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Florida State fall camp notebook: August 19

Mike, Mike, Mike, Mike — what day is it Mike?

Florida State Sports Information

Update, 11:05 a.m.

Mike Norvell spoke to the media today after a shortened practice which focused on special teams. Norvell said, “Special teams work we got was really productive. A lot of competition in our special teams unit.” He also mentioned that Keyshawn Helton and Meiko Dotson have stood out in the punt return game so far.

A few days ago, Alex Atkins mentioned that FSU is looking for a group of eight reliable offensive linemen going into the season. Norvell further elaborated on that thought today, “If you can go into a season with 8 or 9 guys you trust, you can have good competition and good cohesiveness throughout the season.”

After a down day Monday, Norvell has been pleased with the efforts of his team the last two days. He said that he’s really liked the response and how the guys have met the standard on Tuesday and Wednesday. When it comes to position battles, Norvell wants everyone to be pushed by one another, “Guys need to be challenged. if they feel that comfortable in their roles or positions, then we aren’t doing our job as coaches.”

Update, 11:20 a.m.

We heard from defensive line coach Odell Haggins for the first time this fall today. After knee surgery in the spring, the former interim head coach is feeling as good as new. He said, “This is the best I’ve felt in 12 years, on and off the football field. Knee is doing well, it feels great.”

Haggins is excited to see his group excel under Adam Fuller’s new defensive scheme. He said that the scheme lets the DL attack more and use their skills to make plays. On the scheme, he said, “I’m very excited and the guys are very excited. It uses your ability as a football player.”

Robert Cooper has lost nearly 70 pounds since he reached FSU’s campus. Haggins thinks that weight loss will take him to the next level as a DT, “It’s been great. Losing the weight has helped him out a lot. Now, he can get out there and play football.” He also mentioned that he could be un-blockable if he has great fundamentals.

UPDATE 11:30 a.m.

We also heard from defensive end Quashon Fuller, defensive back Travis Jay and punter Alex Mastromanno.

Fuller and Jay both touched on their year away from the football field, both emphasizing that it’s an opportunity they aren’t taking for granted and the lessons learned from the journey to now.

Jay also spoke on adjusting to the new staff, saying, “I want to win always. I ain’t used to losing. When Coach got here, it was easy for me to buy in.”

The biggest nugget of information from today? According to Mastromanno, kicker Ryan Fitzgerald has the worst Australian accent on the team.

Florida State Seminoles football is back on the practice field today, and we’ll be keeping you caught up with all the latest action here.

To recap from yesterday, head coach Mike Norvell didn’t drop too big of bombs when addressing the media (unlike Monday, when he announced two major injury updates). He spoke on quarterback James Blackman’s growth and investment in his program so far, as well as what he’s hoping to see from his team mentally. It’s a topic he’s spoke on before, but really hammered home yesterday:

“‬I don’t want to be around average players. I want to be around great players. I want to be around guys that are passionate to be the best they can possibly be.”

Freshmen Ja’Khi Douglas and DJ Lundy also spoke with the media, discussing their transitions so far to the college level, while running backs coach and recruiting coordinator David “YAC” Johnson spoke on what he’s seen from his running back room, as well as his process in recruiting players in the current era.

Here’s a gallery from yesterday, via FSU Sports Information:

We expect to hear from Norvell and other members of the team starting at 11 a.m. today. Follow along in the comments throughout the day, as well as on our Twitter and Instagram.