FSU coach Bobby Bowden had these comments following Wednesday's afternoon practice.
"They (players) look good but you know how it is this time of year. Everybody is in shorts. But they are all ears right now -- that's the way we want them."
Did any player stick out today?
"No. It's hard to stand out right now. They are all looking about the same right now. No disappointments. No disappointments."
You had several players fail to qualify academically. Did that surprise you?
"I thought a couple of them would make it. They were close enough to make it. Some of them just didn't quite make it. We couldn't get them into school. The good thing is they can go somewhere else and come back. It will work out."
Do you feel you got hurt at any position by the non-qualifiers?
"Well, you would like to have them all in here. Every year it seems like we have some that don't make it. You just have to remember that Charlie Ward didn't make it and he won the Heisman (Trophy). So, I don't get real alarmed over it anymore."
What were your overall thoughts of the first day of practice?
"I thought it was pretty good. Just trying to teach, teach, teach these young guys. Because the biggest thing they have to do is learn what to do, so when the varsity comes in here they can kind of melt in there with them. They have so much to learn. It slows them down."
Bowden's comments from the morning session.
"Of course, the big thing now is to teach them everything you can. Throw it at 'em. Throw it at 'em. Of course, that will drive them nuts. That will get them confused, hinder them awhile. But that's what happens. When the varsity comes in, they will know all that stuff. The kids can kind of jump in with them and learn watching them. That's a real big help. So anyway, we are throwing a lot of stuff at them. It was a pretty good day of practice. The kids were alert. Looked they wanted to learn. That's what we want."
You have some quality running backs out there.
"A problem, ain't it (laughing). We are very fortunate. We did really sign a lot of good backs. I don't ever remember bringing this many in at one time. The quality of these young men. Now, what they have to do now is forget what happened in high school. Erase all that. Now you are starting all over. Everybody around you is pretty good, too."
How will you approach - best-case scenario - if Nick (Maddox), Greg (Jones) and Willie (Reid) stay healthy, would you redshirt all of them?
"I wouldn't even think of that for a while because you never know what's going to happen. All of a sudden you get an ankle sprain or something. Somebody has to play. That's the way (Warrick) Dunn was discovered. We had (Tiger) McMillon, we had (Sean) Jackson and Rock (Preston) and all of a sudden McMillon got hurt out here and was out for the year and we had to bring somebody up. So, we brought Dunn up and Dunn pitched in a lot that year."
So, you have all of these guys in the mode that they could contribute this season.
"The mood you want them in right now is that they are all going to play. I don't want anybody holding back because I am not going to get to play this year. I want them all. ... because you just don't know what's going to happen. Thirteen ballgames. The main thing we will do is prepare them for what we are doing offensively and defensively and go from there. The guy that has the best chance of making it might not be the best player. It could be you have a dire need right here for this position and so this guy gets his job early. But I want them all wanting to do their best."
The group all appears to be good pass receivers.
"It does look like a lot of these kids are natural. That's a good sign."
Talk about your linebackers and how important is it to have the depth at that position.
"It's very important. The one thing, I would say the last four years, that we have not recruited here as effectively as we wanted to was linebacker. So, all of a sudden you got three outstanding prospects, so that's good. I wouldn't dare say which one (step in at middle linebacker). It could be anyone of them. It just according to once we start learning what we are doing and we start scrimmaging, who looks like they are the farthest along. Physically, they all have it."
Talk about Wyatt Sexton (son of running backs coach Billy Sexton). I imagine there must be a lot of pride for a father to see his son here.
"I think he might be the first coach's son that has played for me. I had a lot of player's sons. Yes, I would think so (pride). Then there's the thing of coaching your own son. Not so much the coaching but just having him around. You don't have your children long. You don't have them long and then their gone. I was very fortunate. Terry, I was with two years. I was up there three years with Tommy. I had Steve for two years and he gave it up. And Jeff, I've had him every year here. And it is pleasing to have them around to least get to watch them grow up."