Thursday night at the Southwest Florida Seminoles Club stop of his summer speaking tour, Jimbo Fisher was very positive about his Florida State team. The event was well run. Fisher was far less reserved than he was before the 2015 season, during which he often spoke of youth, teaching, fundamentals and more youth after his Seminoles set an NFL record for draft picks in a three-year span. His tone was one of excitement about the team's potential as he spoke to a crowd of close to 200.
One interesting note concerned the special teams. Fisher showered kicker Ricky Aguayo with praise for his rapid improvement in spring, and was quite high on incoming punter and perhaps kickoff specialist Logan Tyler.
But he added that there would be competition at the punter spot as FSU is bringing in a graduate transfer from Oklahoma. Fisher did not name the player, and did not specify whether this meant the state of Oklahoma or the University of Oklahoma. Several readers asked about who this player was, so I pulled up the rosters of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Tulsa. I reasoned that to be a graduate transfer, a player needs to have been in school for three years to get his degree.
The only player fitting that criteria on the three rosters is Oklahoma's Jack Steed, who redshirted in 2012 and has been on the roster ever since. Not only that, but Florida State running backs and special teams coach Jay Graham and some FSU staffers follow Steed on social media. Steed also follows them as well as some other special teams coordinators, like those of Oklahoma State and Cal.
Steed has not recorded any stats for Oklahoma, and in 2015 freshman kicker Austin Seibert handled the Sooners' punting duties. Steed must have some talent, however, for this many schools to be interested in him. Also of note that if Steed does come and is on scholarship, and the entire recruiting class qualifies academically, FSU would be at 90 scholarship players, meaning five would have to not be on scholarship by August when schools are required by NCAA rule to get down to 85.
- Fisher praised Ro'Derrick Hoskins' coverage skills and said at times he was FSU's best linebacker in 2015. He also praised Matthew Thomas' pass rushing ability off the edge.
- Fisher was impressed with Rick Leonard's quick transition from defensive end to right tackle and joked that he "no longer has to starve himself." Fisher would like Leonard to get to 304 or 305, a gain of 10 pounds.
- Fisher told the crowd to appreciate Derwin James and realize how special he is. He said Derwin is as special as anyone he has ever coached. It was a level of praise I've rarely heard from Fisher in his seven seasons at Florida State. Fisher also compared James' leadership to FSU's great leaders during his time, and it struck me that almost all of them were members of the 2013 team. That truly was a special group with some extremely rare circumstances.
- Fisher is happy with Josh Sweat's progress but sees that he has another level he can get to if he can play with great focus and effort on every play.
- Fisher noted that Jacques Patrick is much better at 228 than 235+ and needs to be diligent keep his weight in that range as he continues to run behind his pads.
- Fisher praised the increased competition at receiver and offensive line. He wants redshirt freshman guard Cole Minshew to continue losing the bad weight he added when he was injured, praised his progress and noted that it is hard to get cardiovascular work in for big linemen when they have an injured wheel.