You can begin to cut the tension with a knife as we inch closer to this Saturday’s Top-5 showdown between the fifth-ranked Florida State Seminoles and the third-ranked Clemson Tigers. It’s being billed as one of the greatest matchups on the gridiron in the ACC’s history, and deservedly so.
Traditionally, the Florida State program is no stranger to being in the spotlight. While the moments have been few and far between within the last decade, Jimbo Fisher slowly has the eyes of the nation turning to Tallahassee, FL once again as they get ready to march into Death Valley with their dynamic redshirt freshman QB, Jameis Winston, and continue their journey toward the goal of retrieving their first national championship since 1999.
Because of this, I decided to reach out to former Florida State and New England Patriots’ wideout, P.K. Sam, to get a little bit of his insight into what he foresees come this Saturday from his alma mater.
And if anyone needs a reminder of where Sam stands in Florida State lore, well, you can just ask the rival Florida Gators of 2003 that one:
Jack Jorgensen: First off, P.K., thank you for your time. Before I delve into the huge matchup this weekend, if you’d like, take a few and let everyone know what you’ve been up to since your days in Tallahassee as a Seminole and your time in the NFL.
P.K. Sam: I got married 5 years ago. I have a beautiful step daughter( Brooklynn), and two very crazy and handsome little boys( Trey and Julian). I’m just trying to find my way without the game I love so much. I am in sales at LexisNexis but soon want to get back to the sports world. I want to make sure younger kids don’t make the mistakes I made and also are prepared for college/NFL
JJ: Everyone can see, especially evidenced on twitter (@Gatorkiller2003), that you still have an undying loyalty to Florida State. So, what has been your assessment of Jameis Winston so far? Have you been surprised by just how good he’s been thus far? Or, did you see something like this coming?
P.K.: He is an AWESOME young man! No offense to anyone but I would like to see what he could do with the guys we had in the early 2000’s Craphonso [Thorpe], Anquan [Boldin], Javon [Walker], Willie Reid etc…the thing that hurt us the most those years was the lack of consistent QB play. For him to be so young and not make huge mistakes is a mark of a great QB. Says a lot about the coaching too!
JJ: Now, you know better than anyone that a QB gets a lot of help from his targets. What’s your thoughts on the FSU receivers, and how well can they perform against that Clemson secondary on Saturday?
P.K.: I think our wide outs can have a huge day. I have been really happy with how good they’ve looked. Rashad [Greene] I know will be ready but I think Kelvin [Benjamin] has to play like his size. When he figures out he can be a beast, he will dominate! I need him to do that on Saturday! HIGH POINT the jump balls! This group will win the game for us on Saturday.
JJ: Otherwise, what are some other keys, in your opinion, for Florida State to walk out of Death Valley with a win on Saturday night with national title hopes still alive?
P.K.: Just listen to their leader Jimbo Fisher. He has them ready. The crowd and hype cant play the game. The players do. It will be loud, VERY loud but that’s what its all about. The best feeling is when the away crowd is silent at the end of the game and you hear our fans chop’n away!
JJ: Now, as hard as this may be, what are some keys for Clemson to prevent a let down at home and send FSU back to Tallahassee with their first loss?
P.K.: I can say that at some points experience trumps talent. If somehow they rattle our QB play and turn him into a freshmen, along with the crowd noise…they win.