Still Smiling

Florida State fullback <b>James Coleman</b> felt good Sunday afternoon. Real good. Don't mind the splint on his injured index finger, the slight limp or general soreness from Saturday's emotionally-charged victory over North Carolina State. Coleman was smiling for a number of reasons, from playing nearly every offensive snap to helping clear out running lanes for Seminole tailbacks.

His biggest contribution?

That's easy, Coleman said and smiled.

His lone pass reception in the game went for 14 yards and a first down. Coleman figures that's pretty impressive for a guy who entered the season's 10th game with three catches for 12 yard, including a long of six yards.

"That was exicting," Coleman said Sunday.

"First thing I am concentrating on is catching the ball. I am telling myself, ‘I have to catch the ball. I have to catch the ball.' I was still shook up since coach Sexton told us if we dropped the ball we have to run two stadiums (run up and down stadium steps twice).

"Me and B.J. (Dean) can't catch the ball worth nothing. I am thinking if I don't catch this ball, I have two stadiums. At least I am better than I was at the beginning of the year. When I caught the ball before that was the main thing (to catch it) .But I didn't know what to do after that (laughing). Now I caught it and got a first down, so that was exciting."

While Coleman downplayed his overall game against the Wolfpack, don't be fooled.

It was a Herculean effort, especially with Dean (partially torn MCL) out due to injury. Coleman, the former walk-on from nearby Florida High, was instrumental in helping the Seminoles finish with 272 rushing yards.

When Leon Washington scored the game-winning touchdown in the second overtime, Coleman helped pave the way with a key block at the line of scrimmage.

After abandoning the running game at Clemson last week, Coleman said it was important for the Seminoles to set the tone on the ground against the Wolfpack.

"That felt so good," Coleman said.

"Just to be able to sit there and beat somebody up. That's one of the best feelings in the world. I have never been a bully or nothing (smiling) But when you can just beat somebody down like that in the running game, it just makes you feel good."

Coleman also said he was fine physically, though he may not have looked it.

"When your number is called you can't slip or fall. You have to get the job done," Coleman said. "I played most of the game. I am a little sore. I am not that tired really until Monday -- that‘s when it usually hits me. There was a lot of emotion that went into that game."

Coleman also had another reason to smile -- his alma mater, the Florida High Seminoles, are 10-1 and in the state playoffs. The Seminoles beat Chipley in the opening round of the Region I-2A Friday night at Florida High Field.

"That's huge," Coleman said.

"Now I can get on guys like Pat (Watkins, former Lincoln High standout), though I remind him we beat Lincoln when I was in the eighth grade at Florida High. Now, Torrance (Washington, former Madison County standout), he's always getting on me as well because Madison just killed us when I was there (Florida High). But it's good to see. Coach (Hickman) is a great coach."


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