Found October 28, 2011 on Fox Sports Florida:
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Sometimes recruiting really comes down to luck. Jimbo Fisher made a trip to Miami Central to evaluate a running back, but the recruit was taking classes in night school. So Fisher instead found himself watching the backup tailback in practice. And he knew Devonta Freeman was a running back he wanted. I stayed there and watched him the whole practice, Fisher said. And the more he watched he found himself saying, This guy is pretty good. Freeman was more than pretty good. He was a pretty good diamond in the rough. Fisher and running backs coach Eddie Gran talked about Freeman and both wanted to make him a scholarship offer. The kid who had flown under the radar, who wasnt even given a star rating -- let alone a state or national ranking -- got an offer to play for the Seminoles. You have to trust evaluations, Fisher said. Recruiting is one thing. Evaluating is another. Im not saying were gurus. We make mistakes all the time. We wanted to get that offer out there early to him. Hopefully he remembered the first one he got because in the end he had a bunch of them. The offers soon rolled in from all over the Southeast, but Freeman picked FSU. And the hunch that Fisher and Gran had on Freeman turned out to be spot on. Freeman has had back-to-back 100-yard rushing games for the Seminoles (4-3, 2-2 ACC), who host N.C. State (4-3, 1-2) on Saturday at noon. He became the first FSU freshman with consecutive 100-yard games since Chris Parker in 1988 and Sammie Smith in 1986. Parker didnt reach the 100-yard mark in his next game and Smiths feat came in the last two games of the season. Freeman could very well break the 100-yard mark against the Wolfpack, who are 75th in the nation against the run (allowing 165 rushing yards per game). Freeman, who as a true freshman is not allowed to speak with the media, also leads the team in rushing yards (288) and has three touchdowns. He is just 5-foot-8, but at 200 pounds Freeman has been tough for defensive players to wrap up. Hes a bruising, physical back but also moves like a quick tailback. It is God-given ability, Fisher said. You teach them where to run and how to run, but he has the it factor to do that and that makes him special. The athletic ability he has and the instincts for the game. You can sit here and say we practice and teach them how to cut and how to press a block, but you either do it or you dont. Freeman has been running hard for a long time. After Fisher and Gran extended the scholarship offer, other schools and recruiting analysts took notice. Freeman went from no stars to a four-star prospect and was ranked the No. 9 running back in the nation by He ran for 2,208 yards and 26 touchdowns in his senior year at Miami Central but perhaps saved the best for his last two games. Freeman ran for 354 yards and the go-ahead touchdown late in the fourth quarter as Central advanced to the Class 6A state championship game. The next week, he helped the Rockets to a 48-27 win over Orlando Dr. Phillips with a 36-carry, 308-yard effort (just 20 yards short of a state title game record). After the game he re-stated his commitment to FSU and Fisher, who was watching the game in person. Freeman, full of confidence, said his next goal was to win the Heisman Trophy. He enrolled early in January, getting a jump in the classroom but also earning practice time with the first- and second-team offense. Freeman continued to impress in preseason camp, and he has seen increased playing time because of Chris Thompsons season-ending back injury but also his ability to stay in the game on passing downs and protect quarterback EJ Manuel. Freeman is also benefitting from improved offensive line play. Fisher and offensive line coach Rick Trickett have been forced to shuffle the line due to injuries, but the Seminoles have surpassed the 200-yard mark in each of the last two games. An FSU offense that for the first four games of the season was a one-dimensional passing team has found its running legs. Guys get blocked or there is just one little crease, the more skill and more space you get, that is what you are trying to create, Fisher said. What the linemen are helping to create is a name for Freeman.

Devonta Freeman still getting taught by FSU teammates

'Noles freshman leads rushers, but still learns from his veteran teammatesTALLAHASSEE — Now that senior Jermaine Thomas appears to be settling back into Florida State's running back rotation, FSU's rushing game is beginning to operate in the method the Seminoles had hoped when the season started.

Football. Jimbo Fisher Call-In Show

Florida State's Jimbo Fisher and the voice of the Seminoles Gene Deckerhoff will take your questions Wednesday night at Hotel Duval in downtown Tallahassee.

Seminoles Speak: Jimbo Fisher

Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher was pleased after the 34-0 pasting of NC State. He should because the 'Noles played great football. Here's a snapshot from Fisher's comments in the post-game interview.

Quotables: Jimbo Fisher

Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher discussed NC State and the Seminoles during his weekly teleconference.

FSU coach Fisher knows N.C. State quarterback well

When North Carolina State comes to Tallahassee on Saturday, the Wolfpack’s starting quarterback, senior Mike Glennon, will be familiar to Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher.

Locker Room Report

TALLAHASSEE, FL -- NC State head coach Tom O'Brien and Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher spoke with the media following FSU's 34-0 win over the Wolfpack.

No wonder Vikings QB Ponder slipped in draft

(By Rick Bonnell, You have to respect Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher's candor.Asked Wednesday what so many missed about quarterback Christian Ponders' potential, Fisher reminded the media that Ponder didn't have a lot of help.

Return of FSU’s leading receiver likely on hold

Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher said earlier this week it was his understanding that Rashad Greene “should be able to go” against North Carolina State this weekend. Unfortunately, that doesn’t appear to be the case. Following practice Wednesday, Fisher said the wide receiver suffered a setback in his recovery from an ankle injury, leading…

Florida State Seminoles cut down on penalties

Penalty-prone Florida State cut down on the flags Saturday, much to the relief of coach Jimbo Fisher. The Seminoles were flagged for five penalties, well below their season average of more than eight per game.

Seminoles defense hammers hapless Wolfpack

TALLAHASSEE -- Florida State's defense turned in one of its most impressive games of the season Saturday, holding N.C. State to 166 yards on offense as the Seminoles took a 34-0 win before 80,849 fans at Doak Campbell Stadium. "To get a shutout was tremendous," FSU coach Jimbo Fisher said. "The whole first half we played as a football team, we came out very focused...

No wonder Ponder is a leader

(By Rick Bonnell, McClatchy Newspapers) You have to respect Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher's candor.Asked Wednesday what so many missed about quarterback Christian Ponders' potential, Fisher reminded the media that Ponder didn't have a lot of help.

Comparing the Passing Games of FSU and NC State

In Monday's press conference this week, Jimbo Fisher took special note of NC State's pass offense behind quarterback Mike Glennon, a prospect Fisher had recruited for Florida State. While NC State isn't as dangerous as they were last season, they're leading the ACC in passing yards per game and Glennon has proven he can make big plays. The Wolfpack's passing...
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