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Florida State spring football: What we learned

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Staff notes, plus an hour of the Nolecast.

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NCAA Football: Florida State Spring Game Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

Bud Elliott and Ingram Smith return with a Nolecast recap not of the spring game, but of the entire spring itself. Below that, our Tomahawk Nation staff shared their thoughts on the spring.

Determining the true level of screw ups occurring this spring has been difficult, given that it seems even tiny mistakes are being called out in intense fashion not always seen in previous springs. This stems from head coach Jimbo Fisher, who is said to be much more of an intense micro-manager than he has shown in some time. Given the disastrous start to the 2016 season, and the misread the staff had on its team, maybe this is a good change.

Injuries hampered the spring progress in an extreme fashion. Was it a successful spring? Bud says no, Ingram says yes.

This isn’t a blame thing. With the injuries, it’s largely out of FSU’s control, and it likely did the best it could with what it had.

But it may have built some depth, and no injuries seem serious, so they can have a strong time in the offseason program if the effort level is there.

The hour-long show covers the program overall, the offense, and the defense. If you are an Apple News user, click here to listen.

Staff notes

With an inaccurate QB, inconsistent receivers, offensive tackles who are much better run blocking than pass blocking, and awesomely deep tight end and running back groups, the conclusion that Florida State needs to be a running football team is easy to reach.

QB

  • Pressure! Bailey Hockman as a positive. Hockman took 0 sacks on 11 dropbacks. Deondre Francois, 5 on 24; JJ Cosentino, 7 on 29.
  • Francois was 13-28 for 133. 4.75 yards/attempt. That is horrible, but it’s not all his fault. There were protection issues, drops, and injuries at receiver and offensive line. At the same time, nobody can argue with a straight face that Francois made a big leap this spring. If Malik Henry had managed to stay clean and not get kicked off the team, would he be the starter?
  • Could Hockman supplant J.J. Cosentino as the backup?

RB/FB

  • Cam Akers is your starter. But still can improve a lot. Missed some holes, needs to learn pass protection.
  • Jacques Patrick is a good No. 2.
  • Gabe Nabers is physical, we’ll see how the feel comes on.
  • Ryan Green has real talent and should transfer somewhere he can actually crack the lineup. He would start for so many teams.

WR/TE

  • LOL at Keith Gavin blocking his butt off in a green jersey. Physical freak.
  • Tre’ McKitty showed physicality and athleticism. What great depth behind Ryan Izzo and Mavin Saunders. Could he pass Pop Upshur?
  • Jimbo said the dreaded “solid” with Noonie Murray. Why? We think selfishness and consistency.
  • Da’Vante Phillips is supposed to have the best hands on the team, but didn’t show it.

OL

  • Like the interior a lot, and that’s without Landon Dickerson.
  • Snaps were better than we had heard. Baveon Johnson had a good spring on a bad ankle.
  • Cole Minshew is talented. Powerful. Easy to see why coaching sources were so frustrated when he was fat and/or concussed early in career. If he stays in shape, and healthy, he could be a high draft pick.
  • Tackles are suspect vs. the pass. Much better vs. run than pass. Josh Ball showed some good athleticism.

DL

  • Brian Burns is a beast of a pass rusher.
  • Janarius Robinson flashed some. Encouraging. Still think he’s more of a long-term play.
  • Kaindoh still swimming, has a ways to go with stepup in competition, but showed some encouraging athleticism and power at times.
  • Darvin Taylor looked athletic, and Cedric Wood is strong. Young DTs encouraging.
  • Fred Jones quickness, technique, and hand strength is a great luxury as a DT3 or 4.

LB

  • Maybe Fisher was pushing Dontavious Jackson with his media comments not only to get tougher, but to get in better shape? Fisher typically calls out players in the media only if he believes they have another level they can get to.
  • Jacob Pugh was impressive. Backed up what Fisher had said about him this spring.
  • Sh’Mar Kilby-Lane showed some pop at times in the spring game, but his mistakes are very obvious, and it looks like he is behind in picking up the defense.
  • Emmett Rice is active.

DB

  • Derwin James, Derwin James, Derwin James.
  • Stanford Samuels III looked good, as Tomahawk Nation’s sources have previously said.
  • Ermon Lane looked rusty to put it politely coming back from a foot injury.
  • Carlos Becker flashed great physical ability.
  • Kyle Meyers probably the frontrunner for the other CB job. He is frequently in the right spot, despite not being a physical freak.
  • Taylor could get a lot of star time, but has to overcome lack of length (blocked easily by walk-on sometimes).