TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher has a lot of new faces on hand — both players and assistant coaches.
Yet Fisher thinks his team won’t look much different from the squad that finished 12-2 and ranked No. 10 last season.
Most of the questions at media day Sunday revolved around the competition for the starting quarterback job now that EJ Manuel plays for the Buffalo Bills.
Fisher said he won’t be rushed into making a choice between redshirt freshman Jameis Winston and redshirt sophomore Jacob Coker. Florida State will face Pittsburgh in the opener on Sept. 2.
Winston had a stellar showing in the spring game, completing 12 of 15 passes for 205 yards and two touchdowns in a quarter against the Seminoles’ first team defense.
He scorched veteran defensive back Lamarcus Joyner for a 58-yard touchdown throw on his first play.
“That’s a critical factor,” Fisher said Sunday. “Those lights on the scoreboard really matter.”
Winston, who also plays baseball, has been featured as the newest Seminole superstar despite not taking a single snap in a game.
Manuel was the lone quarterback taken in the first round of the NFL draft. Like Manuel, the 6-foot-4, 225-pound Winston and the 6-5, 240-pound Coker are big and strong runners.
“The good thing about these two guys, they’re much more similar than they are different in their physical skills,” Fisher said.
But vastly different in personality, although few Seminoles rival the gregarious Winston.
“I’m obviously way more reserved,” Coker said. “Jameis is a funny guy now, he’s something else.”
Winston said success wouldn’t change him.
“If I get I get (Johnny) ‘Manziel disease,’ I want everyone of y’all to get your mics and just start (makes a motion of hitting himself in the head) . on the head,” he said, adding that Manziel was a good person, based on what he’d heard from other athletes.
Coker said the offseason attention surrounding Winston hasn’t altered his preparation.
“All I can do is all I can do,” said the soft-spoken Coker, who has just five pass attempts on his resume. “I knew when I signed to come here (that) when you play quarterback at Florida State, you’re inheriting a lot of pressure.”
Winston thinks whether he’s the starting quarterback or Coker, the team is loaded with talent.
“If we’re playing Florida State football, we’re going to have a very good team,” Winston said. “Look at the numbers.”