12:30 PM Update
The first media session of the day is done, as we heard from Darius Washington, Amari Gainer and Robert Cooper.
Washington is coming off a shoulder injury that held him out of spring practices. But as the first day of practice in pads rolled around, Washington was a full go today. ““My shoulder’s doing great. I feel comfortable being back out there,” he said.
The offensive tackle was one of three freshmen that saw action on the offensive line last season. The early experience has slowed the game down for him going into his sophomore year, as he said, “It gives me experience. I can see things slower. Now I can just go out and play.”
For more from Washington, see below:
In a new defense, comes new opportunities. For Gainer, that comes in learning a new position as he takes over the ‘STUD’ position in Adam Fuller’s defense. Gainer is excited about Fuller’s defense and the detail it brings, “I feel like this defense we know our responsibilities and fundamentals a little more,” he said.
Gainer has added 20-25 pounds this offseason to add some more strength to his game. Despite the weight gain, he believes he still has the burst and speed that he possessed on the outside last year. He said, “I still have the same speed. Anytime you get some speed and maintain strength it’s a good thing no matter what position you play.”
For Gainer’s whole interview, see below:
When Cooper came into FSU, he weighed nearly 390 pounds. When he sat down for his interview today, he weighed just north of 335 pounds. The weight loss gives Cooper more of a chance to make a long-term impact on FSU’s defense. The third-year defensive lineman said, “The main thing you’ll see is I’m out there longer. As of now, I feel good. Moving better across the gaps.”
Odell Haggins has been one of the only position coaches that has been at FSU for the full three years Cooper has been at FSU. For Cooper, that’s meant a lot to his development, as he said, “Coach Odell he always keeps it real with us. He lets us know how much he loves us and cares about us. He never lies. He’s always real.”
For Cooper’s whole interview, see below:
Update, 4:30 PM
Coach Norvell was happy with the way his guys looked in pads today. He opened up saying, “Thought today was a really good day. Thought are guys did a really nice job with the energy level. Thought they flew around out there today.”
On day one, Norvell raved about his QBs and how they threw the ball. He continued to be pleased with their play today, as he said, “I’m excited about the arm talent they have. James has done a nice job, just timing wise and just the consistency in what he does. Jordan Travis, I’ve been pleased with how he’s thrown the football. Today the freshman had a little nice day as well.”
The running back room is another room that Norvell is ready to see more of on the field. With a long line of running back production, Norvell has big plans for the group, “This is going to be a really good group. I’m planning on big things from the group that we have.”
Update, 4:45 PM
New linebackers coach Chris Marve met with the media for the first time this fall today. Marve spoke on what he looks for in linebackers, how he’s teaching the system, and the upside of FSU’s young linebackers.
FSU want linebackers who can run and hit, simply put by Marve, as he said, “We want guys who can run, who are violent, who are great communicators.”
The ‘Noles have a good mix of veteran and young LBs.
On the older guys, Marve said, “What’s impressive about Leonard and Emmett is they take a tremendous amount of pride in this program and our room.”
On the younger guys, he said, “They know how to play football, we’re excited. Being here is different and it’s a different level, but I tell you what. Those young men are chasing the standard and I’m excited they’re here.”
Update, 5:00 PM
Freshman running backs Corey Wren and Lawrence Toafili spoke to the media for the first time in their FSU careers. Wren confirmed that he would run track at Florida State and he plans on recruiting some of his teammates to the track.
When asked if he thinks if he’s the fastest player on the team, he said, “I don’t think it. I know it.” He also mentioned Tamorrion Terry and Isaiah Bolden as two of the faster guys on the team.
Toafili was one of a small group that was committed to Willie Taggart and never decommitted from FSU. He said the process was a “Crazy experience” and that he felt it “helped me out with my decision too.”
Here’s the full gallery from today’s practice:
Sunday morning rain is falling, and Sunday morning, the Noles are balling.
(I’m so sorry for that.)
Florida State Seminoles football is back at it on the practice field today, putting on pads for the first time. Yesterday, head coach Mike Norvell said the team emphasized special teams in practice periods while also easing into installing offensive and defensive schemes, and offensive line coach Alex Atkins talked about training up his linemen and who he’s been impressed by so far. All four Florida State quarterbacks — James Blackman, Jordan Travis, Chubba Purdy and Tate Rodemaker — spoke with the media as well, detailing their time learning Norvell and offensive coordinator Kenny Dillingham’s offense as well as the relationship in the quarterback room.
An interesting thing to note: freshman tight end Carter Boatwright and freshman offensive lineman Thomas Shrader were complimented by separate players and coaches about their performance and work ethic so far.
Here are some of the highlights:
On learning a new system:
Blackman: “Coach Norvell can make anything easy.”
Travis: “I’ve learned a lot of things this year that I had never learned about football.”
Rodemaker: “We’re all asking each others questions. We want to get better. Off the field we’re all really good friends so we just want to make each other better by competing.”
Purdy: “James is awesome. He helps me a lot on reads. He helps me a ton. I really respect that and really appreciate him doing that for me.”
On older brother athletes
On offseason prep:
Purdy: “[My brother Iowa State Cyclones quarterback Brock Purdy and I] went over plays and we threw. He helped me a lot with footwork and we’d go over reads every day.”
Travis: “[My brother former Florida State baseball player Devon Travis] taught me a lot. Seeing him go to work every single day... it kind’ve just motivated me to go out and work.”
On the offensive line:
Norvell: “You saw flashes of their ability. The thing we’ve been looking for is continued development and consistency.”
“It’s going to be a good group for us.”
“Thomas Shrader has been one of the more impressive freshman that I’ve had come in at that position.”
Atkins: “We really broke [fundamentals] down to the T [on Zoom] and the finer points of it. Showed lots of examples of it, videos of NFL players and such.”