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Jimbo Fisher interview transcript ACC Coaches Teleconference 4/22

Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher participated in the ACC Coaches Teleconference Wednesday.

Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports
Q. I wanted to ask you, you might have heard Coach Swinney talking about it, but the cost of attendance, how do you see that impacting and are you concerned with any impact it might have on recruiting in terms of swaying an athlete one way or another based on what a school can pay?

JIMBO FISHER: Yeah, I think those are issues and all, but we're in new ground. I think whether it‑‑ any time there's something new, there's going to be an impact, good, bad, indifferent for somebody at different schools. I think it's something we're going to have to look at and where we're at with all that, I really don't, because is it going to be taxed, is it not going to be taxed? How are we going to file? There's a lot of issues with these players coming in this that I think no one ever anticipated. To answer your question, I really don't know. I mean, we can say all that and pretend like we do know. We need to get it unified, we need to get it across the board before we implement everything. I do know there needs to be something for these young men at that stage and in this part of their careers, but we have to get it refined and defined, that's for sure, and it's going to be a very interesting process.

Q. With the draft right around the corner here, I'm curious, with the success that you guys have had the past couple years in regards to the NFL, what has that done on the recruiting trail as far as having that as a tool to be able to mention that to players? I'm sure that's pretty invaluable.

JIMBO FISHER: It is, but it's not as much‑‑ it's very impactful when guys see that, but it's not as impactful as people think. There's a lot more to these kids than everybody just saying I want to go to the NFL. There really is. There's the education part of it. They still feel comfortable about where they're going to school, are they winning games, are they having a great experience, are the kids at the place being treated the right way, a lot of those things, and then they see that at the end, don't think it doesn't affect them, there's no doubt it's a big part of it because we run an NFL system and they're very equipped and adapted when they get there, but it's a big part of it, but it's not the major part in my opinion. But it's been very successful, though, that we can say that, and then not only, it's not just one position, it's all positions across the board. So it has been a nice part of our program for sure.

Q. When you look at guys when you're recruiting them, obviously you run pro scout offense and defense, is there a thought when you look at a guy when he's a junior in high school if he can play in the NFL one day? Is that the end goal for a lot of these guys or is that a beneficiary of‑‑

JIMBO FISHER: I think it's definitely an end goal for a lot of guys. I mean, guys that want to play at this level, they're blessed and we can look at body type and say this guy does fit the prototype, he has an opportunity if he keeps developing to be that guy, but it's like, you know, it's like anybody who's a master in their profession and that God has blessed him with a gift, and hey, I want to take this as far as I can go with it, I mean, I think it definitely for a player saying he wants to play on Sundays one day I think is most all of them's goal, along with getting an education, too. Everybody says that's the only goal; I don't believe that. But I think it is the ultimate goal, and it would be to me if that's the capabilities I had or anybody else had. I think that's everybody's ambition that lines up and plays the sport, that they want to take it to the highest level and be challenged and hopefully make a living at it one day.

Q. What kind of signs are you seeing that make you believe that the ACC is getting better as a league, particularly maybe at the bottom?

JIMBO FISHER: Look at the number of players drafted. I think we're in the top two leagues in the country. I've said that the whole time. Number one thing when you're talking about leagues is players. We're by far, year in, year out, the only time the SEC hasn't been 1, we've been No.1. We've always been No.2, and it's significantly larger numbers than any other conference. Some of those conferences we're almost doubled in numbers of players out there. I think it's a bad rap we're getting in football, and I think we consistently have had the second best players, and it's only less than one per team behind the SEC. I think if you look at that, I think it's a perception by everyone out there, but I think the league is tremendous in football, and will be and has been.

Q. Are there any drawbacks that you see that's holding the league back?

JIMBO FISHER: I don't think so. I mean, I think people write it and there's a perception of it because that's what's been written for so many years, but you look at the bottom of every league, every team struggles at the bottom. That happens everywhere. But I think our league consistently puts our numbers of players. Look at the draft. You'll see it again here in a month, the number of players that are out there in the draft in the league that will probably be 1 or 2 in players drafted.

Q. I see you have a new quarterback this coming season and you also lost some receivers, a tight end and a bunch of offensive linemen. How did those offensive positions look to you after you've taken a look at the people this spring?

JIMBO FISHER: Very pleased. I mean, I think we could be more talented. Now, what we have to do, we're a talented young group, but at the same time what we have to do is make them football players. Like I said, Nick O'Leary, Rashad Greene, Jameis Winston, all those guys, they were all great football players. They were athletes that converted into great football players, and I think we're just as talented or maybe more talented, but the way those young guys development into consistent football players is going to be the key. The offensive line is much farther along than I thought it would be. I really like our group up front. Our receiver group is a very talented group, have to be‑‑ the consistency level which comes with all young players. Our running backs I was extremely pleased with. Thought our quarterbacks showed great promise in the spring. And our tight ends are big, strong, athletic guys, so I think in that regards, I think we're headed in the right direction. I think this summer is going to be very critical in their individual development and the things they work on and how they get things done and then going into fall camp. But I've said this, I like our football team. I think we have a chance to have another very successful football team.