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Florida State player gets ACC championship ring that says SEC

Menelik-Watson-SEC-ring

Florida State beat Georgia Tech in the ACC Championship Game last year to win their first conference title in seven years, and the Seminoles have every right to be proud. Defeating the Yellow Jackets in a conference championship game isn’t exactly a cake walk, but it’s not winning the SEC title, either. One FSU player got a ring saying he accomplished both.

Former FSU offensive tackle Menelik Watson, who was drafted by the Oakland Raiders in April, received a ring that said his team beat Georgia Tech to win the SEC Championship. According to the team, Watson was the only unlucky player to have his ring screwed up and the company who manufactured them is going to replace it. Phew.

To win the SEC Championship, the Seminoles would have had to beat Alabama. In other words, the ring mistake is the closest they’ll get to being considered the best team in college football for 2012.

Photo: Twitter/Menelik Watson
H/T Deadspin

Matthew Thomas sticking with Florida State after seeking scholarship release

Matthew-Thomas-Florida-StateFlorida State linebacker recruit Matthew Thomas thought he made a major mistake when he signed his National Letter of Intent. Last month, the Florida native made it clear that he only committed to Florida State because his mother pressured him to stay close to home. However, he had dreams of playing college football for USC or Georgia and spent several weeks seeking his release from the Seminoles.

On Tuesday, Thomas told Warchant.com that he has decided to stay at Florida State.

“After meeting with coach Fisher and his staff and gathering all the information I have decided to honor my commitment to Florida State,” Thomas said in a statement. “I also want to be close to my family and I want be part of what they are building at Florida State. I’m looking forward to winning games at Florida State and building towards my future.”

That doesn’t mean it was his choice. Thomas filed all the necessary paperwork with the school to request a release from his scholarship, but FSU stood their ground. Had he left the school, Thomas would have been treated as a transfer and had to sit out a year.

“You’d get into a situation where if you release him, then people would be doing that every year,” FSU AD Randy Spetman told the Tallahassee Democrat at the ACC spring meetings in May. “We would be more than happy to release someone if there is a compelling reason.”

Apparently “my mom made me do it” does not constitute a compelling reason, so Thomas basically had no other option. Parents do some insane things around recruiting time which can create unnecessary pressure for their children. Now, the question becomes whether or not Thomas’ heart will be in it with the Seminoles. If he wants to gain recognition from NFL scouts, he’d be wise to get comfortable in his new program.

H/T Dr. Saturday

Florida State recruit Matthew Thomas wants release, only signed to please mom

Florida-State-logoMatthew Thomas, one of Florida State’s top recruits from the class of 2013, does not want to play for the Seminoles. The country’s No. 2 linebacker according to Rivals.com said on Monday that he is seeking his release from Florida State so he can sign with either Georgia or USC. In fact, he says he never really wanted to go to FSU to begin with.

“I’ve told (the coaches) it’s nothing personal,” Thomas said, via The Miami Herald. “I just didn’t make the decision I really wanted to on Signing Day. What happened was I wasn’t sure who I wanted to sign with. I had issues with different schools. But when I told my mom I didn’t want to sign with anybody and wait and give it a few days she said I couldn’t do that. She said, ‘FSU is a good school – pick them. It’s close to home.’ I wasn’t agreeing with it. But I felt like I was being disrespectful to her if I didn’t sign. So I made her happy.”

Thomas also added that he felt pressure to sign with FSU since he had already verbally committed to the school and his official decision was being aired live on ESPN. He says both of his parents are now supporting his efforts to be released from FSU, but the coaches are planning to visit him at his home in South Florida to try to convince him to stay.

“If I tried to go to a school in FSU’s conference I would have to sit out a couple years,” he explained. “But that’s not what I want to do. I’ve been in Miami all my life. Georgia needs linebackers. It’s a big program. I have family in Georgia. USC, growing up I never thought I would have an opportunity that big. I just want to go have fun and play football.”

Recruits make decisions they regret because of their parents all the time. Very few take it as far as this player’s mother did, but we hear stories like this quite often. Thomas is just a kid who hasn’t even begun his college career yet. If he thinks going to a different school would be best for his future, it should not be too late for him to do so.

Helmet smack to Dr. Saturday

Florida commit James Hearns ejected from FSU football camp for doing Gator chomp

College football rivalries are not to be taken lightly, and that is something that high school recruits typically learn sooner rather than later. If Florida recruit James Hearns didn’t know that before the weekend, he does now. Hearns, one of the consensus top-10 linebackers in the nation, grew up in what is known to many as “Seminole Country.” Despite that, he has decided to play out his college career in Gator country rather than attending Florida State.

On Saturday, Hearns attended a football camp that is run by FSU head coach Jimbo Fisher and the rest of the Seminole staff. He earned himself an early exit from the camp when he decided to do the “Gator chomp.”

After the 18-year-old sent out the above tweet, FSU fans began blasting him while Florida fans were praising what they believe was a heroic act. Now, the debate centers on whether or not the FSU staff was out of line. You have a kid who has yet to even enroll in a college who decided to make a harmless hand gesture that aggravates Seminole fans, players, coaches, and alum. Were they teaching Hearns a lesson by giving him the boot, or simply turning him into an overnight Twitter celebrity? I’m sure the former was the intended outcome, but the latter is what they got.

H/T Prep Rally
Photo credit: Jake Roth-US PRESSWIRE

Chris Rix on Miami Bounties: They Never Knocked Me Out of the Games

The Miami Hurricanes football program came under scrutiny Tuesday after Yahoo! Sports published an investigation alleging improper conduct between several players and a prominent booster. Nevin Shapiro, who is currently in jail for his role in a $930 million Ponzi scheme, says he provided 72 players with thousands of impermissible benefits from 2002-2010. Amongst the benefits Shapiro says he provided were “bounties” on opposing players. Specifically, Shapiro says Hurricanes players were offered $5,000 to knock former Florida quarterback Tim Tebow or former Florida State quarterback Chris Rix out of games.

Larry Brown Sports spoke with Rix Tuesday evening to hear his thoughts on the bounties.

“My first reaction was ‘wow,’ the former Seminoles quarterback told LBS. “It’s just sad to see.”

Rix, who currently runs the Champion Training Academy that mentors young quarterbacks, says he remembers Miami players coming after him hard but he thought it was due to the rivalry between the teams.

[Read more...]

Florida State Fans Taunt Florida with Airplane Banner at Spring Game

College football fans in the South are a different breed. The hatred between teams is so strong it can lead one to poison trees on a rival school’s campus. Florida State fans didn’t take things that far when they unleashed a taunt at Florida’s spring game Saturday, but they managed to get in a nice blast. From Kegs ‘N Eggs and the Orlando Sentinel comes this airplane message flown over Ben Hill Griffin Stadium Saturday as a reminder of Florida State’s win over the Gators in the fall:

The president of the company that was hired for the flyover, Patrick Walsh of AirSign, said “One of our sales people sold this thing. We’re a standard company. We can’t be discriminatory.” He added that “Most of our other pilots didn’t want to fly it,” and he said he was getting a lot of hate text messages from his friends for pulling the stunt.

I don’t know about you, but if you disagree with the message, can’t you turn turn it down? You won’t find an anti-UCLA ad here at LBS, unless we were paid at least 10x more than the $850 AirSign got for this ad. We can only take this as another example that money talks for some folks.