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Florida State practice report 8/15: Attention to detail at IMG

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FSU is practicing at the elite boarding school in Bradenton.

NCAA Football: Florida State Practice Tallahassee Democrat-USA TODAY NETWORK

BRADENTON, Fla. — Florida State practiced on day three of four at IMG Academy Wednesday morning.

Offense

QB: The quarterbacks worked in the following order: Deondre Francois, James Blackman, Bailey Hockman. I would not read too much into that.

The focus during the portion we could view was footwork. QBs are supposed to keep their eyes up at the target and not get on their heels. While in the pocket, looking at the receivers without tripping is key.

WR: Today was a major teaching day for the receivers, as well. David Kelly spent a lot of time talking with his receivers about their releases and techniques. Kelly was going over why a certain type of release should be used in one scenario, but not another, while answering questions the receivers had. It was a bit of “class on grass.”

Noonie Murray told me Tuesday this offense has way fewer route adjustments during a play than the previous offense, and it’s not lost on me that more time can be spent in practice working on technique and playing fast. Coach Kelly was very happy with the receivers not looking back for the ball too early. This serves two purposes. First, looking back can tip the defender that the ball is coming. And second, it slows the receiver down.

OL: Greg Frey continues to work with the offensive line on its double teams. The focus of the first few periods was identifying which double-teamer, if any, would climb to the second level to grab a linebacker, if any. Communication is key here.

Baveon Johnson had several errant snaps when stepping to his left. He continues to work on the issue.

Another thing I noticed is that all of the starting linemen appear to be in good shape. And I’ve seen Johnson every year since 2013, and I’ve never seen him this trim.

RB: The running backs worked on agility and reactive quickness. Coach Donte Pimpleton had the backs spin as a reaction to which way he moved the dummy, then spin the opposite way to evade a dummy which was supposed to represent the second-level defender. Reacting and spinning, as opposed to planning to spin, is a lot harder than it looks. And yet, the only way a spin is going to consistently work in a game is if it’s second-nature.

Defense

DL: Marvin Wilson was a full participant in the portion I viewed. The defensive line practiced hand placement, before working for quite a while on staying low. I am optimistic Cory Durden can contribute this year. True freshman Robert Cooper could play later in the year if he’s able to lose significant (bad) weight. As of now, his conditioning isn’t where the other DL are.

On the outside, I believe FSU will get something from Xavier Peters this season. As noted below, Josh Kaindoh was working out by himself.

LB: I did not get to watch the linebackers much today after watching them a lot Tuesday. I have video of some of the drills but have not watched it yet. Look for it later in the week.

DB: Likewise, I did not get to watch the defensive backs much today after watching them a lot Tuesday.

I saw a scout from the Seattle Seahawks watching the defensive line intently.

Existing injuries/absences

This is as much detail as we can provide on the absent players.

  • DB Carlos Becker continues to sit out with a foot or ankle injury (boot).
  • Cole Minshew was not observed.
  • Freshman OL Christian Meadows remains out with his arm in a sling.
  • Amari Gainer is still on crutches and will miss all of camp most likely.
  • Defensive tackle Cedric Wood was also out with an arm injury.
  • Defensive end Josh Kaindoh worked by himself.
  • Defensive end Tre Lawson was again absent.

I’ll go through the video I took to add anything I might have missed in my notes.