Ryan Hoefeld visited Florida State last month, and it didn't take long for offensive line coach Rick Trickett to see beneath the hulking 265-pound frame to find what he was really looking for.
Trickett tapped Hoefeld on the shoulder and offered the Seminoles' newest commitment the perfect compliment.
"He was just like, 'You have it. You just have it,' " Hoefeld said.
The two shared a laugh, but the words struck a chord with Hoefeld, who announced Monday that he'd be the Seminoles' 14th commitment for the class of 2013.
"I thought it was a great thing," Hoefeld said.
For the 6-foot-3 center from New Orleans, building that rapport with his coaches was among his top priorities when choosing a school, and he instantly clicked with Trickett and the FSU staff.
Hoefeld said he was looking for a program that felt like home, and after just a few days in Tallahassee, he felt like he'd known the coaching staff for years.
"I felt like I was best friends with the coaches even though I was only there a couple days," said Hoefeld, who was also considering TCU, among others. "That really meant a lot to me."
There were other priorities, too. Florida State offers a graduate program in sports medicine, and Hoefeld already has his sights set on earning a Master's degree.
Playing time was also a factor, and Hoefeld said Trickett has already set out the ideal timeline.
"They told me I'll redshirt my freshman year, have an opportunity to push for some playing time as a redshirt freshman, and definitely play for a starting job my redshirt sophomore year," Hoefeld said. "That was really good to hear and that sounds right up my alley."
Hoefeld's commitment had his phone buzzing Monday night as friends offered congratulations. His family is already counting down the days before they'll see him lining up on national TV.
But for Hoefeld, it was the pat on the back from his new line coach that carried the most weight.
Trickett doesn't dish out those compliments easily. It takes the right kind of player to earn it.
"(Trickett) can joke around and he's a really funny dude, but he's just a hard-nosed, tough coach and he loves hard-nosed, tough guys, physical with great tenacity," Hoefeld said. "That's the way I like to play, so I really think he represents my attitude as a player."