Florida State defensive end Patrick Payton and wide receiver Winston Wright Jr. spoke with the media on Thursday heading into the end of the first week of bowl season practice. Payton was named ACC Rookie of the Year, and Wright announced his plans to return for the 2023 season earlier this week. The two talked about achievements and the team heading into next year.
Payton led the ACC in sacks among freshmen and has stepped onto the stage after being thrust into the starting role earlier this year when DE Jared Verse went down with an injury.
“Well, I got a call from all of the coaches. Coached Mike Norvell, coach Fuller, JP, even coach YAC, coach Wilson, everybody called me. It was a good experience because waking up, I didn’t even know, like, throughout the season, I wasn’t even thinking about it. I didn’t know I was up for it, but it was a great experience.” Peyton added that “I wasn’t really thinking about it. I was just playing football.”
Payton on the potential of a 10-win season:
“We would love to win ten games. I wouldn’t say we want to go out there and just lose. We really want to finish in the best way that we can. We really didn’t want to lose three games, so we try to come out here and work as hard as we can to get back to that and get another 10-win season.”
Payton’s full interview can be seen below.
Wright suffered a season-ending injury in a car crash in March and has been putting in the work and effort needed to make a speedy recovery. He wasn’t expected to play in 2022 and announced his intentions to return in 2023.
“These last nine months, I feel like it’s a positive for me in my career to help me grow as a person. Help me be there for other guys on the team in the receiver room; just grow up mentally and stronger.”
Coming back stronger is key in Wright’s mentality, and he said he’s excited for what is next to come.
“When I got hurt, I did think I was going to play; just talking to the coaching staff, it just made more sense for me to hold off and to come back so I could be at my full potential... I’m very excited. Next year we are going to have a good team, and just being able to add to this team that we already have is going to be big. I’m just very excited to be back to myself.”
Wright's full interview can be seen below.
*Wright’s video is courtesy of Noles247