FLORIDA STATE — After coming off a long and important summer, The Seminoles put on the shells for their first practice of fall camp as they prepare for their season opener against Duquesne on August, 27th.
Head coach Mike Norvell said overall he was impressed with the speed that carried over from the summer and thought seeing the young guys respond after the first install was promising,
Seeing the whole team together after summer workouts there were a few things that stood out.
The new offensive linemen have put in the work
Seeing Julian Armella stand next to some of the more senior guys you could tell he was every bit of the 5-star rating he had coming out of high school. Not only Armella but Qae’shon Sapp, Jaylen Early, and Antavious Woody didn't seem to have much if any, bad weight. Woody received some hard coaching on his first day and responded by delivering three to four intensified reps to start off practice.
Transfer lineman D’Mitri Emmanuel has also made his impact felt instantly with his years and years of college experience showing out. He has experience at almost every single position along the offensive line besides center and looks comfortable at multiple positions. But he will likely play guard or be a swing tackle for the Seminoles.
Improved special teams, more specifically returners
Yesterday at the Seminoles' initial press conference HC Mike Norvell mentioned that players like Deuce Spann and Trey Benson could get time fielding kicks and we saw that just as practice began. Also, we were able to see Mycah Pittman, Pokey Wilson, Azareye’h Thomas mix in, and return kicks as well.
With how disastrous the return game was last season the Seminoles are positioning themselves to make sure that does not happen again. I believe this potential impact will stick and that will not be as weak as it was but I still believe there is a question of how high is the ceiling in the return game. Overall just expect to see returners that you did not last season, the newcomers of transfers and freshmen will make up the majority of the return game.
*Winston Wright seems to be moving along quickly in his recovery and was practicing some light work at kick returns early on.
The first day of fall camp is what you would expect
The defense as a whole looked good. Aside from a few explosive runs by quarterback Jordan Travis and Rodney Hill, there was really no wiggle room in 11 on 11.
Jared Verse was in the backfield a few times and notched a sack on the day and it seemed wave after wave of lineman flowed through. This could be the influx of transfers and true freshmen on the offensive line getting their feet wet but that was one thing that stood out. To be fair, there were some big shot plays and nice catches by wide receiver Ontaria Wilson who was all over the place and seemed to be Travis’ guy for most of the day.
The passing game seemed a little rusty but the weight Travis put on looks good and seems mostly to be in his legs which didn't change his speed at all. He seems to be in a good place for the start of the season but his receivers are not quite caught up yet although they had flashes.