"Quite a difference," Koral said and laughed.
Weather aside, it hasn't taken Koral long to get acclimated to his new home at Florida State. The walk-on quarterback is enrolled in classes with fellow newcomers defensive end Chauncey Davis, kicker Chase Goggans and safety Roger Williams. Offseason volunatry workouts started Tuesday for the Seminoles, and Koral participated in the first session at 7 a.m.
"It was fun being around the guys," Koral told TheTerritory Wednesday night following study hall. "I am sore but I am ready to get back in there (weight room).
"It has been an easy transition. Everyone has been treating me great and this is a great opportunity. Like I told somebody else, how can you turn down Florida State? I used to watch this team growing up."
Koral just might be the most intriguing player on the Seminoles' roster this spring. He is expected to compete at quarterback and hopes to earn a scholarship with a solid performance, as promised by FSU coaches. Koral certainly is backed by impressive credentials.
He signed with Vanderbilt out of Pacific Palisades (Calif.) Charter High, where during his junior season he threw for a state record 4,907 yards and 58 touchdowns on 440 attempts. A change of staff at Vanderbilt after his first season sent Koral, who father was a tight end at UCLA, to Santa Monica Community College. Koral played in three games before being injured (broken collarbone).
Koral said he was still offered scholarships from California and Colorado, and figured he would be at either one of those programs this very moment. Not 3,000 miles away in the northern Florida Panhandle. Koral said he first heard from FSU recruiting coordinator John Lilly only a few months ago.
"I had sent out a tape to some southern schools, including Auburn, and somehow Florida State got to see it," said Koral, who has three years of eligibility remaining (three years to play three).
"I heard from (Lilly) and then made an unofficial visit here in mid-December and really liked it. I wanted to make sure this would be the right place for me. Never did I think I would be at Florida State right now. No way. I thought I would still be on the West Coast (California)."
The 6-3, 210-pound Koral is currently rooming with wide receiver Craphonso Thorpe. The two first met in the CaliFlorida Bowl two years ago. In his short time in Tallahassee, Koral has already had a chance to throw with Seminole receivers and has spent much of his free time studying film of FSU's offense.
"It's different than when they were throwing it all over the place when (Chris) Weinke was here," Koral said. "Still, the main priority as a quarterback here is to get the rock to your receivers and playmakers and let them make plays.
"I've been trying to concentrate on our scheme – I want to know what everyone on offense is going to do each play. I want to account for everybody – I think that's important. I can get out of the pocket if I have to (Koral runs a 4.53 40) but I try to wait until the last possible second (to do that). My job is to make plays. Right now I am trying to get to know my teammates and connect with guys like Cro. I think that's important."
Koral will battle Chris Rix, Fabian Walker, Wyatt Sexton and Lorne Sam at quarterback. Walker is scheduled to have arthroscopic surgery on his right throwing shoulder Friday and may not be available for spring drills. Interestingly, Koral and Rix, also a Californian, have known each other for years. They also have the same quarterback coach back home.
"Chris and I get along great," Koral said.
"He has been helping me learn the offense. We will be competing against each other but you can still be friends. Because of everything that has happened here (at QB), my approach is the job is wide open. I want to compete and work my way up (depth chart). Hopefully, that will happen."
Also an accomplished baseball player (catcher) in high school, Koral, 20, concentrated on football simply because "I liked it so much." He also enjoys hunting and saltwater fishing off the California coast. He said he has caught a 400-pound marlin as well as a 200-pound tuna, "which took me two and a half hours to reel in." Koral plans to major in history and business at FSU.
At the moment, he's concentrating on getting to know his teammates and surrounding. As well as keeping warm.
"Yeah, it's a lot colder here than I am used to but it's not bad," Koral said. "When my girlfriend told me it was 100 degrees back home, now that's too hot (laughing). I am enjoying it here. I am ready to get going and get to work."