is good, but we don't have a better plan.
I would have to study them more.  I haven't had time with spring ball and I'm having player meetings with all of our players and season ending, in the ending meetings to strengths and weaknesses and all that stuff.  I haven't had time to research all that stuff.  But I'd be anxious to see how it does come out.
But I think change is inevitable.  I think we have a good system.  I don't think it needs a lot of tweaking, but it may need some.  They'll evaluate and try to make a good choice, and we'll live with whatever they make.  I don't know enough of each one specifically to say which one I would prefer.

Q.  Greg Reid has a chance to become Florida State's all‑time leading punt returner in career yards.  For Florida State, obviously, that's saying something.  Number one, what makes him such a good punt returner, and how unique is his ability to go field everything?
COACH FISHER:  It's very unique.  He's a natural at it.  He's instinctive.  It's natural for him to put the ball in his hands back there and create plays and create those kinds of situations.
When I think of Florida State, I think of Deion Sanders, I think of Terrell Buckley and Peter Warrick, just to name a few guys that have been back there.  And for him to be in that category is unique.  But he's unique like those guys.  He's dynamic.  He changes games, he's as good a punt returner as there is in the country.  He understands the ability to catch balls and become a great team guy, which is very unique.  He's not selfish with it.  We're blessed to have him.  He changes games.  He is definitely a play maker.

Q.  Coming out of spring, what were you most concerned about or are you still looking forward to August to say, oh, I'd like to have another look at these guys?
COACH FISHER:  I think you always do.  We wanted to make sure we felt good about our offensive line.  We made some changes at tight end and had some guys in position changes which we come away very comfortable with the way spring went.
I think building depth at different positions, linebacker, defensive back, your back‑up quarterbacks and your running back situation where we're at, and developing some of our young, defensive ends and defensive linemen everywhere.
To me, it's developing the depth and getting the young guys there, and seeing if the old guys can take that next step.  It was kind of everywhere for us to get what we had to do.  We went through such a rash of injuries last year that I don't think our guys understood the importance of being a number two.  But understanding you could play very quickly, and the importance of getting ready.  I think we did that for the most part.

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