Bell Lap

One would think the hard part is behind FSU's <b>John Lilly</b>. Think again. Lilly was back in his office Sunday afternoon continuing his preparation for Wednesday's national signing day. If Lilly is nervous, he isn't showing it. "...you really start looking and closely analyzing, particularly this stage of the game, Sunday before signing day, there's a lot of guys on our roster that Sunday before signing day we didn't know if we were going to get them or not," Lilly said.

One would think the hard part is behind Florida State recruiting coordinator John Lilly. Think again. Lilly was back in his office Sunday afternoon continuing his preparation for Wednesday's national signing day.

"What we are allowed to do now is you are allowed to make one phone call to each prospect today – each institution is allowed to make one phone call," Lilly said in an interview with TheTerritory.

"Starting 48 hours prior to signing – so, starting tomorrow morning -- it's unlimited phone calls for two days. Then they sign on Wednesday. There's a lot to be done. Trying to finish up as far as any information or answering any questions or whatever. Plus, just making sure obviously the guys understand when they are supposed to sign and how they are supposed to sign. And making sure we understand when they are going to do it.

"You hate to say the hay's in the barn but, I mean, it pretty much is as far as all the points you want to make and those type of things."

FSU could sign up to 25 players Wednesday, and some of the nation's top recruits still list the Seminoles among their favorites. Those who made their last visit to FSU this weekend included local stars Ernie Sims, considered the nation's top recruit by TheInsiders.com from North Florida Christian, Antonio Cromartie (Lincoln High) and DeCody Fagg (Quincy Shanks).

Lilly remains optimistic the Seminoles will attract their share of quality athletes.

"You know how I am – I always think we are going to get everybody," Lilly said. "I guess I better be able to answer that on Wednesday, on how it is. When you look at our roster, that's when realize... you really start looking and closely analyzing particularly this stage of the game, Sunday before signing day, there's a lot of guys on our roster that Sunday before signing day we didn't know if we were going to get them or not."

Lilly also does not feel that FSU's recent struggles on and off the field will impact the Seminoles' recruiting efforts. Additionally, much has been made of coach Bobby Bowden's age, though the university recently announced a contract extension that will carry the veteran coach through the 2007 season.

"I think that's pretty standard (Bowden's age) and I think they've done that," Lilly said.

"Obviously, most if not all of those guys who have focused on coach Bowden's age as, well, he's not going to be there anymore. Well, they are not where they said they were going to be anymore when you start looking around at coaches in the Southeastern part of the United States – even the entire country for that matter. I think people have to see through that. Coach does a tremendous job of answering that because of who he is and how he conducts himself.

"I don't know what kind of affect (struggles) it's going to have. I don't think you know until Wednesday, and you might never know. Sometimes you don't know why somebody chooses one school over another. That's if you get them or somebody else gets them."

Lilly, who is entering his sixth season as the Seminoles' recruiting coordinator as well as the tight end coach, has an easy smile and easy disposition. He says that won't change while others might fret over the next few days.

"Honestly, there's not a a whole lot or need to be (apprehensive) because it's not going to change one thing or another," Lilly said. "I always feel good about every weekend and part of that is because I feel good about Florida State. There's just a lot of positives about Florida State. I think we have a great product to showcase, so I always feel good about it."


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