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FSU's Jimbo Fisher: 'You have to let people be who they are'

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Colin Hackley/Associated Press
Jimbo Fisher's philosophy on how to coach players like Jameis Winston resulted in big success last season.

Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher said it's important for coaches to let players' personalities shine through while they're in school.

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Fisher appeared in a video clip on the ACC Digital Network with former NFL running back Clinton Portis, who showed footage of FSU quarterback Jameis Winston showing off his dance moves for Portis and asked Fisher how he handled players with a lot of personality. Portis was known for his larger-than-life personality while he was with the Washington Redskins, and he sometimes clashed with then-Redskins coach Mike Shanahan.

"You have to let people be who they are," Fisher answered.

Fisher also said it was important for coaches to lighten up at times.

"When it's time to work, we work," he said. "When it's time to play, we have a fun time and we play."

He said the head coach needs to help foster that type of environment.

"I don't want it to be so where you're uncomfortable around us coaches," Fisher said. " ... I got two PlayStations ... and a Xbox in my office. Players come in and play Xbox and PlayStation in the head coach's office. I tell them every time you come to the principal's office, you don't have to be in trouble."

Portis is a Miami alum, and in the clip, he praised Fisher, if somewhat grudgingly, for his recruiting skills, saying, "You do a great job of taking the guys away from Miami and taking those guys away from the Gainesville area." Portis also is a Gainesville High alum.

Five FSU starters this season -- wide receiver Rashad Greene, tight end Nick O'Leary, offensive tackle Bobby Hart, center Austin Barron and defensive tackle Nile Lawrence-Stample -- are from south Florida. FSU's top three recruits -- running back Dalvin Cook and wide receivers Ermon Lane and Travis Rudolph -- also are south Floridians. In addition, star cornerback P.J. Williams is from Ocala, which is about 30 miles south of Gainesville. Tim Jernigan, who starred at defensive tackle last season and now is with the Baltimore Ravens, is from Lake City, about 40 miles north of Gainesville.

Mike Huguenin can be reached at mike.huguenin@nfl.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

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