The No. 13 Florida State Seminoles have closed out the regular season on fire, winning their last five games and taking down both the Florida Gators and the Miami Hurricanes, securing the state of Florida.
Offensive coordinator Alex Atkins, special teams coordinator John Papuchis, and defensive coordinator Adam Fuller met with the media after Thursday’s practice to discuss the development of younger players, their win over UF, and the team moving forward.
Quarterback Jordan Travis has had a phenomenal year and played one of his better games against the Florida Gators last Friday. When asked about how fans see him make game-changing plays and how the coaching staff sees it, he said, “We look at him as a player and his ability. The strongest part of Jordan is his knowledge.” Saying that “Him checking protection, checking run game, seeing motions. A lot of time in the game, he was calling the motions of things he was seeing with the coverage spin his football mind he doesn’t get enough credit for.”
One of those plays was a huge Sports Center top-10 scramble when Travis evaded multiple tacklers and showed his athleticism by taking it to the end zone. Atkins said that he appreciated Travis’ effort, but at the moment, he was looking at the missed assignment by the offensive line.
“I was upset with Robert Scott. He had a nine technique, and they brought the corner. He guessed; he thought since they have a wide nine, they aren't going to bring the corner. Well, they did. Which is usually not a tip, but they did a good job of having that. He guessed on it, and he was wrong, and the guy beat him inside. That’s what I saw at the moment, then I saw (Travis) make the play, and I kind of appreciated it after the fact, and I just told him thank you. That’s what makes him special.”
Atkins’ full interview can be seen below.
Special teams coordinator John Papuchis
Redshirt freshman Patrick Payton was named ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year after the 2022 season, which is a testament to his hard work and effort after being thrust into a starting role due to injury. Papuchis said he was proud.
“I was just super proud for Pat. He’s invested a lot of effort, energy, blood, and sweat into his growth and development here over the last couple of years, and one thing that I’ve been just as proud about as anything is not just his physical growth and maturity but his emotional growth and maturity.”
With that accolade, Papuchis adds another credit to his coaching ability after having multiple guys go to the NFL and winning numerous awards throughout their time at FSU. Papuchis said that he was proud of it but that the players were the ones who earned it.
“I feel like whatever role I’ve played in their development, I’m proud of, but those kids put in a ton of work, and it’s always about them and the work that they put in. I’m honored to be a part of it, and I hope that I played a role in it. Those kids did a phenomenal job, and I appreciate their work and their toughness.”
Papuchis goes over success on the field, translating into recruiting, players entertaining the idea of entering the draft, and more in his full interview below.
*Papuchis’ interview courtesy of Noles247
The Seminole defense made some mistakes early on in the game last week but seemed to have made the adjustments needed to have a strong second half. Fuller detailed what gave them success in the third quarter.
“There's a plan, and then there is a reaction to what the initial plan was. There are all those things constantly in the game; we’re just trying to make sure we get stop after stop after stop, and everything we call is to try to do that. Saying that “Just tried to play to the strengths of the guys we had. In the second half, we tried to play it a little more regardless of the strengths, just who I knew that we were. Our guys responded.”
With the transfer portal market about to heat up, Fuller said that the system as a whole is very unorganized and that their communication and ability to organize within the program is an advantage to the success they’ve had in the portal
“It’s not super organized the way it is set up now, not for our staff but just nationally. There are certain dates guys can go in, certain dates they can't go in, and then there is the constant word of mouth. It’s really we’re all at the frontline.” adding that “The minute a position coach watches somebody, and sometimes I watch them first, Mike watches them; first, Mike hits me up, I hit Mike up... It just being super organized and goes back to the fundamentals of our staff. We work really hard, and we don't like to fail.”
Fuller’s full interview can be seen below.