TALLAHASSEE, Fla.- The Seminoles worked in shorts and helmets for nearly 2 ½ hours on the intramural fields located across the street from Doak Campbell Stadium. It was day one of preparation for a 2011 campaign that is one of the most anticipated football seasons around the storied program in some time.
Fisher seemed pleased with the opening day. FSU is now acclimated to working hard. Fisher talked recently about how the team doesn't need to learn to work hard as it did last year.
"We've still got miles to go," FSU head coach Jimbo Fisher said after Monday's first spring workout. "We're getting where we need to go. For the most part understanding how well we did it. There were known assignments, not a lot of busted assignments which I was happy about. Our technique and that type of stuff needs to get a lot better. We have a lot of new guys out there. So for the most part, typical, average, solid first spring practice."
Having a relatively proven quarterback taking over helps a coach feel good about practice.
"He knew where he was going, had a couple of mistakes, couple of poor throws, but his decision making was good," said Fisher. "His timing with some of those guys was off a little- a couple of those routes didn't come out right. He let a ball fly or two, which for a first day wasn't bad. His decision making and overall demeanor was great. He made some really nice throws, made some inside seam throws and threw the ball well down the field inside."
Man In The Middle
Not only was Manuel getting used to making it through a spring practice, he also was getting used to who was snapping him the ball. With the departure of consensus All-American left guard Rodney Hudson and starting center Ryan McMahon combined with four offensive linemen - Andrew Datko (Left tackle), Zebrie Sanders (Right tackle), Rhonne Sanderson (Guard) and Blake Snider (Guard) - all out for the spring, FSU offensive line coach Rick Trickett mixed in a new group on the first team. Henry Orelus (LT), Jake Fahrenkrug (LG), Bryan Stork (C/RG), David Spurlock (C/RG) and Garrett Faircloth (RT) spent time on that first team offensive line Monday. Spurlock started the first seven games of the season before missing the last seven games. Stork was inserted in the lineup during the middle of the season and started four games. Both rotated between center and right guard.
"He practiced every play because it wasn't full contact," Fisher said of Spurlock (who is recovering from two severe concussions last season). "He did some center and did some guard. It was good to get him back out here for the first time in a long time. We had a couple of bobbled snaps here and there but that's going to happen when you have a new center. Stork did a real nice job."
No, I don't expect Orelus to stay at tackle. He also rotated in with the guards. The coaches absolutely love Fahrenkrug to date, and if everything goes right, he could be a dominant force.
"We have some offensive line issues that we have to solve up at center and develop some depth behind the guys that are going to play, backup quarterback, receivers' consistency level there, developing our tight ends - need to keep growing there, our backs to keep taking the steps they are taking, defensive line - develop some depth for those young guys there, linebacker - we got two new spots there and we've got some guys in the secondary moving around at safety and corner. We got a lot of issues going on. Hopefully, we'll develop our top 22 guys out there. We know the guys that have started that won't be in there, but develop some of these young guys and some depth."
Offensive line and safety are the major issues facing the Seminoles. Backup quarterback is not a major issue. Florida State fans have been quite spoiled with Ponder and Manuel on the roster, but that's just not a normal situation. When a team loses its quarterback, it typically loses its season (See also: Bradford, Sam).
- Jermaine Thomas was still not back (suspended due to multiple "driving w/ suspended license" violations), but is expected back soon. Beau Reliford could come back at the end of Spring, but Fisher said the priority there is academics as Reliford missed the bowl game due to academic ineligibility.
- Some rumored that TE Tank Sessions was moving to defensive end. That's not happening at this point. He is getting over a leg issue and has been running with the defensive linemen and offensive linemen because those groups are slower and better fit his pace as he heals from the leg issue.
Inside is the updated spring roster
Players struck through are out for Spring
4 - Devonta Freeman / RB 5-8 200 FR
21 - Debrale Smiley / RB 5-11 240 JR
23 - Chris Thompson / RB 5-8 190 JR
24 - Lonnie Pryor / RB 6-0 219 JR
33 - Ty Jones / RB 5-11 212 SR
38 - Jermaine Thomas / RB 5-11 187 SR
8 - Taiwan Easterling / WR 5-11 200 SR Baseball
12 - Jared Haggins / WR 6-1 188 SO
15 - Greg Dent / WR 5-11 193 SO
19 - Josh Gehres / WR 6-3 194 SO
81 - Kenny Shaw / WR 5-11 165 SO
82 - Willie Haulstead / WR 6-3 206 JR
83 - Bert Reed / WR 5-11 175 SR
84 - Rodney Smith / WR 6-6 216 JR
89 - Christian Green / WR 6-0 201 r-FR
52 - Bryan Stork / OG 6-4 289 SO
53 - Sterling Lovelady / OL 6-2 277 FR
56 - Trey Pettis / OL 6-5 311 FR
59 - Henry Orelus / OG 6-3 295 SO
60 - Jacob Fahrenkug / OG 6-4 307 JR
61 - Blake Snider / OG 6-3 294 r-SO Foot 67 - Andrew Datko / OT 6-6 311 SR Shoulder
72 -Daniel Foose / OL 6-6 279 r-FR
73 - Rhonne Sanderson / OT 6-3 290 JR Lower Leg
76 - Garrett Faircloth / OT 6-7 291 SO
77 - Zebrie Sanders / OT 6-6 307 SR
78 - Jordan Prestwood / OL 6-5 281 FR
79 - David Spurlock / OL 6-4 300 SR
55 - Jaccobi McDaniel / DT 6-0 301 JR Groin 90 - Moses McCray / DT 6-2 320 r-JR Knee (partial participant)
91 - Tank Carradine / DE 6-5 251 JR
92 - Anthony McCloud / DT 6-2 302 JR
93 -Everett Dawkins / DL 6-3 281 JR
94 - Darious Cummings / DL 6-2 285 SO
95 - Bjoern Werner / DE 6-4 273 SO
96 - Toshmon Stevens / DE 6-5 230 JR
97 - Demonte McAllister / DL 6-2 285 SO
98 - Cameron Erving / DT 6-5 301 r-FR
58 - Dan Hicks / DE 6-4 265 SO
49 - Brandon Jenkins / DE 6-3 258 JR
7 - Christian Jones / LB 6-4 236 SO
11 - Vince Williams / LB 6-1 245 JR
13 - Nigel Bradham / LB 6-2 240 SR
22 - Telvin Smith / LB 6-3 209 SO
24 - Terrance Smith / LB 6-3 212 FR
57 - Homes Onwukaife / LB 6-2 242 r-FR Shoulder
28 - Nigel Terrell / LB 6-1 218 r-FR
48 - Jeff Luc / LB 6-0 246 SO Knee
1 - Mike Harris / CB 5-11 183 SR
5 - Greg Reid / CB 5-8 185 JR
15 - Nick Waisome / CB 5-10 165 FR
27 - Xavier Rhodes / CB 6-2 205 SO
21 - Avis Commack / CB 6-3 202 r-JR
3 - Justin Bright / S 6-1 184 SO
4 - Terrance Parks / S 6-2 218 SR
6 - Gerald Demps / S 5-11 206 SO
10 - Nick Moody / S 6-2 226 JR
20 - Lamarcus Joyner / S 5-8 192 SO
31 - Terrence Brooks / S 5-11 189 SO
41 - Chad Abram / S 6-0 218 SO
I'm especially pleased with the progress made by the defensive linemen. 265 pounds for Dan Hicks is very good.