FLORIDA STATE — Day three is here heading into the weekend on Friday afternoon. The pads were on and the players were amped coming through the gates at the Dunlap Practice Fields and the defense let everyone know it.
Check out our sights and sounds article to see what we mean.
Head coach Mike Norvell mentioned how pleased he was with how the team performed today in his post practice interview.
“I was extremely pleased with today’s practice. That looked like, I say a real practice but, that speed, intensity physicality, showed up today.”
Overall it was a back and fourth practice with plays being made on both sides but here are three things that stood out:
Receivers and tight ends made big plays
In the initial 11 on 11, quarterback Jordan Travis opened up with a bomb down field to wide receiver Malik McClain into tight coverage. This will be day three of that connection appearing and McClain has shown he can go up and get passes against a stacked secondary. It’ll be interesting to see him in red zone plays moving forward but he is emerging as a solid goto big body.
Johnny Wilson had a great day today maybe his best day of spring or fall camp, he was extremely consistent maybe having only a single drop the entire practice. But today he caught multiple big catches in full team drills, one on ones and seven on sevens.
Jackson West is on practice three and like McClain, he has had some very nice catches, mostly being targeted when he gets a one on one matchup with a corner or safety on the perimeter.
The lines in particular on both sides of the ball brought the energy today and the competitive nature showed during drills. In the beginning, offensive coordinator Alex Atkins had the offensive line doing some “extra curricular” exercises after the first 12 on 12 matchup and it seems that got the point across because the rest of the day the line position battles were fun to watch.
*Defensive linemen Patrick Payton, Ayobami Tifase, linebacker Amari Gainer, tight ends Preston Daniel, and Jackson West were all scrappy on the day getting into the love of toughness that comes with pads.
One of the lineman that came across with extra intensity was Byron Turner Jr. who had a field day in pass rush drills. The last play of the day actually ended with running back CJ Campbell cutting to the outside and Turner chasing him down from behind near the line of scrimmage.
Fabian Lovett and Robert Cooper both had great days using their hands to spin around the opposing offensive linemen. The offensive line wasn’t being bullied though and thats what made it such a fun thing to watch. A play that stood out during one on one drills was Cooper on Kayden Lines. Cooper tried to use his infamous spin move but Lyles kept Cooper in front of him and was able to keep him from being pushed into the quarterback.
The defensive backfield thrives
In the defensive backfield we saw Azareye’h Thomas very active today, with a dropped interception and a few pass break ups. He was also in coverage on a few catches but overall has had a very impressive start to camp and does not look like a freshman.
Today Kevin Knowles had an interception and continues to thrive in the nickel back role. Renardo Green was also very active today getting his hands on the ball and allowing minimal catches.
So far the depth at corner has been very good with little drop off from the first group to the second group and even at the third level the Seminoles are very deep across the entire defensive backfield.