Mike Martin Jr. had his first press conference of the 2020-21 season this afternoon. The ‘Noles officially started fall practice yesterday, taking the field as a team for the first time since March 14th’s win over Illinois State. Meat spoke on the importance of the fall and the expectations that he has for the regular season.
Junior mentioned that yesterday’s opening practice was one of if not the best he’s been around since being a coach here. For the second-year head coach, things were starting to feel normal for the first time in a while. He said, “First day yesterday was the first day I felt normal in an awful long time.”
After a short season last spring and a limited number of guys playing summer ball, this fall will be crucial for the development of the team. On the importance of fall ball, Junior said, “It’s critical. A lot of them haven’t done anything in a long time. You do a ton of teaching of the foundation of what we expect out of them.”
Scrimmaging will be one of the main focuses of the fall. Scrimmaging will give the coaching staff a better idea of where they’re at as a team. “We’re going to do a lot of that this fall because we need to evaluate where we are at.”
The team doesn’t know what their schedule will look like yet, or even the rules to how they’ll be able to set up the schedule. Junior expects the schedule to be conference-only with a home and home with a rival to make up the 56-game schedule.
Meat is still holding out hope for some normalcy with the Garnet and Gold games. On the possibility of fans at the official scrimmages, he said, “I would hope so. We’re planning on going to November 5th with the 4th and 5th being the Garnet and Gold games.”
We also heard from team leaders Reese Albert and Chase Haney today. Albert spoke on the changes this year, how he’s stayed in shape, and the importance of this fall. Last season, Albert missed the entire fall due to shoulder surgery, which led to timing issues in the spring. On the difference of this fall, he said the extra time will take a lot of pressure off of him and give him time to adjust his timing.
Haney spoke on his decision to come back and his expectations for the team. On his process of coming back, he said, “I was pretty much 100% set on coming back. I love this place.” He also spoke on some of the young arms FSU has brought in this year, saying, “In my sixth year here, I think this is the best freshman class of arms we’ve had since I’ve been here.”