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FSU Practice Report: Team starting to gain momentum

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Freshmen show how talent-rich Florida State is, quarterback battle rages on, and more

Florida State football practiced for the first time during preseason camp as a full team today, mixing in the true freshman with the veterans after having separate periods in the camp’s opening days. The practice was open to the media during periods 2-8 and the coaches really picked up the tempo on this hot Wednesday morning.

Offense

The quarterback position will continue to be a question mark

It was pretty tough to evaluate the quarterbacks from practice today due to the limited media availability, as the viewed portion only featured the offense playing against themselves. Deondre Francois practiced with the first-team offense once again today, and James Blackman practiced with the second. Francois looked sharp during the up-tempo drills and looked to find his rhythm out there in the fast-paced offense. James Blackman struggled with accuracy again today, but continued to be a leader on the field and displayed his ability to make plays, and Bailey Hockman looked consistent as well. Though we’re getting small glimpses of the race, quarterback analysis isn’t something to we’ll be able to look too far into without the addition of defensive pressure.

The O-Line is looking stronger everyday

The offensive line continued to work on getting their technique down with coach Greg Frey. While it’s clear that Florida State lacks depth in this unit and they are still trying to find 7-8 players that they are truly comfortable with, the first team unit looks like they are beginning to mesh well together as a whole. The first-team offense stayed the same once again today with LT Jauan Williams, LG Derrick Kelly, C Alec Eberle, RG Cole Minshew, and RT Landon Dickerson.

The second-team offense consisted of LT Abdul Bello, LG Mike Arnold, C Baveon Johnson, RG Brady Scott and RT Corey Martinez. Note that this is different than yesterday, as Arthur Williams was working out with the second team.

When freshman OL Chaz Neal appeared to struggle and become sluggish during one of the offensive drills, Landon Dickerson attempted to help lead Neal through the end of it, with the whole O-Line chiming in with some words of encouragement.

Young wide receivers are attempting to make a name for themselves

Tamorrion Terry returned to practice after missing Tuesday’s practice with a strained calf, and the injury didn’t appear to hinder him at all during practice today.

The first-team wide receivers were Nyqwan Murray, Tamorrion Terry, and Ontaria Wilson, with freshman receivers, Warren Thompson, D’Marcus Adams and Tre’Shaun Harrison rotated in with the first unit during team tempo drills.

6’3”, 205-pound freshman Warren Thompson made a big splash during today’s practice, making him another freshman to keep an eye on this season.

Freshman Adarius Dent also caught a nice pass through the middle from James Blackman when working with the second-team.

The running backs are getting more and more powerful

The RBs continue to work hard in their individual drills. The competition at the position appears to make each of them even better players. Cam Akers’ work ethic continues to showcase throughout their drills and seems to have established himself as the leader of the group, Khalan Laborn continues to impress with his agility, and overall, all of the running backs appear to be eager and ready to play.

Tight ends

Tre’ McKitty worked out with the first-team offense again today and Naseir Upshur worked out in the second unit. The tight ends continued to struggle with catching the ball correctly like I pointed out yesterday in the video here, but Taggart made a point out of pulling some of them aside today in order to correct their technique.

Injured/Limited/Absent

Wide receiver D.J. Matthew is still limited with an unspecified back injury. WR Keith Gavin was absent from practice. Arthur Williams was not seen practicing with the offensive line today.

Defense

Defensive Line

The first-team defense remained the same with Demarcus Christmas and Fredrick Jones inside and Burns and Janarius Robinson at defensive ends. Adam Torres, Cory Durden, Ja’len Parks, and Joshua Kaindoh made up the second -eam.

Linebackers

The first-team linebackers were made up of DeCalon Brooks at star, Dontavious Jackson as middle line backer and Adonis Thomas as boundary side linebacker.

Emmett Rice was back at practice today after recovering from a knee injury and working with the second team. The second-team consisted of Jaiden Woodbey at star Emmett Rice at boundary side and Leonard Warner at middle.

The secondary

Levonta Taylor and Kyle Meyers were the two cornerbacks, and Stanford Samuels III lined up at field safety as A.J. Westbrook lined up as the boundary safety.

Freshman CB A.J. Lytton worked in with second-team defense again today. Carlos Becker is still recovering from his ankle injury and worked with the third unit.

Injured/Limited/Absent

Marvin Wilson seems to still be limited due to his knee injury, but he did participate in individual drills today. This is a positive sign considering he only conditioned on the sideline during the first two days. Defensive lineman Cedric Wood was still absent from practice. DE Tre Lawson and RB turned LB Zaquandre White were both not observed. Amari Gainer suffered a fractured foot on Monday that will require him to have surgery; he will have to miss the rest of camp and a couple of early games.