Florida State quarterback EJ Manuel said he is good to go against Georgia Tech on Saturday in the ACC Championship game.
Manuel was on the receiving end of a vicious helmet-to-helmet hit from Florida linebacker Antonio Morrison on Saturday. The hit knocked the ball loose for a game-changing fumble, and also took Manuel out of the game for an offensive series.
On Monday Manuel fully participated in practice during the open portion and said he is alright, and has no lingering effects.
"I'm fine," he said. "Took a hard hit, it's a part of the game, it's a physical game throughout the whole 60 minutes. We got some hits on them, they got some hits on us, so I'll be fine."
After the game head coach Jimbo Fisher said that Manuel was hit in the stomach and the medical staff was evaluating whether or not he had a rib injury, because he couldn't catch his breath.
On Monday Fisher clarified his statement on the practice field saying he wasn't trying to deny that Manuel got hit in the head, but that he was tested for both head and rib injuries on the sideline.
"He couldn't get his breath because he got hit in the head, but also he took some shots in the body," Fisher said. "They said he couldn't get his breath so they were more worried about that so they wanted to check some other things out and if he was ok they'd send him back. They come back and say he's OK. We assumed he was hit in the head, we were talking about the helmet to helmet hit (after the game). They check him out, I have no jurisdiction (if he comes back in the game)."
On Monday Manuel said he was hit in the head, "Basically in the jaw". He believed the tests he was being put through on the sideline were preliminary concussion tests, but that he wasn't certain.
"I think they went through some preliminary tests and obviously I passed them and I was able to go back in and play," Manuel said. "Whatever test they did do, I don't know for sure, I passed it so I was able to go back in and play."
Manuel missed just one offensive series and returned to the game for the duration, including rushing for his second touchdown of the game as time expired.
The fifth-year senior, who has played through numerous injuries in his career, including a broken bone in his leg last year in the Champs Sports Bowl, said even if he hadn't passed the sideline tests he would have lobbied to go back into the game.
"It wasn't even a thought in my mind that I wasn't going to back in and play," he said. "They would have to hold me down literally so I couldn't go. I didn't want to finish the game like that with an injury, or it being my last time in Doak and things like that. I wanted to finish the game whether we won or lost. My teammates respected that and I would want them to do the same if they could. We're all tough guys, we're football players, we understand it's a physical game. You get knocked down but it's about how you get back up after that."
Five Seminoles named first team All-ACC
The Atlantic Coast Conference announced its All-ACC teams as voted on by the media on Monday afternoon. 16 Seminoles were named to the three teams, the most for FSU since having 20 honorees in 2000.
Dustin Hopkins. Bjoern Werner, Cornellus Carradine, Lamarcus Joyner and Xavier Rhodes were all named to the first team.
While Manuel, Chris Thompson, Tre Jackson, Bryan Stork, Cameron Erving, Everrett Dawkins amd Christian Jones earned second team honors. Anthony McCloud, Timmy Jernigan, Vince Williams and Menelik Watson earned All-ACC honorable mention.
"I'm very proud of those guys; very happy for them," FSU coach Jimbo Fisher said. "Their hard work has paid off. They're accomplishing a lot of individual goals, but they did it within the team concept. No one sacrificed their individual goals.
They're being rewarded for the success that we've had as a team.
"I think they are very deserving. I think we have some other guys that are also deserving; we've got a lot of good young players. That's a sign of the direction our program is going."
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