ALUMNI: Catching Up With Paul Piurowski

Renegade Report writer Brett Malone recently caught up with former Seminole great Paul Piurowski. Click here for excerpts of the interview and make sure to pick up the October issue of Renegade Report magazine for the story.

On the future at Florida State:

"I think Coach Bowden has done a great job of analyzing, if there is a downfall, what it is. Sometimes it's coaching, maybe he didn't have the right person in there. I think (Kevin) Steele has been a tremendous addition to their staff. Quite frankly, the guy reminds me of a young Bowden."

On his son Caz's recruitment and commitment to Florida State:

"I tried to pretty much treat it like I do with everything else. Helping him see the pros and cons of any decision that he's going to make in life. Obviously this was a very important one. I kind of just showed him how to do the old Ben Franklin, the pros and cons of decisions whether it be a school or a sport. Educate him as much as possible about the stuff that I have gone though. I'm sure it has changed tremendously since way back then. I pretty much left it up to as far as the final decision. I definitely didn't want to persuade him one way or the other and then have him regret the decision later on based on my influence. Other than trying to council him I pretty much left it up to him."

"I was ecstatic that he chose Florida State. I knew he had thought about it for quite a long time. I was tickled pink that was the school he chose. He did his homework and the decision was his and he felt confident that was where he wanted to be, not having any regrets between the time he came back home and to this day he definitely doesn't. I would've been happy no matter what he had chosen. Don't know if I could of yelled 'Go Gators' if he had chosen Florida, but I would've been there, supporting him and wanting the best for him."

"He was up there at that camp and he had called me. We stay in contact no matter where he is. Thank goodness to cell phones now a days, you can find out what they're doing. He had called me, I think it may have been after the first day and night up there and said he wanted to make a formal commitment. I had asked him to, he said he stayed up in bed and was talking to a lot of the players up there and he was asking them a lot of questions and he was looking to see if there were any negatives. Sometimes players will let their guard down and say what they really feel when they're amongst other players. He was asking a lot of question. Of all the questions he asked, he didn't hear one negative response from any of the guys during the time he was with them. He felt comfortable with some of the questions he had asked and gotten answers to.

I felt it was a knee-jerk reaction, maybe he was caught up in the moment. He was in their new dorms and he said they were unbelievable. So, I asked to him pray about it that night and think about it some more and we'll talk about it in the morning. He did that and called me back and said I did what you asked me to do and I still feel the same way. That's how he revealed it to me. Up to that point, he never lead on one way or the other."

On the recruiting process:

"The big difference is, and maybe it's because he is a much better athlete than I ever was. Maybe he got more early attention than I did perhaps. It just appears to me that the whole process, and I'm assuming the Internet and the availability of information has sped up 100 fold, and rumors that can get started, it appears that it starts much earlier. Kids are being contacted earlier via the mail and the Internet. And now a lot of these guys are doing the (text messaging). (Caz) has been getting a lot of that. Of course, we didn't have cell phones back then."

Text messages came from coaches - "I'm positive was the guy from Florida, whoever the guy who recruits for him. He used to text message (Caz) all the time. That was the one that I remember. It's something about Gators that got to me."

"Coaches are following the rules and taking advantage of modern technology. It's one more way to stay in touch with the kid and keep their name in front of him. That's probably the biggest thing."

On his decision:

"The biggest thing that swayed me back then was Bobby Bowden himself. By the time Florida State was really recruiting me heavily, my father had passed away and I was very venerable to any type of a fatherly figure. Bowden just, in a way, almost filled that void. If that's possible. A fatherly figure was the way I looked at him. Just in his mannerisms and his ability to communicate with my mother, and she felt very comfortable speaking with him. When he visited the house he fit right in like he had been friends with the family forever. That was important to us. I had 10 kids in my family. Family is a very strong ingredient in our life. It was almost like he was a relative we hadn't seen in a while. We felt like we knew him at great length."

"Bobby Bowden has got a great way of making you believe in yourself that you can do more than you are capable of doing. He's got an uncanny ability to make you think about things that you wouldn't normally."

On his prep days:

"I was a quarterback and a safety. They recruited me as a safety. Some of the schools were recruiting me as a quarterback, but Florida State was recruiting me as a safety. I lasted about three days at safety and they said, ‘we need to get you closer to the line of scrimmage.' I moved to linebacker after I got there."

On other athletic ties in the family:

"I was the second boy. My older brother was a pretty good ball player. He went to a junior college in Kansas. After I signed, he walked on at Florida State. He was about 6'1", and 235. One of the meanest, nastiest guys I ever knew. The stories of him beating the crap out of me probably helped me later on. My youngest brother John was a Florida State recruit and signee. He was probably the best athlete of the family. He ended up severely injuring his ankle and dropping out."

Comparing past teams with the current one:

"People try to complicate it. You know that you can say the talent is better. I think that the similarities are that we prepared ourselves, and I have to believe it's true today with the coaching staff that they have, mentally just as much or more than we prepared ourselves physically by studying films, by learning tendencies.

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