So Lamarcus, put in words what kind of a thrill it is to be in this game? To be honest, it hasn't hit me yet. I'm expecting it to when game time kickoff, but it's just a great experience to be out here in California, preparing on a different turf and just knowing that you're one of those teams out of many to make it here.
We're from CBS in Miami, Dade, Broward, your home turf. That's 19 guys on this roster from South Florida. Can you talk about the special bond you guys have in South Florida? It just talks about the great talent that we have in the South. 19 guys on the roster. 45 on scholarship, maybe. Or maybe even 50. So just to be loaded with a lot of South Florida guys in this game, it says a lot about the talent down there.
And there's, I think, 17 Auburn guys from the state of Florida. So you probably know of those guys, too, don't you? I know a few of them just by name, just by the great things that they do on the football field, but it's going to be a great experience to play against these guys that you always hear about in high school.
What will it mean do you think to the folks back home to see you play in this game? It would mean a lot. I represent the State of Florida. I represent my hometown, Miami, Broward County. And just to be doing things like this, it makes them happy for you and that's all I can ask for is to make the people that support me and the people that sacrificed for me to be here, to be happy.
You know, Auburn likes to pound the ball. I don't know how busy you'll be as a cornerback, because they run the ball, run the ball. So how do you deal with that? We as secondary guys, we just can't be Superman. If you watch the film, a lot of guys do a lot of undisciplined things, and that's how they give up the touchdowns.
Auburn is a consistent team that pound the football and they do it well. So we just have to do what we do and keep that eye discipline and make the tackle or anything when technique meet opportunity.
Those wide receivers do have big playability. If you guys aren't discipline, talk about that aspect. That's the scary thing about this Auburn offense, that they have those big time wide receivers; and we even recruited Ricardo Lewis, great guy. We was on him hard. And they do what they do well. They run the football for 60 minutes, and the minute they see that you are being undisciplined they can humble you with a big throw and a big catch by those wide receivers, so as a secondary guy you have to continue to do injure your job for 60 minutes and understand that you have the front seven or whoever's job it is to make those tackles and stay on your mind.
This is a general comment, along those lines. Get physical with coverage not having to come up and make a stop. Is this the kind of game you're really excited to go out there and play or do you like the other do I understand of game? We're pretty excited because one thing about this team we're excited for everyone. We play a lot of different kind of teams, spread offense, traditional offense and each seg of the defense is tested, so we're happy to see that everyone do their job and it's pretty successful, and we're looking forward to being pretty physical on the back end because they have pretty big physical wide receivers. So we're looking forward to embrace that challenge and having fun with it.
(No microphone)? It's very important. We gotta continue to do the little things and let the chips fall where they may. We don't need a secondary guy going in there with the mentality of a linebacker because that's not your job. When technique meet opportunity, make the play. If a guy break to the second level then that's your job to get him on the ground but it's not your job to be looking in the back field and you see what happened to the Alabama and Missouri where the guys run up and the guys throwing the ball over your head. So you have though stay on your guy till the point of no return and trust in your guys on your team which we've been doing all year, trusting guys to do their jobs.
How hard is that to learn for a young guy? It's very hard. It's very hard. But it's very easy when you believe in the power of preparation and just trust the guy around you. If you trust people around you, then it'll be easy.
How satisfying is it now? It's very exciting. So come back and to do something that was the plan for me and Coach Fisher and the recruiting class of 2010 to do any ways. This was the main focus to set the bar, set a new standard, to be able to build this program back up to be playing in national championships. And like I said earlier this season, you know, it was a business decision. And this organization has been great to me. So I was not in a rush anyways, but growing up everyone wants to go to the NFL when you're playing this game of football, and to have the opportunity to may have been drafted that alone had my mind wandering to going to the next level. But as a person, as a player I was not yet ready, and I thank God I was able to come back this season and be doing the things that we're doing right now.
(No microphone)? Talent win you games but not championships. We had a lot of talent but there was no chemistry and continuity the way it is this year. A lot of brotherhood. We set a standard around here; one team, one heartbeat and love is the reason for the fight. You have a lot of guys go to the NFL great guys, but we just didn't have this bond that we have this year. And I'd say that's the difference that separates us.
How do you play against Georgia. Have you ever seen a catch like that before? I've never seen a catch like that. A miraculous catch. That was a great catch. It got those guys in this championship right now.
How do you avoid, as a defensive back, how do you avoid something like that? You know, you can play a great football game, but play situations horrible. The way Coach Fisher prepare us is great. He prepare us to be situational masters and as a secondary guy when a ball is thrown like that in a situation like that you have to bat it down and don't go for the interception. So those are the kind of things we practice throughout the week and hopefully we can transfer it over to the game.
Was that a good play on the receiver or was it just lucky that he was there? I mean to say he's a better player than those guys, you can't. I don't believe in luck, but he was in the right place at the right time. That's all I can say. Was he a better play on that play, I wouldn't say that. But he was in the right place at the right time.
(No microphone)? That's the reason this game going to be really tough for the secondary, because we know those guys are going to get some yardage on the ground. They do what they do well, and it'll be easy to be tempted to go up there and try to make those hard hitting tackles on those guys, but you gotta keep the eye discipline and stay on your guy.
Why do you see so many people tipping it up in the air? In order to master your craft, you have to practice it. I don't know how it goes at other universities, but under Coach Fisher's guidance, we practice situations. So we discipline ourselves to in those situations bat the ball down where a lot of programs they may don't practice those situations. So it just may be second nature, but for us we practice to be disciplined, and we're taught to be situational masters so we know what to do when situations like that happen.
Talk about Nick Marshall. Is he a guy that sneaks up on people focus on the running game? I think he's a great athlete. He don't lack arm talent. That's the thing, and then he can run with the football. And with these prototypical offenses that's the kind of guy you need in there. When you look at to what the NFL is converting to, guys that can run and make the big throws and just do a lot with their legs. So they force you to be disciplined. A guy like him, he's a defense nightmare because he can run. He can carry out his play actions, his play fakes. He can throw the ball if you're not disciplined. So he's just overall nightmare for defenses, and that's one of the big reasons why they're in this game.
Have you guys practiced the tip drill more after that Georgia game, after you know you're playing Auburn. Has that increased? We believe in the power preparation and we've been doing those kind of things since I've been under Coach Fisher. So those things have become second nature to us. It hasn't put us on the alert to practice more tip balls because we have a lot of other things to worry about that that team can do. So we just focus on the fundamentals and what they do. They're sound foundation. And come game time, if we're in a situation like that, it should be second nature to us because we practice it all the time.
So you're saying Marshall can throw? Yes. He don't lack arm talent. If you go back and watch the film, the guy make all the big throws.
Considering you guys have won by so much obviously all year long, you want to win Monday night. But you guys want to go out there and make a statement as well? You know, we had one tough game where we had to overcome adversity. That was the Boston College game. You hear a lot of people say Florida State been ahead of everyone by 40, 30 points. But we know how it feel to have adversity. And we also practice what put us in that situation. So we're looking forward to playing how we practice. We start fast and we're looking forward to starting fast on Monday night. But you know, we're playing a great football team. Those guys have heart too. They're just as good of a football team as we are. So we have to continue to do the little things we've been doing all season and play attention to details and let the chips fall where they may.
Do you guys want to win by like 20 or 30 or do you want to win by 3? We don't care if we win by one point, half, if we can tie it up and have to come back and play on next week, Monday. As long as we get the win.
With as much window dressing they use in the back field to get your eyes back there, how is it you guys have been working to make sure you're in the proper gaps and handling the responsibility of not looking at what's going on there? Have you guys been practicing without a ball or Coach Pruitt says it best. Master my position; do my job. And that's been the main theme all season. If they do a lot of window dressing, if a guy rocket motion, to take the linebacker's eyes from their gaps, they have no business doing that because we have a guy for that. So everyone's assigned a job and he's expected to master his position, and we've been trusting each other all season and we don't expect to change that.
(No microphone). You know what, if you go back and watch our games, a lot of second team guys get a lot of playing time. So you know, we look at the bigger picture, you know, once the first team guys has done their job, we let the young guys get in and get them prepared because we're trying to build a dynasty around here. We're trying to do a lot of special things for years to come. So before it get to that point, we're already out of the game, on the sideline, anxious to get back in.
(No microphone)? Yes. Coach those guys. Those guys root for us while we're on the field, and we're expected to do the same.
At the beginning of the season, before you even played a game, (no microphone). You should just go back earlier and look at the ACC kickoff. I have faith and belief the players and the coaches here. I expected things like this to happen for us. Now, could I have told the country that? No, I couldn't have. But I understood the direction we were heading in. And these are the things we expected, and now we're here is no surprise.
(No microphone)? I don't believe in that. I believe you control your own destiny. I mean that's what I believe. I don't believe in -- we eliminate the clutter, so we understand that, you know, they're a good football team. They beat Alabama. They beat Missouri. They go only lose one game in SEC. You have to be a pretty good football team. So I wouldn't even say it's destiny. I'd just say they're a pretty good football team, and you know, the way things happened for them, it's amazing, but you know, they're here.
How you doing first of all? I'm doing well. Excited to be here.
Great. Good to see you today. Tell me how do you feel on the inside? How is the emotions, how is the energy? What's the anticipation of this up coming game? Right now I feel like I've been feeling all year. Throughout the week I'm just enjoying the time here in California. Never been here before, so I'm enjoying practicing on the turf, different field and getting a different feel, different climate out here. But as far as the game I can feel it building up inside me. It's coming time. Everyone's winding down, getting more mentally sharp and I'm just starting to get excited that we're here at the big dance. This is the last dance.
And as far as the atmosphere of California, you been to California before? This is my first time.
And what are your thoughts of California, especially Newport Beach? It's a great place. I've never seen it. I always wanted to. Just ride, seeing the mountains and different people and different faces, and culture. It's an amazing experience.
And how big of an experience is that for you in the sense of, wow, is it bigger than what you thought it would be? I'm a level headed guy, so I'm just going with the flow of the energy inside me. I'm just trying to stay calm for the game because at the end of the day it's a business trip. It's not sightseeing or we're not here for -- I'm just thinking staying focused on the game.
Let's talk about the game. What is it going to take for you guys to come out victorious in this game on Monday? 60 minutes of consistency. Because the effort is going to be there. If you watch film, a lot of teams play with effort for 60 minutes. But we have to execute for 60 minutes, and we have to be disciplined for 60 minutes. And that's hard.
So what Coach Fisher said, you can either suffer the pain of discipline or the pain of disappointment. So for 60 minutes against a team that do what they do well, it ain't no secret what they're doing. You watch film, everyone watch film. You know what these people are doing, which says a lot about that football team. They're a great football team. So we just have to be disciplined for 60 minutes and consistent.
All right. Lamarcus, give yourself and the team a shout out, if you will? Florida State, 2014, looking forward for the BCS National Championship.
Thank you, Lamarcus. So Lamarcus, you've been doing all this media stuff, the fun stuff. How excited are you to finally get back out there and actually play? It's been a while since we played, since we stepped on the football field. And it's building up slowly and for sure inside me. Expect to go out here and have a great game in 2014 BCS Championship, and all the guys are getting excited. As the week wind down and the game is getting closer, I'm just really excited.
How do you manage your emotions and not come out that first play of the game and just basically run out there and not do what you're supposed to do? Believe in the power of preparation. Pay attention to details and continue to do the little things that we've been doing all season and understand that the chips going to fall where they may. So just continuing to do all the right things, being disciplined.
Like Coach Fisher said, you can either suffer the pain of discipline or the pain of disappointment. And I'd rather suffer the pain of discipline. So just keeping yourself under the radar and just understand that what you are really here for.
What's it like looking out in this room and seeing the walk ons, the freshmen, everybody getting the opportunity to talk to the media for the first time? It's great, because even the older guys like Deion Sanders, Derrick Brooks, Terrell Buckley. Those guys have opened up the path ways for us. People have sacrificed for people to be able to do the things that they are. And as a senior leader on this team, to be able to do the things that Telvin Smith or Christian Jones and guys like myself and Terrence Brooks have done, the sacrifices that we have done, it just -- this is the reward for it. The young guys and the walk ons, and everyone get to come here and enjoy theirself. So everyone have to sacrifice for people to be in the situation that they are in. It's great to see everyone enjoying theirself.
Who should I go interview? There's a lot of great guys on this team to go interview. I don't know. A lot of great freshmen. But Ryan Green, great kid. Well spoken. He'll give you a lot of good answers, and personal person.
FSU made it to I believe the first three BCS Bowl games. What does it mean for you to finish it off with a Florida State win? It mean a lot, especially for me personally growing up, watching those National Championship teams on film because I was so young when they was playing the games to even understand. But just watching those guys and playing backyard football, and then when you get older and people tell you how good you are, you're expecting to come to a program like this and change the culture and be the reason that this team win the National Championship. And as a senior leader, being able to play in this game, that means a lot to me.
Obviously your guys' goal at the beginning of the season is probably to be here in this position, but what does it mean for you guys to win out the State of Florida as well? It's a big football state. You know, the South is a lot of pretty good football, and especially the State of Florida. You turn on the water faucet and talent fall out of there.
So to make it out of there undefeated, that says a lot about any team, you know, make it out of Florida, you have to be a pretty good football team.
And at the beginning of the year these are some of the things we expected. It's one of the main goals, and we're here and there's no better feeling. You have to just continue to do the little things and pay attention to details and continue to let the chips fall where they may, just do what you've been doing all year.
(No microphone). It's great talent and great football everywhere, on the West Coast, on the East Coast, in the North, in the South. But it does feel good for a Florida team to be back in this thing.
You know, I respect Alabama. I tip my hat's off, because those guys been pretty successful over the years. So to just have a Florida team in this National Championship, it feels great. It's not a pride thing. It just feel great to make your state happy.
(No microphone). Over and over. They're on ESPN every week, and guys just being in the right place at the right time, making things happen. And they're a pretty good football team, because the teams that they did it against was pretty good football teams. So it's not luck or it's not destiny, because if it was, the games wouldn't even have been as close. So those guys just were able to pull out the win, and I don't take nothing away from them.
(No microphone). You know, Coach Fisher prepare us to be situational masters. Those are some of the things we practice throughout the year, practice every week. So it's second nature for us to bat the ball down in a situation like that, not giving the offense an opportunity to get their hands on the ball and do what Auburn was able to do.
You've probably been asked this already, but the layoff, how does that help you as a defense prepare for Auburn? I don't think if you got a year, a month, a week, two days off, at the end of the day it's no secret of what Auburn is doing. They do what they do and they do it well. Teams know that. You just have to stop 'em. You just have to be disciplined. You gotta understand that as a secondary guy, or as a linebacker or D line, you have to trust the guys around you and be eye disciplined for 60 minutes. So I don't think nothing will help against that offense. You just have to be disciplined, you have to play some tough physical football.
What do not only their fullbacks but Jay Prosch, they sometimes get to second and third level. What do those guys do for that offense because they're some of the unsung heroes? If you watch film, those guys are animals. I mean, we watch film and we be like, God, we see why they get 300, 400 yards a game, because those guys block their tails off. They work hard for Nick Marshall and Tre Mason. Those guys are down the field making incredible blocks. So you have to just know how to get around those guys. We expect for the guys like the linebackers and the front seven to stop those guys before they make it to us because it can be trouble if those guys get to the second level.
Tillman is over there talking about watching Vince young in the Rose Bowl, watching USC teams in the Rose Bowl. What do you think of when you think of playing in the Rose Bowl? I just think it feel good for Florida State to be in the Rose Bowl. You know, those guys did what they did, and hopefully we do what we do and we get us a win in the Rose Bowl. It feel great to be here, though, to have a Florida team representing the State of Florida being here today.
When you see Nick Marshall, talk about what he does on the field and what you guys have to prepare for? I mean it's wholeheartedly, man. He's a nightmare for a defender. He's a prototypical quarterback, a guy that don't lack arm talent, if you go back and watch the film, he can make all the throws and then he can create big plays with his legs, and that's the way the game is converting to, guys that are dual threats at quarterback. So he's a nightmare. He force you to be disciplined, especially as a secondary guy, because you know they run the ball a lot. And you want to go in there and help guys. If the running is going well, and boom, he can run as you see in the Alabama game and get that thing over your head. So you have to be disciplined to no point of return.
Is that easier said than done? Everything in life is easier said than done. That's definitely easier said than done, but we're prepared, and we feel like we are prepared and we've been continuing. We haven't changed anything when we got over here. So we're pretty confident at what we do, too. We do what we do well, too. And they do what they do well, and that's why I know it's going to be a great football game.
What's going to be the toughest part about defending Auburn's offense? Can you be disciplined for 60 minutes. You can either suffer the pain of discipline or suffer the pain of disappointment. We don't want to be disappointed. So we have to force ourselves to be disciplined on all three levels, you know, D line, linebackers and secondary against that offense.
What's this experience been like for you guys this whole entire ride and getting here to the National Championship? It's been great, but I still don't think anyone on our team knows how important it is until Monday night when it's almost game time. We've been preparing the right way, doing everything we've been doing all season, but I think it'll kick in, you know, come Monday night.
But you can feel the emotions and everything just building up as this week wind down.
Are you expecting any surprises from Auburn? I expect Auburn to do what they've been doing all season, steam rolling people off the ball, running the football. That's how they play. That's the thing about that team. Everyone in the country know what they're doing, but can you stop it, can you be disciplined and consistent for 60 minutes. They challenge you on that. They challenge your manhood. So we just have to get ready for a good tough football game.
Just talk about Nick Marshall, what he's been able to do this season as Auburn's quarterback? He's a tough guy to defend for defense. I understand why it's hard for guys to stop that offense because you have a quarterback that don't lack arm talent. But he can also run. And that's the prototypical aspect of football these days. You need a dual threat at quarterback, and a guy who forces you to be disciplined, he's a nightmare for a defender.
And Auburn's obviously been successful with the option all season long. How do you guys prepare for that this past month in practice? We've been doing the best we can do. We've been looking -- see, it's good to learn from others' mistakes, so that's what we kind of basing our game scheme off of, just understanding what other people did and why they went wrong, and at the end of the day it's just overall tough team to prepare for because they do what they do well, and normally when guys run the ball is because their quarterback may lack arm strength or arm talent or intelligence. But that guy he can throw the ball. He can execute the option run. So it's a tough offense to get ready for.
Being a senior, what does it mean to be a Seminole? It means a lot. You know, Florida State has been a prestigious program for many years, but we went through that dark area where people forgot about what this program was capable of, and to be a senior and to be a part of what we're doing and rebuilding this dynasty and reestablishing the foundation around here, it's special to me.
Obviously there's a lot of talk of SEC dominance in the BCS. Does it do you good to see Clemson win a bowl game last night? It feels great to support your conference. You know, these are the guys that you play with throughout the year, and you want to get the win over them, but when you see them play teams from other conferences, it's good to root for them. It feels good to be on their side.
And what do you see on tape with Auburn? Obviously with the dual threat quarterback and the running game. What is the commitment to making sure nothing gets setup behind him? I see a team that do what it does well. I mean everything Auburn do, they execute it to the T. So you understand that throughout the week in practice that they're going to make sure they do whatever it takes to execute come game time.
And it forces defenders to be disciplined for 60 minutes. And that's hard to do. It's human nature to wander off or for a guy on secondary to want to be Superman or for a linebacker to want to be Superman. So you have to master your position and do your job against these guys.
And it's kind of crazy. It's one of those teams where some teams you may be able to do undisciplined things and get away with it. It's almost as every time you do something undisciplined against Auburn, they expose it. You're getting exploited. So they make you pay. So you have to be disciplined for 60 minutes.
You're cornerback. How much are you going to be doing run support on Monday? When technique meet opportunity, you make the play. If not, you run with that man if he run to the restroom as a secondary guy, because you see the Alabama games, you see the Georgia games where -- if you see the Mississippi State game where defenders 15 yards back, you see the quarterback fixing to break pocket, you have no business going to make that tackle. Let the linebacker -- trust in the guys around you, and that guy, he don't lack arm talent. So he get it over your head, now you suffer. Now you make the whole team suffer. So you have to be disciplined. You have to do your job.
Not have the safety mentality is what you're saying? You cannot. You read your keys, and that's your job. It's a National Championship. Love is the reason for the fight, and if you love this program, you will do your job, because if you don't, Auburn will expose you.
Assignment football? Assignment football. That's all it is. And it's tough to do that for 60 minutes. It's tough. Some weeks we may have got away with it. For some reason Auburn exposes that when you're undisciplined. So everyone have to stay disciplined.
What does it mean to you playing this game? It means a lot. And I still don't understand how important it is. I think come Monday, it'll hit me, but now it's a great experience right now and everyone is still in awe, like we can't believe we're here. We expected to be here, but when you get here, it's like, okay, what to do. Have to continue to do the things we've been doing all year.
This is a football crazy area. I mean you're talking southeast now. Football crazy area. But can you wrap your head around all this? It's amazing. It's a great experience. And we deserve this. You don't get what you want. You get what you earn. So I guess I can say that we have earned this as an organization to be here and to have a good time.
(No microphone)? Well, you ask Coach Fisher, he'd say the seniors, the 2010. The seniors. But we have a lot of great talent. Is that the best class talent wise? I can't answer that, because we have talent in every class, but as far as reestablishing a foundation and setting the tone as far as leadership, the 2010 class has played a big part in that.
What did you guys talk about as a unit as you were coming into the state? Did you talk about this day? The key theme was let's bring it back. We brought it back. We're here. National Championship. We didn't do it alone. We did it together. It went from the leaders, the coaches to the training room staff members to the culture change. We changed the way people thought around here. And that was our goal as players, to come in here, you know, we watched Deion Sanders, Terrell Buckley, Derrick Brooks, Peter Warrick. Those guys had a vision. Those guys had a belief. I mean those guys brung this program to what it was, you know, and why couldn't we do the same thing. And that's the way we felt, and that's the way we believed.
What's the friendly rivalry between the juniors? You know, we gotta put them in their place every once in a while, you know. Some days it's theirs, some days it's ours, but at the end of the day we have to reestablish that force, that dominance.
What's the biggest challenge Auburn presents for you? You have to be disciplined for 60 minutes, and that's tough to do. Like I said earlier, it's human nature to kind of wander off when you're doing things well. Those guys force you to be disciplined for 60 minutes, and the minute you are not, they expose that.
Do you guys feel like you're confident? You know, we can match up with any team in the country, but talent wins games. It doesn't win championships. It also requires intelligence. You know, it's not all talent. I believe that football is 90 percent mental and 10 percent physicality. So we can have all the speed, power and everything, but if we're not disciplined, those guys are going to run us out of the Rose Bowl.
What do you think about Nick Marshall? What's your challenge with him? I think he's a nightmare for the defense. He's part of the prototypical offense mindset where the quarterback is a dual threat, don't lack arm talent, can make all the big plays with his legs. He's a nightmare for us. He forces us to be disciplined for 60 minutes.
You know, when teams run the option read, it's because a quarterback may lack talent, arm talent or intelligence. He have all that.
What kind of look did you get from John Franklin on the scout team? See, we expect for him to be a little faster than Nick Marshall. So that's a great look. But just going through the week and practicing with John Franklin, the stress that he has put on us, it put us in the mindset of what kind of game it'll be. So we're prepared for this game.
How about the other freshmen and the secondary with you guys, guys like Jalen Ramsey and Nate Andrews, they talked about your teaching them, taking them under your wing from the very first day? What was your attitude toward these guys coming in this year? They wanted to learn. It wasn't that way when I first came in. Young guys came in, thought they knew everything. Older guys didn't want the young guys to take their jobs or have better things to worry about. If you want to build a program in an organization, it have to be positive teaching and positive learning from both ends.
Those young guys came in hungry, well respectable, great kids, great character, and you wanted to teach those guys everything you knew, and they wanted to learn everything you knew. So it was half and half. Those are some great kids, going to be some great players years to come and that's why it was so easy to coach those guys and to teach those guys.
Is it unfair trying to cover a big body like Telvin in practice? You better know where your help is. That guy, he's a one on one master. I don't care who you are. If you're one on one with Kevin Benjamin, the quarterback oughta throw the ball.
Do you remember the first time he came on the practice field and you got a look at him? I thought the guy was a tight end. I didn't know he was going to be able to move the way that he did, but he's opened a lot of eyes. He's a tremendous person. Love the way that guy go about his business.
How different is he now than when he first showed up? He's more mature mentally. Like you can have all the talent in the world, but if you don't have heart or intelligence, it doesn't mean anything. And I like the way that he has took a step down and understood that he had to learn the game of football and be coachable. And he's a tremendous person.
(No microphone). It's easier said than done, but you have to master your position, and when technique meet opportunity, then you can make the play. But you know, we go over all those things in practice and we expect for guys on the back half, safeties and cornerbacks to trust in the front seven, to play action, to still be on your guy, because that's what this game gonna be about, who can be disciplined for 60 minutes. And if you're not, Auburn will expose that.
(No microphone). We're ready to play football. We're ready to play some football, but we know that we need every single second to prepare against these guys. And the thing is we could have had a year off. Auburn still gonna run the football. The whole country know what they're going to do, but they do it well, and they force you to do what you do well.
Lamarcus, I understand you guys went to a comedy club last night. Did anybody try any jokes out? Well, I wasn't feeling well last night, so I wasn't able to go, but my teammates said that it was really funny, and they said that one of the comedian guys said it was the best experience of his life in the ten years that he been telling jokes because guys were into the show and guys was actually telling jokes on him. So I heard it was a good thing.
Kind of wondering, you look at your quarterback, Jameis Winston looks like he could be a stand up comic. He should have been up there. They should have invited him to do the show. Man, that guy is a tremendous guy, but he's very funny, man, very goofy guy.
Let's talk for a moment about the task at hand for the secondary for Florida State with the way that Auburn plays the game. Well, if you rewind the season, each week, each part of the defense has been tested, the D line, the linebackers, the secondary. Everyone has their game where they're going to be forced to make all the plays. This is not the secondary's game. What we must do is stay disciplined for 60 minutes. That's our assignment. If we're going to get the task at hand, if we're going to have success at it, we have to do our jobs, and that's the biggest challenge for the secondary because the quarterback can make plays with his legs and he don't lack arm talent. So he can suck you up and make all the throws.
And you talk about it. He can throw you a dummy, and you can take the bait and then the next thing you know, there's six on the board. And if you look, some teams allow you to make undisciplined mistakes or make errors. For some strange reason Auburn do what they do so well that the minute you make an undisciplined mistake, they expose you, you've been exploited. And that's been the biggest thing for that team this year. They don't allow you to make mistakes. It's almost like you have to get an A plus on a test because if you don't, it's six points, three points, 30 odd gain on the play. It's ridiculous.
Let me go back to the first game of the year. Pitt had you guys on the ropes early on. And then we go to the Boston College game in Massachusetts. Same scenario. But the bottom line was you guys prevailed and you played for 60 minutes. How much did you file that in your file and realize, hey, it doesn't matter how far down we are, we're gonna come back? And you hear a lot of people talk about Florida State been beating people by 40 points; they never faced adversity this year. We have faced adversity in those two games. And what Coach Fisher has installed in us, you can have a good football game but be horrible in situations. So we have learned to master situations. We have become situational masters. So whatever situation we are in, we have practiced that and we understand what's needed to be done to get out of that situation. So we're pretty confident in whatever situation we're in.
(No microphone)? I think that, like I said earlier, they force you to be disciplined for 60 minutes. It's human nature to be doing things and your mind wander. Like some games you may watch film and be like, okay, you made a mistake, but they didn't exploit that. Auburn for some reason they do what they do so well, when you make a mistake, they expose that. It can be six points, it can be three points, it can be a 30 yard game. And that's what they do. They do what they do well. It's no secret what they're doing, but what they do is so hard to defend that it forces you to be disciplined and execute for 60 minutes. And if you don't, then they'll expose you.
(No microphone)? Playing teams like that that's having so much success, it almost make you go into the basement and try to draw anything that's possible to stop them. So everyone has a plan against these guys, but those guys are going to continue to do what they do well.
So our whole thing is we have to do what we've been doing all year, pay attention to details, you know, believing in the power of preparation and letting the chips fall where they may, not over thinking, not over doing anything.
(No microphone)? If that wide receiver run to the mascot, you run with them, to the point of no return. You make that tackle when technique meet opportunity. So once that guy has broke to the second level, then that's your job. Until then, believe in the guys around you, because that's the reason we're here right now. We trust and believe in each other.
(No microphone). Could be a shootout. You guys never really happened this year. You know, I would understand that that's disrespectful, due to the fact that all the things that this defense has done this year. Our offense is a pretty good football team. So I can't look at it that way. It may be a shootout. Or who knows. It may be a three to zero win game. You never know. It's a National Championship game. Anything can happen.
Are you ready for the pace of that Auburn offense? It goes so fast. You know, that's the name of the game. That's a prototypical offense these days, going fast, going fast, but we have not faced a team that go fast running the ball. You know, most teams throw the ball. That's a little more easier than a team running the ball and as physical as they are and they do what they do well. So we're ready for the pace, but you know, it's a lot of other things that plays into it, you know, being disciplined, getting lined up, not panicking, just understanding the task at hand. So there's a lot of things that goes into that.
That pace forces defense into penalties, substitution penalties. You can't get off or on the field. You've seen it in the Iron Bowl. And they do a great job of that. They do what they do well. I said it earlier. They force you to execute and be disciplined for 60 minutes. But there's one thing Coach Fisher taught us and I hold on dear to is you can suffer the pain of discipline or you can suffer the pain of disappointment. We don't want to be disappointed. So we're going to trust what we were coached to do and if the game start to get hectic, we have to take a deep breath and keep chopping the wood.
How do you remain so disciplined when Marshall looks like he's gonna run it and then all of a sudden at the last minute, because he's wanting to suck you in. How do you do that? We love and trust in each other. That's why we're here today. What a lot of people have to understand is we do what we do well, too. That's why we're here. It's going to be a great football game, and as a secondary guy, when technique meet opportunity, then you make the play. Until then you trust in that front seven. You trust in the guy whose job it is to stop the run.
I was talking to Jalen. We have never talked to him before. I know you talked about him a little bit. But how remarkable is what he's been able to do this year, step in, start from day one, play just about anywhere and play at a high level? You know, Coach Fisher did a pretty good job of recruiting. That's the kind of guys we recruit and that's the kind of expectations they have. But what separate these younger guys from guys in the past is their heart to want to learn. When we came in, we didn't have a lot of guys that looked up to the older guys and we didn't have older guys that wanted to help the younger guys. These guys are great character kids, and that helps you a lot in football because it creates a platform for you to learn, to be able to be supported and do the things that you are doing; and Jalen is going to be a great football player.
What's it like as a senior, a guy who's been here for four years, to watch a guy who comes in basically in August and is like, all right, I'm going to do what he's done. Is that fun to see? It's fun to see because you wonder, was it this way for me when I came in. So it's very fun to see for a young guy to grasp your attention and to earn your respect immediately by the way he worked and the questions he asks and the understanding he already have for the game. I'm like I wonder if I was on that level when I came in. So it's fun to watch.
On a side note, and I'll probably ask you this again on Monday. I don't know if you remember, but back in August, I saw you outside, and you said you're going to see a National Championship this year. I know it's a silly question, but back then, I mean I know you envisioned it, but is it kind of crazy to think, hey, this is actually happening? If a man think it, it should come. If you believe with no doubt in your heart, you will be able to accomplish anything in life. And I wholeheartedly believed that we were going to be in a National Championship.
Is this experience everything you kind of dreamed it would be as far as all this? It's no different from the way I envisioned it. I actually expected a little more.
Well, there's still time, man. Yeah. But it's great, though. It's great being here.
Pretty cool to walk up here and see your name on the thing and all that? Yes, it is.
Are you having any family or anybody at the game? Yes, I have a lot of family.
Who all is coming? My mom, my God parents, my brother, a couple of their wives. Children. Everyone.
Are they coming from Miami? And Fort Lauderdale.
Okay. At some point do you think I could maybe try and talk to your mom? Yeah. That would be cool.
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up in life? I wanted to be an NFL player, because I love watching football and I love playing it. And everyone told me I was good at it.
No matter the sport, what do you think it takes to be a winner? Hard work and dedication. You're going to fail sometimes, but you can't quit.
Lamarcus, can you tell me how it feels, what it means for you to be able to play in a BCS National Championship. It's your last go around, last college at game. Can you tell me some of the emotions you're feeling going into the game? I feel good. I get to be a good role model for guys like Marquez White, P.J. Williams, Ronald Darby, Jalen Ramsey. And I'm just paving the pavement for those guys to do the same thing when they get older. You know, they're going to be some great players.
That's big, man. Can you tell me how much the program has evolved since you first got here as a freshman to now as a senior. You've been here a while, you decided to stay. Can you tell me how the program has evolved?Florida State has alleges been a prestigious program. It kind of fell away from that. You know, everyone have those days where things are not going right for them and just being a young guy and watching a great program and understanding like the Terrell Buckley and the Deion Sanders and Derrick Brooks. In order for the program to be where it was at, those guys had to have a belief and a vision. When I got around guys like Jeff Luc, Telvin Smith, Terrence Brooks, we all had the same mindset and the same belief, and we just absolutely believe we can be the reason that that program -- we can change the culture around there. So we understood that we could do that, and the program has come pretty far since we came in.
And you've accomplished a lot; All American, ACC All American, Future NFL pick. Can you tell me what this last game would mean to you to be able to get this game? I know how hard you play, see how hard you work in practice. I know you prepare mentally and physically for the game. Man, that's a big time question. This guy's a great reporter. But it means so much, man, because a lot of people don't get this chance. It's almost a thousand universities in the United States of America, and this is the one game that everyone want to play at. And it couldn't come at a better time, being a senior on my way to bigger and better things in my life, and growing up and watching those national championships and saying to yourself playing backyard football I'm going to be the reason why Florida State be in a National Championship. And to be living that dream, a lot of dreams don't come true, so it's very special to me.
Can you tell me about Marquez's haircut? This is a National Championship but that guy have a Super Bowl haircut.
My name is Jermaine Watson. I'm from the Florida State football team. I have a quick question for you. Who prepares you so well for those big games? You know, just throughout the week, I just want to slap that bald head right now, man. (Laughs). But you know, just preparing throughout the week, man, you guys getting us ready, you and Gumby, y'all guys are important to us, man. Y'all get us ready for the big time games, man. And I wholeheartedly believe we'll have a harder struggle going against you guys, man, the way you guys prepare.
Okay. I think we kind of take it easy on you, so I hope you have a good game. Hey, man, this guy know about me, man. He know already. I done rooted. You remember two days ago in practice, man.
We've seen a couple times now you go in and blitz and hit a quarterback and it looks like he sees you and it looks awful quick and when he turns around, you're on him. Do you think you're faster in person than you are on tape? Why do they not realize how fast you are? I think people still don't give me credit for the God given ability God gave me on that speed tip. My teammates say I'm fast. Sometimes I don't think I'm as fast as people say I am, but film don't lie, and I just seem to always get the job done. I think it's all about heart, man. I do the things that I want to do, the things that I believe I can do. So I don't really even know how fast I am.
Jalen Ramsey said you were faster than Darby. And we asked, is that a Darby with the injury or a full stream Darby? Do you think you're faster than Darby at 100 percent? I think it'll be a pretty tough thing if I was able to get the same kind of quality training that Ronald Darby was. We both was blessed with speed, and his was a little more polished than mine was. So I won't be able to answer that question, but it's good to say that I am as long as we don't ever race. So it's just good to just be even compared to a guy with speed like that.
Obviously you guys are one of the best defenses in the country, but when guys like Jameis are getting all the headlines, is it possible somehow this defense might be a little underrated? I think that's just the way the game is. It's a prototypical kind of football game these days. Everyone love the offense. That's the way it is. That's the way our culture is. But we've been overshadowed for the last past years because we understand that offense sell tickets. And that's what everybody want to see. But we're one team, one heartbeat, so we don't let it get to us. We do the dirty work. We're like parents. You know, parents, they do a lot, they sacrifice for you, they do the things they do for you to be successful in life, and they don't get as much credit. It always goes to the person that's in the light.
So we sacrifice a lot for the offense to have success, and we understand that, so we appreciate that.
Don't sell yourself short, too. You guys can put up some points of your own as a defense. Hey, playing against our offense, we may put up more points than them. (Laughs).
People are always saying, hey, this team haven't played a close game yet. It could affect them on Monday because they haven't played a close game. Do you think that really matters? I know you guys talked about Boston College as a close game. But it wasn't a close game until the fourth quarter? I think Coach Fisher has done an absolutely tremendous job because you can play a good football game but play situations horrible. Coach Fisher the way we train we train to be situational masters, so when adversity hits us like the Pittsburgh game, they marsh down the field on us, punching first, the Boston College game, it's a tight game. We pull away at the end. We're trained to be situational masters, so I think we're pretty much prepared for anything to come.
Does it start to get bored standing on the sidelines there for fourth quarters? It's not, due to the fact that you love football; and the guys that are in the game, they're on the sidelines supporting you, so when they're in the game and they're the younger guys, you're on the sidelines supporting them, and you love doing what you're doing. So it's no way at all that it gets boring. You just love being in that environment.
When you guys are watching that Auburn film, what's the biggest concern with the team do you think?Everybody do the things we've been doing all year, paying attention to details and no one being Superman; trusting in each other, trusting the D line to take care of their assignments and the linebackers and the secondary to stay disciplined, because that team forces you to stay disciplined for 60 minutes.
Last year Coach Saban of Alabama stressed the importance of weight training in the last 30 days and making sure you don't slack off. How much of a focus has been on weight training in this 30 days? Now, last year we played in the Orange Bowl, and you know, leading up to the week I go in the weight room, you may see three or four guys. Guys may not even be the super stars of the team. You go in the weight room before we come out to California, you see almost the whole defense and half of the offense in there. And you're like, wow, this is a culture change. People are changing the way they think and people are doing all the right things. So those are things that just going through over the years seeing improvement in that makes you happy and make you want to do the job.
Is that the leadership of the seniors like y'all or is that just the circumstance of playing in the top game? I think it's the standard that we have set around here overall starting from Coach Fisher to the coaches we have to the leaders we have to young guys wanting to follow, and young guys wanting to have success and continue to do things like this for things to come.
(No microphone). You went to a comedy show last night. You're in the LA area. Making sure to focus on the game. You know, you don't get what you want. You get what you earn. We earned to do those things, go to a comedian show throughout the week or go go cart racing or go have fun, but when it's time to do our job, we do it. We practice before we do any of that. So we understand the importance of everything, and those are just a little hour you get to have fun with your team and enjoy the success that you are having. But we understand the task at hand and we're going to continue to do the little things we've been doing.
(No microphone). I look at it as though the Tim Tebow and the Cam Newton situation. You have two NFL guys sitting on one roster. Everyone know about Jameis Winston. He's the Tim Tebow right now. He's in that light. But no one know about Jacob Coker. Great kid. Physical. I'll never forget one day he threw an interception to me, and that kid came and hit me harder than I ever been hit in my life. Yes, it felt like a linebacker; big kid, can make all the throws, very intelligent, and he's going to have a future himself, just as Jameis Winston.
(No microphone)? Well, the way he hit me, I expected it to be something like Telvin Smith. Just a missile. I mean that guy came full speed, and he was determined, and he smacked me.
(No microphone)? It was his first -- it was my junior year. It was his first year.
(No microphone)? When you think about the game, if you have two good quarterbacks, you know, especially at the college level, because in the NFL, it's different; you may want to have a franchise quarterback, but in college level, you have a good quarterback, he may be done in two years, it takes a couple of times to polish that guy behind him, and at the quarterback spot they understand it's a different kind of patience from being a secondary guy. It's a different kind of patience level you're supposed to have.
So he's a great player. He knows the things he can do, and Jameis may not be going anywhere, but when it's Jacob's time, he's going to be a tremendous football player and he's going to get what he deserves.
(No microphone). Any one. I never forget on my recruiting trip a guy told me about Cam Newton, and he said that guy can start at any other program if he wanted to. I'm a young kid, I didn't know understand that. Now I understand what that guy was saying. Jacob Coker can start at any Division I level college that he wanted to.
(No microphone)? I haven't seen him at game time light, but I think he have all the intangibles.