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Florida State practice notebook: September 1

Kickoff against Georgia Tech creeps just a bit closer

Florida State Sports Information

Update, 12:07 PM

Mike Norvell spoke to the media today, 11 days out from kickoff against Georgia Tech. Norvell started off his presser by naming James Blackman the starting quarterback for the 2020-21 season. On Blackman, Norvell said, “In our experience together, he’s done everything I’ve asked him to do.” He also mentioned he’s been most impressed with Blackman’s growth in his response to bad situations.

Norvell also mentioned that the competition will still go on through the season and he’s confident in all his QBs. He said, “I think every guy has shown the capabilities to lead this team. I’m excited about all four of them.”

FSU started their focus and install on Georgia Tech. With an extra week of preparation, the ‘Noles are still focused on some fundamentals before going into game week. He said, “Thought we had a great weekend and having a great start to the week. Good focus on Georgia Tech but also still working on fundamentals and the little things.”

Another big offensive position battle for Florida State has come up front. Norvell doesn’t have the exact answer yet, but he’s confident in the group of guys he has to choose from. “We’re continuing to work different combinations. I like what I’ve seen. Right now I feel pretty confident about 7-8 guys that can jump into the game one.”

Update, 12:15 PM

Offensive coordinator Kenny Dillingham met with the media today to talk James Blackman and the growth of the offense. On naming Blackman the starter, he said, “One for thing for us is how he carried himself everyday, he’s showed the consistency, the work ethic. At the same time he showed leadership ability off the field.” He also said that the QB has improved ‘light years’ since the spring.

Like Norvell, Dillingham mentioned that the ‘competition never ends’ at the quarterback position. He also mentioned that the other QBs have done a really nice job learning the system.

Last week, Florida State moved defensive back Isaiah Bolden to wide receiver. Dillingham mentioned how you can’t teach Bolden’s speed. He described his speed ‘like a lightning bolt.’ He also mentioned La’Damian Webb as another dynamic player in this offense. On Webb, he said, “That’s a guy who has some dynamic playmaking ability. I love the kid’s personality and work ethic.”

Update, 12:20 PM

We heard from running back Jashaun Corbin today. Corbin talked about Blackman’s leadership and how he was one of the first guys to reach out to him after his commitment. On Blackman, he said, “You can definitely tell he is one of the leaders on the team vocally.”

FSU’s running back room is full of new faces, but also presents multiple different skill sets that could make it dynamic. Corbin is excited to see what his position group can produce on the field in 2020. He said, “Everybody in the running back room is capable of doing good things.”

For Corbin, it’s been an even longer wait than most to get back into games. Corbin missed almost all of the 2019 season after a hamstring injury early in the season at Texas A&M. For Corbin, the game jitters are already starting to set in. “Last night it kind of hit me. It kind of became reality for me. I’ve got some butterflies because I haven’t played in a while but that’s normal. I’m just ready to play.”

Update, 12:25 PM

Newly-announced starting quarterback James Blackman spoke to the media this afternoon about the upcoming season. For Blackman, the focus was never simply on the starting QB spot, but just getting better every single day. He said, “I just come out and focus on getting better each and every day. I really wasn’t focused on it, as long as I came out and executed, I knew I would be in a good position.”

He’s excited to be the starter, but knows there’s more work to be done. “I was happy, but I still need to focus on getting better each day.”

Earlier this fall, Blackman mentioned how he liked how tough the coaching staff made it on them every day. That push continues to be there from the coaching staff as FSU enters game prep. On the coaching staff, he said, “Those guys are going to push everyone, to the coaches, to the training staff, to the players on the field.”

Many people thought Blackman may test the transfer portal this past winter and spring, but it was never a thought for him.

“I bleed garnet and gold if you cut me. There was never a thought in leaving [the program].”

After having off-days on Sunday and Monday, Florida State Seminoles football is back out on the practice field, starting their first official week of game prep as they gear up to take on the Georgia Tech.

Initial Vegas lines have the Seminoles as 11-point favorites.

Head coach Mike Norvell has both been quick to compliment his team for its continued effort in raising its collective level of buy-in and point out the little things his team is still doing that’s preventing it from moving to the next level.

“I think our guys are understanding the why,” he said Saturday after a challenging, physical practice that Norvell said intentionally introduced adversity. “There’s a lot of things that we’re working on each and every day, we’ve got to continue to [get them to] believe in themselves. When things become challenging, when things become difficult, your response is what’s going to determine the outcome.”

We expect to hear from Norvell and other members of the team starting around 11 a.m. We’ll be constantly updating the comments once it starts — you can follow along there, as well as on our Twitter and Instagram.

If you’ve got any questions on the team so far, go head and drop them below, and we’ll do our best to get to them.