Jimbo Fisher did something radical this spring. He invited the color orange onto his field.
As a way to infuse toughness and effort onto Florida State's roster, Fisher split the team into three categories: players who gave championship effort, players who gave okay effort and players who gave poor effort. The first group wore garnet jerseys. The second wore white jerseys. And the third wore jerseys in the dreaded color orange -- a vulgar color in Tallahassee, conveniently worn by all three of the Seminoles' rivals, Florida, Miami and Clemson.
"It's not important what the coaches think, it's important what your players think," Fisher said in a SportsCenter interview Tuesday. "Where you stand (among) those guys and say, 'This is not acceptable what we're doing.' It wasn't to embarrass, it was to educate. We'd sit down and tell those guys, 'This is why you're in this,' and then show them those efforts from practice. Once they see it on film, it's amazing how quickly they pick it up."
Fisher said that the move elicited some hard feelings at first, but it turned into a positive when players bought into the concept, and then other players helped their orange-clad brothers get out of it. By the end of camp, Fisher said, 85-to-90 percent of the team was out of orange.
"You can take this as I'm trying to embarrass you or I'm trying to make you the player you can be," Fisher said. This is what it takes to get there. Once they understood that... the other players on the team, they embraced that. We as coaches can talk and coach all we want. Your players take ownership of themselves and the other guys on the team or you're never going to be a great organization or a great team. That's what we were trying to present to those guys... The other players weren't making fun of them. 'Listen, let's do this to get you here' and bringing them along. It turned out very good."
Watch the full interview here.