As would be expected, both Seminole players and coaches were pleased with the choice. FSU last played in Jacksonville in the 2000 Black Coaches' Classic, dispatching BYU 29-3 in their season-opener.
"That's going to be great going back home to play there next season, hopefully," said tailback Leon Washington, a former 3A Mr. Football selection at Jacksonville's Andrew Jackson High. "That's good for the city of Jacksonville. They've worked hard and built a lot of new facilities."
Head coach Bobby Bowden said he was happy the selection of Jacksonville over other candidates including Charlotte, Atlanta, Orlando and Tampa.
"Jacksonville was my second choice," he laughed. "My first choice was Tallahassee."
"People are going to learn about ACC football."
With numerous nagging injuries starting to pile up, FSU was forced to practice Thursday with one scholarship tight end and two freshman guards rotating in with the first unit.
Senior Paul Irons gained reprieve from gassers after taking all the reps at tight end. Both Matt Henshaw and Donnie Carter had to leave yesterday's half-scrimmage after taking hits from linebacker Ernie Sims. Henshaw (bruised collar bone) will likely return tomorrow. Bowden said Carter's status is still under evaluation.
"It was a little tough but I've done it before," Irons said. "My freshman year I had to take all snaps."
"We wanted to get both freshmen some snaps and some experience," offensive line coach Jimmy Heggins said. "You never whats going to happen."
Senior receiver Dominic Robinson caught five balls in skeleton drills to highlight the first practice of the fall that was closed to the media. Robinson said the change NCAA-mandated changes in the pre-season practice scheduling has made practices a little more spirited than in the past.
"Back in my freshman year we had two-a-days on consecutive days," he said. "It would wear us out. Now where we go one, then two, then one again…it leaves a little more in the tank."
Something else helps fill the tank.
"Out pedal is to the metal right now with Miami up first," he said. "Usually you work your way up to the pace we're going at but with a big game first you can't afford to do that."
The Seminoles will practice twice Friday and hold a full scrimmage at Doak Campbell Saturday night. Both are closed to the public.