Florida State newcomers Kanaya Charlton, Omar Graham Jr., and Aaron Hester spoke with the media today on the strength and conditioning program, early impressions of college life, and Norvell’s vision for the future.
Below are some select quotes — full video will be added once available.
Offensive lineman Kanaya Charlton
On adjusting to college life and offensive coordinator Alex Atkins:
“ [My] First thoughts were all over the place, to be honest. The man is special to me. One of the first things that he said to me was that he watched my film and he told me I sucked. That was the first time anyone ever told me that. A lot of coaches will tell you how good, that you're capable of playing, you are but he told me straight up, ‘You are terrible at what you play but I can help you.’ And at that moment it [his relationship with Atkins] started to develop because that really showed me that he cares because he will tell me the truth no matter how bad it may hurt or no matter how good it may be, he will tell me the truth”
On the mindset coach Norvell is trying to instill:
“They want you to find it deep inside of yourself to push harder for your teammates more than yourself, football is a team sport, it's team orientated, if your team ain’t mentally good you may not be the best football team even if you have the best physical capabilities. Thats why he’s working on us now even as freshmen to get the fortitude needed to become a mentally stable team.”
Linebacker Omar Graham Jr.
On the Strength and Conditioning program:
“It’s been great and pretty humbling. You gotta learn new techniques, so you're basically learning from the beginning. I’m doing a lot of workouts that I’ve never done before it's great. It's been great so far.”
On what his strengths and weaknesses are:
“My instincts, my speed, I feel like I can pass rush, things like that. I’m going to try and work on my knowledge of the game just watching the film learning the plays and just knowing how to become a better football player.”
- Graham says he will most likely play inside linebacker and that the entire room has been a huge help getting him acclimated to the college game:
“Amari [Gainer], Kalen [DeLoach] DJ [Lundy], they're guys that I can really be comfortable around, they’re just teaching me and making me feel welcome. If I mess up on something they’re telling me it's alright. They are teaching me how to do things and basically make myself better.”
On new athletic director Michael Alford and coach Norvell:
“He’s [Alford] a great person. He has great energy and I feel like he has great plans for Florida State.“
“I just believed in him [Norvell]. Seeing how much fight the team had [last season], everything that he talked about I could see it in the team. The team never laid down during games. I just really like coach Norvell.”
Defensive lineman Aaron Hester
On signing with Florida State:
“It was a dream come true, you know? I grew up a Florida State kid, went to all the games. I don't even know how many games I went to in the 2013 season when they won the championship. And you know on signing day it was like, I finally did it, you know? My dad was happy of course, it was a surreal moment for me and my family.”
- Hester said he will primarily play defensive end and some outside linebacker and said that he’s already seen major strides in his body in the new strength and conditioning program:
“This strength and conditioning is crazy. I’ve already put on about ten pounds of muscle it feels like. I'm continuing to develop so that's great.”
On defensive ends coach John Papuchis:
“He talked with me a lot, texted me. I got to know him on a personal level and vice versa. My first talk with him was about just my relationship with FSU as a whole and my offer came after a conversation we had about me getting my first car. He saw how appreciative I was of that, he offered me so you know it was a personal relationship [with him] and I liked that a lot.”