There was definitely a different feeling in the air on Thursday as everybody walked into the indoor practice facility for the 4th quarter drills. Coming off a year in which they won the last ever BCS National Championship, the players seem ready and willing to get right back to work.
Here are some of my takeaways from Thursday's drills..
**Matthew Thomas looks huge -- must have put on 20 pounds of muscle since the last time he was on the field. His movement -- forward, lateral, etc. -- is as good as ever, even with the obvious weight gain. I'm beyond excited to see him once spring practice starts towards the end of March and on into the season.
**Terrance Smith clearly put on good weight in the last couple months, looks great. Also seemed a lot more vocal than I remember him being in the past, this may obviously be due to the loss of guys like Telvin and Lamarcus on that side of the ball.
**Demarcus Walker looks great and seems ready to step into a leadership role. Very vocal, very demanding of the guys around him, which I love. Walker has always impressed me with how agile he is for a guy that size.
**Mario Pender looked to be as good as ever after watching him on Thursday. On top of the fact that everyone knows he can absolutely fly, he seems dedicated and determined, as he was also motivating the guys around him.
**Dalvin Cook is going to be nothing short of exciting to watch over the next six months, the kid absolutely has a chance to contribute. His ability to stop-on-a-dime and change direction -- at that size -- is something that can't really be taught. And he's fast, too. I look forward to seeing how he develops over spring and summer.
**Trey Marshall looked great on Thursday and got a lot of compliments from various coaches. Marshall is really fast and has a great change of direction. Can't wait to see what he looks like after six months in the weight room at FSU.
**Tyler Hunter ran every single drill. I wanted to keep a close eye on him to see if he sat anything out, but he was there for everything and looked great.
**Eddie Goldman seemed to be a little out of shape. After losing Timmy Jernigan, Jimbo is looking to a handful of guys to fill that void, but it won't be Goldman in the shape he was in today. I expect they're working on that now, and it's not the kind of out-of-shape that is too far gone, but I did notice it.
Jameis Winston, Jalen Ramsey and Kain Daub were not there on Thursday, and Kareem Are was not dressed and participating. Jimbo said Daub is still trying to get cleared and is having issues similar to what Demarcus Walker went through. Are is still trying to finish up some testing.
Feel free to ask me any player-specific questions in the comment section, I just wanted to give you my thoughts on the guys that jumped out to me.
Here's some video I shot today.
FSU Football 4th Quarter Drills 2014 (via Dustin Tackett)