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FSU Football Practice Report: First-team offense taking shape

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Less than two weeks away...

Offensive line coach Grey Frey works with the line during practice on Tuesday.

We’re less than two weeks away from the season opener against Virginia Tech.

Tuesday, the Seminoles practiced in the morning, starting with special teams drills before moving into position groups. There’s much more direct contact and hitting in practice by this point in fall camp, and some players had blue “precautionary” jerseys on.

Offense

Who’s it going to be?

James Blackman took first-team reps with the offense on Tuesday.

The team has been rotating Blackman and Francois regularly.

FSU is still maintaining its confidentiality on the quarterback situation for obvious reasons, but every day we’re inching closer to a decision.

Head Coach Willie Taggart said on Sunday that, mentally, Blackman and Hockman are ahead of Francois. He said Francois was not that far behind, but that he is somewhat behind because of a lack of reps in the spring while his knee injury limited him.

Lights, Cam, Action

The number 23 was nice for a change, but it’s good to see Cam Akers back in his old number three jersey. He’s your starting running back, with Jacques Patrick and Amir Rasul rounding out what looks to be a formidable three-headed monster.

Tre’ time?

When offensive coordinator Walt Bell spoke with the media before practice, he said that Tre’ Mckitty is going to be “a special player.” Mckitty and Naseir Upshur appear to be sharing some first-team reps at tight-end, and they’re leading every individual drill that the tight-ends perform.

Wide Receivers

Nyqwan Murray was one player wearing a blue jersey on Tuesday. He appears to be the wide receiver with the most complete skillset on the team right now. In position drills, Tamorion Terry and Tre’Shaun Harrison continue to impress.

Big guys up front

Baveon Johnson began position drills today as the right guard, but Cole Minshew was out there practicing today at what appeared to be full capacity. Barring injury, not much has changed with the offensive line since the first days of camp.

Defense

The Line

Fredrick Jones impresses more and more each time I see him. He’s shaping up to be an invaluable part of the run-stopping element of this defense — something that defensive coordinator Harlon Barnett said would be the main focus of his scheme back on August 5th.

Walvenski Aimé and Brian Burns were two primary ends during practice, but Janarius Robinson has drastically improved since last season and will certainly see his opportunities arise during the regular season.

Linebackers

DeCalon Brooks wore a blue jersey during the time observed. Despite being slightly undersized at 5-10, he packs a punch. He stood out on Tuesday.

Secondary

The starting secondary remains the same — Levonta Taylor and Kyle Meyers as the two corners, and A.J. Westbrook at one safety.

Injured/Absent

Stanford Samuels did not practice Tuesday. He’s still recovering from a right leg injury.

Special Teams

Florida State began practice today with special teams coverage. Coordinator Alonzo Hampton emphasized a few weeks ago that special teams would be an integral part of practice, and the team has backed that up.

The session started with Logan Tyler kicking punts out of the end zone. In-coming defenders were going all-out trying to block the kick. Kameron House even got yelled at for going a little too hard at Tyler.

The team then transitioned into kickoff coverage, occasionally surprising the return team with an onside kick. Ontaria Wilson was one kick-returner that displayed great breakaway speed.

The Seminoles will practice Wednesday, with media availability starting at 8:40a.m. before the media viewing period at 9:30a.m.