Fox Sports Next and Scout.com sat down with Jacob Pugh about his decision to commit to FSU yesterday. Here is what he had to say:
Q: Why did you decide to commit early?
A: I wanted to focus more on my team and I want to focus more on school. I just felt like the best thing for me was to make a decision was the best thing that I could do so that when the summer and fall come I can focus on my team because I want to win another state championship. (Jacob Pugh has been on back to back state championships teams already. As a sophomore at Jefferson County he was a part of state championship team and last year Godby won the state championship for the 5A classification)
Q: You mentioned wanting to win another state championship, you just had your ring ceremony last week, how did that motivate you for this year?
A: It encouraged me to want to get another one and it was a fun thing, it was my second time to be a part of state championship team.
Q: Who played the biggest roles in you selecting Florida State over Florida and Alabama, with FSU being right down the road you had a chance to get to meet several members of their staff?
A: I talked to all of the equally but I would say Coach Pruitt (FSU defensive coordinator) and Coach Kelly (FSU linebackers coach). I called Coach Pruitt from time to time to talk to him, I talked to Coach Kelly and he came by to watch me at practice. My relationship just grew with them, I just felt more comfortable every time I went to see them.
Q: What were some of the other reasons you choose FSU?
A: The relationships and I didn’t want to leave the state of Florida.
Q: How tough was it to let Alabama and Florida know that you were choosing FSU?
A: It was real tough, actually I didn’t tell them because they found out so fast through social media. It was hard to turn away two SEC schools, two of the best SEC schools.
Q: Speaking of Florida did you grow up a Florida or Florida State fan?
A: I grew up a Florida fan and then living in Tallahassee I kind of became a Seminole, they converted me.
Q: You have the physical build to put some more weight on your frame, where (what position) do you see yourself playing in four years?
A: I see myself as a hybrid outside linebacker and defensive end but that will depend on how big I get.
Q: What did you enjoy about the recruiting process?
A: I liked going to other schools and see what they had to offer and enjoyed talking to the coaches and talking to a lot the players at the schools I visited.
Q: You have reputation as a team leader, it is a theme coming from your teammates and coaches and one of the reasons you decided early was to focus on your senior year, who was your role model as far as learning how to lead and be selfless?
A: I learned it at home and being around good people. I lead by example but speak up when it’s needed.
Q: What would you like to do after you’re done playing football?
A: I want to coach. I want to coach in high school; I want to work with kids.
Godby head coach Ronnie Cottrell on Jacob Pugh committing to FSU:
Q: Coach can you give our readers some insight as to why Jacob committed early and your thoughts on him in general?
A: Jacob made a decision in January that he wanted to end the recruiting in the summer so that he could focus on his senior year. I think that speaks volumes to the type of person he is. His concern was putting the Godby football team first. He is a very special kid and a very loyal person.
Q: Can you tell us about his leadership ability?
A: Jacob doesn’t like to lose, he doesn’t say much but he doesn’t miss anything, if we are in the weight room he is scanning the room making sure everybody is doing what they are supposed to do. And then if somebody is not doing what they are supposed to he will say something to them later on. He is a tremendous leader. I give his mother, Kay Hambrick, credit, she is a tremendous person, Jacob is what you are looking for. He is the kind of leader you want, he leads by example but if he ever says something you better listen to him.